In spring and summer, few days out can beat a trip to a beautiful traditional country garden. From coastal terraced gardens to Italianate marvels, here is our pick of the best country gardens to visit in spring and summer in the UK.
Coleton Fishacre, South Devon
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 at Coleton Fishacre in South Devon.
Parcevall Hall Gardens, North Yorkshire
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.
Pensthorpe Gardens, Norfolk
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
“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 at Rowallane Garden in County Down.
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Iford Manor, Wiltshire
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.
Scotland’s Garden Route, Galloway
Logan botanic gardens ©Getty
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.
Dyffryn Fernant Garden, Pembrokeshire
Dyffryn Fernant gardens ©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.
Herterton House Gardens, Northumberland
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. out more.
Sheringham Park, Norfolk
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.
Antony Woodland Garden, Cornwall
Wild garlic covers the floor in spring ©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.
Attingham Park, Shropshire
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.
Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire
The Grotto at Woburn Abbey ©Geograph
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
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 ©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.
Uppark House and Garden, West Sussex
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.