Best country gardens to visit in spring and summer

Britain’s country gardens flourish in spring and summer – experience floral bliss with some of our favourites

11th May 2018
Herterton House Gardens

In spring and summer, few days out can beat a trip to a beautiful country garden. 

Here are some of our favourites, from coastal terraced gardens to Italianate marvels

Coleton Fishacre, South Devon
Coletone Fishacre
Coleton Fishacre ©Getty

Step off the ferry and take a stroll along Devon’s South West Coast Path to the verdant gardens of a 20th-century estate, home to exotic ferns, trickling water features and woodland glades. Find out more

Parcevall Hall Gardens, North Yorkshire
Parcevall Hall Gardens
Many of Parcevall’s plants, shrubs and trees have grown from specimens collected in Western China and the Himalayas ©Alamy

The bountiful terraces, sweeping views and mossy woodlands of Parcevall’s hillside gardens rejoice in spring and summer with vibrant colours, floral fragrances and stirring birdsong. Find out more.

Pensthorpe Gardens, Norfolk
Pensthorpe
Pensthorpe’s Millennium Garden, designed by plantsman Piet Oudolf, is an important refuge for insects in the spring and summer ©Getty

Set amid the flat farmland of the North Norfolk countryside is Pensthorpe Natural Park, home to one of Britain’s most radiant summer gardens. Find out more.

Rowallane Garden, County Down
Rowallane
“No other plant is as unambiguously blue,” writes gardener Monty Don of the Himalayan blue poppy, one of Rowallane’s most vibrant summer flowers ©National Trust Images

Escape the crowds and and seek solace in one of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful and magical country gardens. Find out more.

Iford Manor, Wiltshire
Iford Manor Great Terrace
The scent of wisteria washes through the gardens in early summer ©Getty

Iford’s Italianate gardens in Wiltshire unite the natural and the managed, creating a charming blend of time-worn sculptures, perfume-scented lilac wisteria and flower-hemmed walkways. Find out more.

Scotland’s Garden Route, Galloway
Logan botanic gardens
Logan botanic gardens 

The Rhins of Galloway in south-west Scotland is home to some of Britain's most spectacular county gardens – discover six of the best with Scotland's Garden Route. Find out more.

Dyffryn Fernant Garden, Pembrokeshire
Dyffryn Fernant
Dyffryn Fernant ©Alamy

Few places blend with the landscape quite like Dyffryn – explore these pretty gardens in Pembrokeshire National Park then step into the hills for a seven-mile loop walk. Find out more.

Herterton House Gardens, Northumberland
Herterton House Gardens
It took 40 years for artists Frank and Marjorie Lawley to design and develop the exquisite Herterton House Gardens ©Alamy

Early summer is the perfect time to experience the intimate artistry of this small but much-acclaimed rural Northumbrian garden, designed around a derelict 16th-century farmyard. Find out more.

Sheringham Park, Norfolk
Shermingham Park
Shermingham Park ©Alamy

Close to the reputable Humphry Repton’s home in the village of Sustead is Sheringham Park, perhaps the best-preserved example of the Englishman’s work. The gardens include a variety of habitats, such as Bower pond, which bursts into life in summer with azure damselflies and broad-bodied chaser dragonflies. Find out more here.

Antony Woodland Garden, Cornwall
Anthony Woodland
Anthony Woodland Garden ©Alamy

These gardens are split into two areas, the Wilderness and West Down. The former – a wooded slope rolling down to the River Lynher – was designed by Humphry Repton and his friend Reginald Pole-Carew. Find out more here.

Attingham Park, Shropshire
Attingham Park
Attingham Park ©Alamy

A circular trail through Attingham Park, nicknamed the ‘Repton Ramble’, offers visitors a flavour of the harmonious landscapes that the designer envisaged for the 18th-century mansion and estate. The loop includes a stop at The Repton Oak, a tree planted by Humphry Repton himself. Find out more here.

Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire 
Cone House Summer Woburn Abbey
Cone House at Woburn Abbey ©National Trust Images

Open to the public since 1955, the gardens at Woburn Abbey are a great place to go for day out in the sun. A particular highlight is the reconstructed Cone House, originally designed as a platform from which the Duke of Bedford, his family and their guests could safely watch the wild animals of their menagerie. Find our more here.

Hatchlands Park, Surrey
Hatchlands Park
Hauchlands Park ©Getty

National Trust gardeners deserve great credit for their efforts at Hatchlings Park, most recently with the planting of oaks, sweet chestnuts, limes and hornbeams. The gardens was partly landscaped by the famous designer Humphry Repton. Find out more here.

Tatton Park, Cheshire
Tatton Park
Tatton Park ©Alamy

The appearance of Tatton Park owes itself to the work of Humphry Repton. A stroll through the park’s beech-lined avenues is well worth it and, in June, you can take part in a Repton-themed cycle ride. Find out more here.

Uppark House and Garden, West Sussex
Uppark House
Upper House ©Getty

This property was graced by the hands of both Repton and ‘Capability’ Brown. In the summer months, the café sets up tables and chairs on the grass with views out over the South Downs National Park. Find out more here.

Main image: ©Alamy

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