10 of Britain's best spring gardens

Friday 17 March 2017

Vibrant colours and cool forest walks, waterfalls and great houses: spend spring exploring some of the National Trust's most gorgeous gardens. We've chosen just 10 of its loveliest, but there are plenty more to explore!

Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill: Cambridgeshire, England

Anglesey ©National Trust Images Stephen Robson Anglesey ©National Trust Images Stephen Robson

 

Visit the grounds of this quintessentially English house. The working watermill and wildlife discovery area offer captivating views, vibrant colour and delicious scents in every season. In spring, massed drifts of daffodils flourish throughout the grounds and more than 4,000 hyacinths decorate the formal garden.

Blickling Hall: Norfolk, England

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

 

The best time to visit Blickling Hall is in May. 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. Try and find the secret garden - a great place to listen to the spring bird chorus.

Bodnant Garden: Conwy, Wales

Bridge and waterfall at Bodnant ©National Trust Images Ian Shaw Bridge and waterfall at Bodnant ©National Trust Images Ian Shaw

 

Created by 5 generations of a family, Bodnant Garden has wonderful views of Snowdonia, grand terraced lawns, and a gloriously romantic waterfall. In spring don’t miss the Dell: it’s hidden deep within a wooded valley and echoes with the chatter of the River Hiraethlyn.

Clumber Park: Nottinghamshire, England

Clumber Bridge ©National Trust Images Jerry Harpur Clumber Bridge ©National Trust Images Jerry Harpur

 

Parkland and 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!

Lodge at Clumber Park, ©National Trust Images Jerry Harpur Lodge at Clumber Park, ©National Trust Images Jerry Harpur
 

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

Fountains Abbey ©National Trust Fountains Abbey ©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. It was the vision of John Aislabie who created it, and it remains one of Britain’s most spectacular Georgian water gardens.

Glendurgan Garden: Cornwall, England

Laurel maze at Glendurgan, ©National Trust Images Andrew Butler Laurel maze at Glendurgan, ©National Trust Images Andrew Butler

 

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 feel like a challenge.

Morden Hall Park: London

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

 

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.

Meadow at Morden Hall, ©National Trust Images Jennie Woodcock Meadow at Morden Hall, ©National Trust Images Jennie Woodcock

 

 

Sheffield Park and Garden: East Sussex, England

Sheffield Park Garden ©National Trust Images Nick Meers Sheffield Park Garden ©National Trust Images Nick Meers

 

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. In spring, there are 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, reflecting the careful composition of trees, shrubs, waterfalls and sky.

Sizergh Castle: Cumbria, England

Tulips at Sizergh, ©National Trust Images Val Corbett Tulips at Sizergh, ©National Trust Images Val Corbett

 

Tucked away outside of Kendal, Sizergh Castle has beautiful gardens and acres of estate to explore. During spring you’ll see brightly coloured tulips on the top terrace, cherry blossom in the Dutch garden and bright spring colours in the rock garden.

Wild daffodils at Sizergh, ©National Trust Images Val Corbett Wild daffodils at Sizergh, ©National Trust Images Val Corbett

 

  There are lots of frogs, newts and numerous species of birds to spot, as well as bees and hens in the apple orchard.

Acer trees at Sizergh Castle © National Trust Images Val Corbett Acer trees at Sizergh Castle © National Trust Images Val Corbett

 

Wallington: Northumberland, England

House at Wallington,©National Trust Images Matthew Antrobus House at Wallington,©National Trust Images Matthew Antrobus

 

Discover Wallington, 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.

Bridge at Wallington, ©National Trust Images Matthew Antrobus Bridge at Wallington, ©National Trust Images Matthew Antrobus

 

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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