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Amanda Sep 15th, 2002 05:30 AM

Best English gardens ?
Which gardens are the most beautiful in England and when would be the best time to visit. Can you recommend good quality B and B's too!

jw Sep 15th, 2002 06:12 AM

I don't have my notes in front of me, but I can heartily recommend a week's stay at Fern Cottage in Monkton Farleigh (just a spit away from Bradford-on-Avon). If you've a car, it's the perfect place from which to visit houses and gardens from the Cotswolds to Lyme Regis to Exmoor. In Kent, we stayed in a B&B near Seven Oaks, and that was good for visiting houses and gardens in that area. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of that one -- something like Fig Tree Farm. Good luck, have fun. J.

Maggie Sep 15th, 2002 07:38 AM

Hi Amanda,<BR><BR>Ir you want gardens, with mostly flowers, as opposed to many that have flowering bushes and trees, (woodland) I'd go to Kent and East Sussex. A couple of my favorites were Sissinghurst castle and gardens, and Hever Castle and gardens. Here's a couple of web sites for you to see. One has B&B's close by. BYW...Sissinghurst has the best National Trust restarant I've eaten in!<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>Need any more help, just ask!<BR><BR>Maggie

Judy Sep 15th, 2002 07:43 AM

BTA issues a free map of "Britain's Gardens" listed the 100 best gardens in U.K.,check With the map, you could pick up the closer ones in the area you are travelling.<BR><BR>I have visited 70 to 80 gardens in U.K. form ealier March to late October,it is difficult to say which is the most beautiful or the best time to go. It depends on what types of garden you enjoy most(formal or not,spring/summer flowers/fall colours,special features,landscaping park,teaching gardens,etc.). If you could list your preferances,perhaps it would be easier for someone to help.<BR><BR>If you could check,they own/manage many gardens in U.K, quite a few with B&B/self catering cottages on sites. If you could stay in one spot for few days, one of the most romantic cottage id the water tower at Trelissick Garden in Cornwall,there are more than half dozens historical gardens nearby.

jeff Sep 15th, 2002 07:53 AM

As another poster noted, Kent and East Sussex have the greatest combination of important manor houses and gardens within a short distance of each other in the whole of England. <BR><BR>I would also recommend the gardens at Stourhead, in Wiltshire, which are beautifully grouped around a lake with all sorts of 18th-century "follies" like a miniature Pantheon. And the landscaped grounds of the ruins of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, which was incorporated into the grounds of a nearby manor house in the 18th century, are unforgettably beautiful.

wendy Sep 15th, 2002 09:20 PM

We were in England in July and saw quite a few gardens. Some of our favorites were Sisinghurst, The Great Dixtor, Hidcote Manner, and Pashly House.

d. phinney Sep 15th, 2002 09:29 PM

I would second Stourhead. Skip the manor (it costs extra and isn't worth much) but the gardens are beautiful and a lot of fun to explore.<BR><BR>Stourhead is also historically significant as an early example of a classic English planned garden (meticulously planned to look wild and natural, as opposed to classic French gardens which are meticulously planned to show nature dominated by human reason via tightly controlled geometric shapes and clean lines).

Ben Haines Sep 15th, 2002 09:37 PM

Some websites are useful.<BR><BR>The National Gardens Scheme for England and Wales, includes a Garden Finder: you select by county and by date. <BR>If you enter "Gardens" on the National Trust site you get an alphabetical list of properties with good gardens.<BR>Selected English Heritage houses and castles with good gardens <BR>50 best Public gardens in Britain. From the Independent, 24 June 2000<BR><BR>I am sorry I cannot help on B and B. Welcome to blooming England.<BR><BR>Ben Haines, London<BR><BR>

norma Sep 15th, 2002 10:29 PM

Some of the best English gardens I have ever seen were walking down the street and looking at all the manor homes in the Cotswolds. I's just like stepping into a dream there = )

IrkedByBest Sep 16th, 2002 04:59 PM

Best? Why not ask, 'your favorite' since I doubt a single person here has seen all the gardens and can make a fair comparison. Otherwise, the suggestions above regarding websites are excellent.

Mary Sep 18th, 2002 11:59 AM

The NGS web-site has both private and regularly open gardens. For B & B's with a garden have a look at "Bed & breakfast for garden lovers" at I haven't stayd at any of them - but a friend has and said the ones she used were great. If you're going to Hidcote make sure you visit Kiftsgate - it's nearby and is stunning.

Paul Sep 18th, 2002 11:43 PM

I spent a few days in Kent and Sussex area in June and managed to visit Sisinghurst, Great Dixter, Pashley manor, Scotney castle, Iden Croft herbs, and many more. It was a very impressive trip -I didn't realise the wealth of gardens in this area. We stayed at Church Gates, in the middle of the pretty town/village of Cranbrook and just up the road from Sissinghurst. ( B and B is sperb - we had a beautiful 'olde-worlde' room with beams and a beautiful brick fireplace and the ensuite bathroom was the best ever. Free standing bath, very spacious and lots of lovely fluffy towels!! It really was a beautiful house and then the breakfast menu was stunning too- we had fresh fruit salad or pancakes and maple syrup or a full english or a continental breakfast. I am coming back next year in the spring to see some more gardens!

Irked by Irked Sep 19th, 2002 12:03 AM

Irked by best - what a great contribution! Maybe you could share your thoughts on gardens rather than your pedantry.<BR><BR>My own favourite is Sissinghurst which looks lovely at any time of year. I am very lucky, live not too far away so can visit often!

happyal Sep 19th, 2002 12:46 AM

i would recomened city of BATH in general, it just won silver medal for<BR>europ for gardens in its city.<BR>as B+B place in bath i would recomened<BR>paradise B+B ,it is what its name says.<BR>have fun and enjoy the gardens.

enrico Oct 4th, 2002 02:45 AM

Amanda, I can definitely recommend Sissinghurst plus Great Dixter and pashley Manor. This are also has lots of castles like Leeds and Bodiam so well worth a visit. Check out the NATIONAL TRUST website.

JOdy Oct 4th, 2002 04:26 AM

In addition to the other websites listed try<BR><BR>We particulary like Powis castle gardens in Wales , if you want to travel North.

Maggie Oct 4th, 2002 06:13 AM

The Abbey Gardens, Malmesbury, Wiltshire are beautiful and well worth a visit. Not as well known as some of the more famous ones but don't miss them if you are in the area.<BR>Regards<BR>Maggie.

Maggie Oct 4th, 2002 07:39 AM

The Abbey Gardens, Malmesbury, Wiltshire are beautiful and well worth a visit. Not as well known as some of the more famous ones but don't miss them if you are in the area.<BR>Regards<BR>Maggie.

Ed Oct 4th, 2002 04:35 PM

The most impressive gardens we saw during a trip to GB last June (and we went to several already mentioned here) was Bodnant Gardens in Wales. While the Laburnum (sp?) Arch was particularly spectacular, the whole layout of the gardens was really interesting.

jw Oct 6th, 2002 07:09 AM

topping because this one has brought back good memories.

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