10 gorgeous gardens to explore in Britain

Friday 19 May 2017

Hands down, Canadians love gardening. Must be something about the freezing long winters followed by the joyful burst of green in the spring that makes it such a favourite pastime. And as Canadians head into the May long weekend (the first of the summer!), we can thank Queen Victoria. Officially, Canadians are celebrating her birthday, but most will be planting fresh flowers in the garden or heading to the cottage. For those with gardening on their minds, here are 10 of Britain’s best spring gardens.

Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill in Cambridgeshire, England

Anglesey ©National Trust Images Stephen Robson Photo credit: Stephen Robson ©National Trust Images

No matter the season, there's always somthing to ooh and aah about at this quintessentially English house and property. But to see the most vibrant displays of colour, we'd reccomend visiting in the warmer months when drifts of daffodils flourish throughout the grounds, and more than 4,000 hyacinths decorate the formal garden. Planning on being here during the summer? Expect to be dazzled by dahlias, roses, and 30 acres of wildflower meadows.

Blickling Hall in Norfolk, England

Visitors to Blickling Hall, Norfolk credit Matthew Antrobus ntpl_144976 Photo credit: Matthew Antrobus

If you're looking to see the flowers at their prime, it's best to time your trip to Blickling Hall for late spirng or early summer. Follow the winding paths through the great wood, see the carpet of dainty English bluebells, and discover one of England’s great Jacobean houses at the heart of the garden. Don't forget to try and find the secret garden--it's a great place to listen to the spring bird chorus.

Bodnant Garden in Conwy, Wales

Bridge and waterfall at Bodnant ©National Trust Images Ian Shaw Photo credit: Ian Shaw ©National Trust Images

To see specatucular views of Snowdonia, head to Bodnant Garden and stroll along its terraced lawns and wooded paths. Though there's no shortage of stunning flowers and greenery to see from the 80-acre property, highlights include the world-famous collections of Magnolia, Camellia, Clematis and Hydrangea. Come spring, be sure to swim by the Dell--it’s hidden deep within the wooded valley and echoes with the chatter of the River Hiraethlyn.

Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, England

Clumber Bridge ©National Trust Images Jerry Harpur Photo credit: Jerry Harpur ©National Trust Images

Parkland, gardens, peaceful woodlands, and a magnificent lake make Clumber Park a gorgeous place to spend a day. In spring, the woodland comes alive with birdsong while the beautiful walled kitchen garden is famous for growing hundreds of varieties of fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Don’t miss the Limetree Avenue – it’s 2 miles long!

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden in North Yorkshire, England

Fountains Abbey ©National Trust Photo credit: ©National Trust

Explore the atmospheric ruins of this 12th-century abbey and look out for wild spring flowers adding a splash of colour to the medieval stone. The water garden is just as spectacular with its moon-shaped ponds and classical statuary. .

Glendurgan Garden in Cornwall, England

Laurel maze at Glendurgan, ©National Trust Images Andrew Butler  Photo credit: Andrew Butler ©National Trust Images

Lose yourself in the three valleys of Cornwall’s Glendurgan Garden, a sub-tropical garden that blooms with magnolias, wild flowers, and woodland flora. There is also a wonderfully puzzling maze, if you're up for a challenge.

Morden Hall Park in London

Snuff Mill in Morden Hall, ©National Trust Images Andrew ButlerPhoto credit: Andrew Butler ©National Trust Images

Outfitted with diverse landscapes and hidden histories, Morden Hall Park is a green oasis within London. The river meanders through the former deer park, and the meadows and trees provide a refreshing break from city life.

Sheffield Park and Garden: East Sussex, England

Sheffield Park Garden ©National Trust Images Nick Meers Photo credit: Nick Meers ©National Trust Images

This informal landscape garden was laid out in the 18th century by ‘Capability’ Brown and enhanced further in the 20th century by owner Arthur G. Soames. During the spring, expect to see colourful shows of daffodils and bluebells, along with rhododendrons and azaleas leading into early summer. The four larger lakes form the centrepiece of the garden and parkland reflect the careful composition of trees, shrubs, waterfalls, and sky.

Sizergh Castle in Cumbria, England

Tulips at Sizergh, ©National Trust Images Val Corbett Photo credit: Val Corbett ©National Trust Images

Tucked away outside of Kendal, Sizergh Castle has beautiful gardens and acres of estate to explore. In spring, guests will see brightly coloured tulips on the top terrace, cherry blossoms in the Dutch garden, and bright 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.

Wallington in Northumberland, England

House at Wallington,©National Trust Images Matthew AntrobusPhoto credit: Matthew Antrobus ©National Trust Images

Discover Wallington, the much-loved home to generations of the unconventional Trevelyan family. The Trevelyans loved being close to nature and the house is surrounded by an informal landscape of lawns, lakes, woodland, parkland and farmland, just waiting to be explored. Soak up the atmosphere of the tranquil East Woods, alive with the sound of birdsong, and discover the beautiful walled garden, a colourful haven of tranquillity in the springtime

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