A Secret Garden tour of Britain

Tuesday 04 February 2020
Credit to Helmsley Walled Garden,York. Bright flowers on hot border in Summer. Secret Garden film location.

Embark on a blossom-filled adventure in Britain to mark the 2020 reboot of the classic 1990s film, The Secret Garden, starring British actors Colin Firth and Julie Walters. Due for release in cinemas this spring, just when Britain’s flora will bloom into life, fans of the film and lovers of the original 1911 novel can find their own secret garden on a blooming marvellous four-day garden tour of the UK…

Day One – Kent

Step into the garden of England

Known as the ‘Garden of England’, Kent is the ideal place to start a green and glorious tour of Britain’s gardens. Visitors arriving in London can jump on a train to the tranquil county and discover a world of green spaces fit for a queen… or in this case, the Queen Mother! Explore the exquisite Walmer Castle and Gardens, a charming historic house with fantastic outside spaces including an impressive kitchen garden, a dramatic yew-lined Broadwalk and the perfectly pruned Queen Mother’s Garden. Gifted to Her Royal Highness in 1997 to celebrate her 95th birthday, a long pool guides the eye along the horticultural haven, allowing guests to soak up the air of tranquillity once enjoyed by the Queen Mother herself.


Alternatively, green-fingered travellers can chose between a range of other historic gardens, including Leeds Castle, Penshurst Place and Gardens, and Hever Castle, Anne Boleyn’s childhood home.


Prices: Walmer Castle costs £12.20 for adults and £7.30 for children, opening times differ throughout the year. Tickets to Leeds Castle cost £27 for adults and £18.50 for children, with admission granting free return visits for a year. Penshurst Place and Garden will be open on selected days until 28 March 2020 when it opens daily, with tickets costing £12.50 for adults and £6.50 for children. A range of family tickets are also available, starting from £28, for two adults and one child. Entry to Hever Castle’s gardens only will cost £15.55 for adults and £9.75 for children, with savings to be made if booked online. Please note: Hever Gardens Castle and Gardens are closed until 8 February 2020.


Day Two – Surrey

Enjoy a picture-perfect picnic

Just over an hour’s drive from Kent, visitors can explore another hotspot for British horticulture in the lush county of Surrey. Head to RHS Garden Wisley for a chance to wander around one of the largest plant collections in the world, alongside a canal-side wisteria walk, picturesque cottage garden, traditional glasshouse and stunning orchard.

Those wanting to spend extra time soaking up the flora and fauna of Surrey can visit The Savill Garden. This expansive collection of seasonally designed outdoor delights and stunning woodland are full of rare plants and colourful blooms, making it a must-see for any horticulturalist or those searching for the picture-perfect picnic spot.

Prices: Entry to RHS garden Wisley costs £14.95 for adults and £7.45 for children. From March-October, entry to The Savill Garden is £12 per adult and £6 for children.

Day Three – Wiltshire

Discover a countryside estate

Fans of The Secret Garden will relish the chance to explore one of the movies main filming locations - the stunning gardens on the Iford Manor Estate, located just over 90 minutes’ drive from Surrey. Nestled within the sweeping Cotswolds countryside, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, visitors can easily lose themselves while strolling through the Grade I listed outdoor oasis, marvelling at the romantic Italianate garden, sculptures and terraces.

Lovers of horticulture can also visit the quaint and historic Avebury Manor and Gardens. Dating back to the 16th century, this Grade I listed manor house’s formal gardens are separated into ‘rooms’, including a spectacular rose garden and orchard.

Prices: Open from April through to September, entry to Iford Manor Estate costs £7.50 for adults and £6.50 for children. Entry to Avebury Manor and Gardens is £9.00 for adults and £4.50 for children.


Day Four – York

Find your very own secret garden

Fans keen to soak up additional Secret Garden experiences can extend their trip by jumping on a train to the north of England. With travel taking approximately four and a half hours to York, this leg of our great British horticultural tour will take visitors to another key filming location, Helmsley Walled Garden.

Built in 1759 and nestled in the heart of Yorkshire, the original setting for Frances Hodgson Burnett’s enchanting novel, this five-acre garden sits below the beautiful ruins of Helmsley Castle. Visitors can enjoy the traditional glasshouses, embark in a spot of mindfulness in the Garden of Contemplation or explore the edible flower garden. The products from the garden can also be enjoyed in The Vinehouse Café, along with other delicious fruit and vegetables cultivated onsite.

If visiting in summer, flower lovers can also discover a host of horticultural highlights, such as pop-up gardens, flower markets, blossom-centric installations, workshops and trails around York at Bloom! Festival, which bursts into life from 20-28 June 2020.

Prices: Helmsley Walled Garden is open from April until the end of October. Entry costs £8 for adults and children under sixteen go free. Prices for Bloom! Festival 2020 are to be confirmed.

The Secret Garden is released in UK and US cinemas on 17 April 2020.


For more information contact:

Visit Britain Media Team


Assets to download

Download images in this article

Visit website

Download DOC version of this article