Best British gardens to visit in 2019 – from sprawling rural locations to inner-city botanical paradises

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  • Often steeped in history and wonder, why not make it your New Years’ Resolution to visit the best gardens Britain has to offer?

    To celebrate the New Year, The Greenhouse People have searched far and wide to create a list of the best British gardens to visit in 2019.

    Visit our garden channel for more great garden ideas, advice and inspiration

    1. Darwin’s Garden at Down House, Kent

    British gardens 2019

    Image credit: Flickr Siâni D

    Located at Down House in Kent, these lush gardens and intriguing greenhouses are full of inspiration and history. It is here where its owner, Charles Darwin, developed many of his ground-breaking ideas on natural selection in his ‘outdoor laboratory’.

    In fact, you can even follow in Darwin’s footsteps, taking a walk through the garden affectionately labelled as his ‘thinking path’.

    Downe, Kent, BR6 7JT

    2. The Topiary Gardens at Levens Hall House, Cumbria

    The Topiary Gardens at Levens Hall House

    Image credit: Flickr catseye1812

    Billed as the ‘finest, oldest and most expensive topiary garden in the world’, the gardens of Levens Hall in Cumbria make for a surreal and awe-inspiring visit.

    A living sculpture gallery, the trees and bushes in The Topiary Gardens can be traced back over 300 years to the late 1600s and are expertly crafted into a fantastic array of abstract and geometric shapes. Coupled with the parterre, which is home to over 15,000 homegrown plants, a visit to Levens Hall is guaranteed to leave you amazed.

    Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 0PD

    3. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

    Best British gardens

    Image credit: Flickr Gaelle et Arnaud

    Located just a mile from Edinburgh city centre, The Royal Botanical Garden is 70 acres of lush greenery and escapism set against the capital’s skyline. Its biodiversity garden illustrates the evolutionary order of over 500 different plants, each telling a unique story. It also boasts 27 glasshouses, transporting visitors to diverse regions of the world from arid lands, humid rain forests to mountainous tropics.

    If you visit in the summer months, the ponds in the glasshouses boast exotic sacred lotuses and tropical water lilies, making this a truly beautiful destination.

    Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ

    4. Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden, Cornwall

    Best British gardens

    Image credit: Flickr Lucy Melford

    As the former home and studio of one of Britain’s most important twentieth century artists, the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden is not to be missed if you’re looking to introduce artistic flair into your outside space.

    Nestled beside the bustling streets of St. Ives, a gravel path leads you past Barbara Hepworth’s infamous modern sculptures to her workshop with glimpses of the sea.

    St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1AD

    5. Pashley Manor Gardens, East Sussex

    British gardens

    Image credit: Flickr Mark

    Another must-visit for the history enthusiast, this beautiful Tudor house sitting on the Sussex-Kent border was once owned by Anne Boleyn’s great-grandfather. To commemorate this, there’s even a statue of the former Queen on a moated island.

    If history’s not your thing, the annual Tulip Festival in late April/early May is not to be missed. With some 40,000 tulips of over 112 different varieties, the festival is a stunning site. The bluebell walk also comes highly recommended too.

    Tilehurst, East Sussex, TN5 7HE

    6. Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire

    British gardens 2019

    Image credit: Flickr jinxsi1960

    One of Wales’ finest gardens, Aberglasney has 10 magnificent gardens to explore, dating back to medieval times.

    A renowned plantsman’s paradise, Aberglasney is home to many plants seldom seen growing in the British Isles. Its best to visit in spring and early summer when the woodland, stream and kitchen gardens are in full glory.

    Llangathen, Carmarthenshire, SA32 8QH

    Loved these British gardens? READ: 10 easy ways to prepare your garden for winter

    Will you be visiting any of these British gardens this year?

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