Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the best gardens you must visit in Southern England. From enchanting historic estates to mesmerizing botanical paradises, Southern England boasts a wealth of natural beauty and horticultural wonders. Join us as we embark on a journey to discover five extraordinary gardens that will leave you spellbound and inspire your love for nature.
1. Exbury Gardens – Where Nature Paints a Masterpiece
Nestled in the heart of the New Forest, Exbury Gardens is a floral wonderland that enchants visitors all year round. Established in the early 20th century by Lionel de Rothschild, this expansive garden spans over 200 acres, featuring a captivating collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, and rare trees.
The “Dell” area of Exbury Gardens offers a breathtaking sight during spring, as a vibrant carpet of daffodils blankets the landscape. Stroll along the tranquil pathways and marvel at the picturesque ponds adorned with water lilies. A visit to Exbury Gardens is a true celebration of the changing seasons, with the fiery hues of autumn foliage painting a masterpiece of nature
2. The Lost Gardens of Heligan – A Forgotten Paradise Rediscovered
Prepare to be transported back in time as you step into The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Once a thriving estate, the gardens fell into neglect after World War I, only to be rediscovered and lovingly restored to their former glory in the 1990s.
Wander through the “Jungle” area, where towering ferns and exotic plants create an otherworldly atmosphere. Explore the Victorian Productive Gardens, which boast a vast array of fruits, vegetables, and heritage plants. Don’t miss the eye-catching Italian Garden, with its elegant sculptures and serene water features, offering a true sense of tranquility.
3. Sissinghurst Castle Garden – Romance in Every Corner
As you approach Sissinghurst Castle Garden, you’ll be captivated by the romantic allure that permeates every inch of this enchanting landscape. Created by poet Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, Sissinghurst is renowned for its series of garden “rooms,” each with its own unique theme and planting scheme.
Stroll through the White Garden, a serene space adorned with white flowers and silver foliage, exuding elegance and purity. Discover the vibrant colors of the Rose Garden, were fragrant blooms cascade over rustic archways. Sissinghurst Castle Garden is an embodiment of poetic beauty, making it a must-visit destination for every garden enthusiast.
4. Wisley – Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden of Delights
Located in Surrey, Wisley is the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), and it offers an exceptional experience for nature lovers and horticulturists alike. This botanical paradise showcases a diverse range of plants, including rare specimens from around the world.
Embark on a botanical journey through the Glasshouse, where you’ll encounter exotic plants from tropical climates. The Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden, with its charming pergolas and blooming roses, is a delightful sight during the summer months. Moreover, the Rock Garden showcases alpine plants in a stunning natural setting.
5. Stourhead – A Landscape of Classical Elegance
Step into the picturesque gardens of Stourhead, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported into an 18th-century landscape painting. Designed by Henry Hoare II in the 18th century, Stourhead is a masterpiece of classical elegance, blending lush greenery with a serene lake and iconic architectural structures.
Amble along the tranquil lakeside path, crossing ornate bridges, and discover hidden grottoes that add a touch of mystery to the landscape. The Temple of Apollo and the Pantheon are awe-inspiring architectural gems, adding a sense of grandeur to the surroundings. Stourhead is a living work of art, captivating visitors with its timeless beauty.
Southern England is a treasure trove of enchanting gardens, each with its unique charm and allure. From the vibrant floral displays of Exbury Gardens to the poetic beauty of Sissinghurst Castle Garden, there is something for every nature enthusiast to discover.
Embark on an unforgettable journey through the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Wisley, where you’ll find horticultural delights and botanical wonders. Finally, immerse yourself in the classical elegance of Stourhead, were nature and art blend seamlessly.