These are the best gardens to visit in the UK this weekend

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  • Why not spend the weekend exploring one of these gems?

    The summer is the perfect time to head outside and explore one of these beautiful gardens …


    With hills, water and classic architecture overlaid by trees and shrubs, Stourhead is a magical garden to visit. First opened in the 1740s, the lawns are perfect for a picnic among the magnolias, rhododendrons and azaleas. The lake, reflecting classic temples, mystical grottoes and exotic trees, are also breathtaking.

    For more information visit Image: National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

    Bodnant, Conwy

    With stunning views across Snowdonia, this spectacular garden has had a massive overhaul of its ageing planting. Grand Italianate terraces with rose gardens, lily pools and herbaceous beds, lead to informal shrub borders, filled with plants from around the world. The Dell below, complete with cascading water, is awash with rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. The famous laburnum arch is a tunnel of golden blooms in late spring too.

    For more information visit

    . Image: National Trust Images/Stephen Robson

    Sissinghurst, Kent

    This is a garden for all seasons. Divided into a series of ‘rooms’, each with a distinct theme, it was the creation of poet Vita Sackville-West and husband Harold Nicolson, who moved in in 1930. Well-known among writers and the green-fingered, each ‘room’ is filled with a different planting scheme, including the Ancient Nuttery, the Purple Border, the Herb Garden, the Lime Walk, the bold and bright Cottage Garden and the famous White Garden, with its shades of white, grey and green that has inspired countless imitations.

    For more information visit Image: National Trust Images/Jonathan Buckley

    Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

    With avenues of trees, endless lawns, wildflower meadows, flower gardens and one of the best collections of statuary, this is one of the greatest 20th-century gardens. Created by the 1st Lord Fairhaven, the flowers here are planted en masse for impact and the scent from a thousand hybrid tea roses in the rose garden in summer is not to be missed, as is the winter garden.

    For more information visit

    . Image: National Trust Images/Robert Morris

    Nymans, West Sussex

    This 20th-century garden is famed for its extraordinary collection of rare and important plants. Created by Ludwig Messel, the garden is bursting with Chinese and Chilean trees in the walled garden, and consists of a series of different gardens. There are guided walks and talks in the garden and wood, and in the summer there is open-air theatre and Jazz in the meadows.

    For more information visit Image: National Trust Images/John Miller

    Kew Gardens, London

    Covering 300 acres with over 300,000 species of plants, if you’re in or heading to the capital, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is the place to go. A World Heritage site, this verdant garden in southwest London has a 250-year history and children will love strolling along the soaring treetop walkway and wandering through the tropical glasshouses.

    For more information visit


    Coton Manor, Northamptonshire

    Beautifully tended but very much a lived-in space, this peaceful 10 acre garden is nestled on the hillside, extending down from the 17th century manor house. Comprising a series of smaller gardens, including the herbaceous border, which is best from early June until September, rose gardens, which flower from May until September, and a magical five acre bluebell wood and colourful wildflower meadow, which are at their best during the summer months.

    For more information visit

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