BRITAIN’s top 10 spring gardens

The days are getting longer and winter is starting to fade with beautiful flowers beginning to bloom. We’ve selected the top 10 spring gardens around the UK for you to visit.

Spring is around the corner so now is the perfect time to experience nature coming back to life, from early displays of dainty snowdrops to bright and colourful late spring tulips. There are countless blissful gardens and seasonal events to enjoy in Britain, but here is our selection of the top 10 spring gardens.

Bridge-and-waterfall-at-Bodnant-©National-Trust-Images-Ian-Shaw
Bridge and waterfall at Bodnant Image credit: National Trust Images/Ian Shaw

Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Created by five generations of one family, this 80-acre garden has wonderful views of Snowdonia, as well as grand terraced lawns, a renowned collection of rhododendrons and a wonderfully romantic waterfall. In spring don’t miss the Dell; hidden deep within a wooded valley, with the river Hiraethlyn chattering through. Spring is also the perfect season to visit the laburnum arch, which will be in full bloom by late May.

Blickling-Hall-©NTPL-Matthew-Antrobus
Blickling Hall. Image credit: NTPL/Matthew Antrobus

Blickling Estate, Norfolk

A great place to visit in May, when you can follow the winding paths through the great wood and the carpet of English bluebells in spring. At the heart of the garden lies one of England’s great Jacobean houses, fragrant beds of the parterre and hellebores, daffodils, azaleas, rhododendron, wisteria and peonies. There are about 500 acres of parkland and woods to explore, and a secret garden to try to find.

Sissinghurst-Castle©National-Trust-ImagesJonathan-Buckley
Sissinghurst Castle. Image credit: National Trust Images Jonathan Buckley

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

The creation of English novelist and poet Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold, Sissinghurst gardens are ideal for a springtime wander. Enjoy the rich, warm colours of the Cottage Garden. Long beds of tulips, fritillaries and hyacinths are marked out by an avenue of pleached limes, scattered by generous terracotta pots, every inch bursting with colour for about four weeks. Early spring sees pink chinodoxias, scillas and white anemones come into bloom, looked over proudly by a Magnolia salicifolia and a big, bold mauve rhododendron.

Hidcote-©NTPL-Stephen-Robson
Hidcote Image credit: NTPL Stephen Robson

Hidcote, Gloucestershire

A diverse garden, Hidcote features plants from all over the world. British garden designer and plantsman Lawrence Johnston owned, designed and was passionate about the gardens. He went to endless trouble and expense to find unusual varieties that would bring colour, scent, shape and texture to the garden. The garden is divided into a series of ‘outdoor rooms’, each with its own character. Enjoy drifts of narcissus and later aquilegias and Welsh poppies in the Pillar Garden, and the blossom filled orchard with emerging wild flowers.

Stourhead-Apollo-statue-©National-Trust-ImagesClive-Nichols
Stourhead Apollo statue Image credit: National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

Stourhead, Wiltshire

A world-famous landscape garden with a lake as its centrepiece, reflecting classical temples, mystical grottoes and rare trees. Stourhead house is set amongst immaculate lawns and parklands filled with colour throughout the spring months, with a succession of azaleas, magnolias and rhododendrons bursting into flower.

Magnolia-at-Trengwainton-©National-Trust-Images-Stephen-Robson
Magnolia at Trengwainton. Image credit: National Trust Images Stephen Robson

Trengwainton Garden, Cornwall

An early flowering spring garden, there are breath-taking displays of magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias throughout the spring at Trengwainton, along with a charming walled kitchen garden. Follow winding, wooded paths, find picnic spots by the stream or sit in quiet corners.

ClumberPark-Lime-Avenue©National-Trust-ImagesAndrew-Butler
Clumber Park Lime Avenue. Image credit: National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire

With 3,800 acres of parkland and gardens, peaceful woodlands and a magnificent lake, Clumber is glorious to visit in spring when the woodland is alive with birdsong and bluebells. The beautiful walled kitchen garden is famous for growing hundreds of varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and has the biggest collection of culinary rhubarbs in the country. Clumber Park also boasts the longest avenue of double lime trees in Europe. Planted around 1840 to line one of the main entrances into the Park, the majestic Limetree Avenue is over two miles long.

Wild-daffodils-at-Sizergh,-©National-Trust-Images-Val-Corbett
Wild daffodils at Sizergh. Image credit: National Trust Images/Val Corbett

Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

Tucked away outside of Kendal, Sizergh Castle has beautiful gardens and 1600 acres of estate to explore. During spring see the brightly coloured tulips on the top terrace, walk beneath cherry blossom in the Dutch garden and enjoy the spring colours in the rock garden. There are lots of frogs, newts and numerous species of birds to spot, as well as bees and hens in the apple orchard.

Fountains-Abbey-©NTPL-Andrew-Butler
Fountains Abbey. Image credit: NTPL Andrew Butler

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal (Water Garden), North Yorkshire

Explore the ruins of the 12th-century Fountains Abbey and admire the water garden with its moon-shaped ponds and classical statuary. Studley Royal Water Garden was the breath-taking vision of John Aislabie and his son William. In the early eighteenth-century John Aislabie had great plans to impress visitors to his Yorkshire estate and turned the wild and wooded valley of the river Skell into one of England’s most spectacular Georgian water gardens.

Wallington-in-spring,-please-credit-National-Trust
Wallington in spring. Image credit: National Trust

Wallington, Northumberland

Discover Wallington, a much-loved home to generations of the Trevelyan family. The Trevelyans loved being outdoors and close to nature and the house is surrounded by an informal landscape of lawns, lakes, woodland, parkland and farmland just waiting to be explored. The tranquil East Woods come alive with the sound of birdsong in spring and the walled garden is absolutely beautiful.

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