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Suggestions for Gardens to Visit in England

Suggestions for Gardens to Visit in England

Old Mar 31st, 2017, 08:37 AM
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Suggestions for Gardens to Visit in England

Trying again to get some responses. We'll be in Oxford, Cotswolds, Bath Devon & St Ives in mid May. We'll be driving and would love to vist any gardens with along the way or as day trips. Suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 08:56 AM
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We really loved Hidcote Manor Garden and Kiftsgate Court Gardens. They are near each other, close to Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds.

Not a garden per se, but Blenheim Palace as well. Great place to spend a day wandering around.
http://www.blenheimpalace.com/visit-...k-and-gardens/
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 09:16 AM
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http://heligan.com/explore/gardens/
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 09:16 AM
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The areas you mention are rife with garden-visiting opportunities. Here's a good site to browse: http://www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk/

Is your preference to visit gardens only, or houses with gardens too? For instance, in the link following, a few gardens in the Cotswolds are listed but there are also very worthwhile gardens at "historic houses" listed: http://www.britainexpress.com/Where_.../Cotswolds.htm
See the column top left of the page for other areas you mention.

The "Yellow Book" website is a good one and can help narrowing down possibilities by dates and location to ones donating proceeds to charities. Also, it includes smaller private gardens which often end up being my favorite experiences: https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/

As you may have guessed, I've devoted much of my time over the years to garden visits. Gardens are not unlike the people who design & care for them and in that vein, can be idiosyncratic, some you'll like and some you won't as much, personal. There are just so many where you'll be I urge you to prepare by finding out as much as you can before you set out, map out your progress for efficiency and don't rush if possible. Choose carefully and you'll have a wonderful time.

Here are some of my most recent visits:
http://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/an-e...allery-hidcote
http://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/an-e...iftsgate-court

(Others in the link at the end.)
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 09:26 AM
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Hidcote in the Cotswolds. Also Snowshill, which has an amazing old treasure trove of a Manor House, which is amazing.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sno...nor-and-garden

In Devon, there are two lovely houses & gardens close to each other that make a very pleasing day. Greenway was Agatha Christie's home, and if you've read Dead Man's Folly or Five Little Pigs then you'll recognise the grounds. Very nearby is Coleton Fishacre, an immaculate Jazz-age home with a beautiful garden that spills down to a small cove on the SW Coastal Path.

Both are National Trust.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

Nearish St Ives, I love Trengwainton. Also National Trust - might be worth getting membership!
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 09:40 AM
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One more thing regarding planning - every garden and house in the UK has it's own schedule of days & hours it's open. It will be time well spent to organize yourself around this fact of garden-visiting life. Otherwise you may arrive at one you looked forward to and find it's closed that day and the next or several afterward. I've learned my lesson. It can take some time to match your progress through the countryside with open times but there are so many opportunities that you won't go without.

If you don't want to pin yourself down to particular locations on particular days, another possibility would be to make yourself a comprehensive list organized by location, so when you arrive in a locale, consult your list and see just what's open that day.

Either approach takes some effort before you go but, trust me, it will smooth the way and be more than worthwhile in saving time & disappointment.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 10:05 AM
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Thank you yestravel for this thread. Lots of great information. We are going to England in May and are basing the time outside of London on this Fodor's itinerary: http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/i...ately-homes-6/

To extend the theme we are going to the Chelsea Flower Show while we are in London.

Also Gyhtson the photos on your links for Hidcote and Kiftsgate are gorgeous. Thanks for linking to them.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 12:16 PM
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This is fabulous! Thank you all so much for the very helpful info.

I will definitely need to plot out what is where as we prefer to take it day by day anot do too much structured planning
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 12:19 PM
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Hi Yestravel,

there are loads of gardens to choose from, even in the area that you have mentioned which only covers a relatively small part of the UK.

So I'm not going to mention the Nat Trust and RHS ones which are well known and easy to research but some of the smaller ones in Devon and Cornwall which may be particularly good to visit in May:

in North Devon - Marwood Hill Gardens [north of Barnstaple], Docton Mill near Hartland [see also Hartland Abbey] and Tapeley Park near Instow.

South Devon [not my specialist subject] Plant World gardens and nursery near Torquay, The Garden House on the Tamar [absolutely superb with great cafe]

Cornwall - Lamorran Gardens in St Mawes, Enys gardens near Falmouth [wonderful bluebells], The Potager Garden at Constantine, Paradise park and gardens at Hayle,Trewidden Gardens just past Penzance, and the Morrab public gardens and Penlee Park in Penzance, where there is also an art gallery and museum which are both well worth a visit especially if you like the Newlyn School of Artists.

I'm sure i've missed a few, but they should do for starters.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 12:49 PM
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Thanks, Ann. Not familiar with the Newlyn School of Artists, but will certainly be interested to learn about it.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 01:01 PM
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Newlyn School - just gorgeous, IMHO. Here are three of my favourites:

https://www.penleehouse.org.uk/artists/stanhope-forbes

https://www.penleehouse.org.uk/artists/elizabeth-forbes

https://www.penleehouse.org.uk/artists/walter-langley
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 02:24 PM
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Stourhead would make a lovely stop on your way (mostly) from Bath to Devon.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead

Lee Ann
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 02:32 PM
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annhig, nice! thanks! will defintiley check the art gallery & museum.

Elendi - Great -- going to be hard to pick which ones to visit.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 04:32 PM
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I love Mottisfont Abbey and Gardens and if you are in England when the roses are blooming you won't see any better. It is Hampshire. http://www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk...y-gardens.html
Then there's Stourhead in Wiltshire which is hard to go past too.
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead

Perhaps you will be passing them on your way to Devon ?
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 08:32 PM
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 03:08 AM
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Stourhead would make a lovely stop on your way (mostly) from Bath to Devon.>>

if you stop there do not miss having lunch at the pub on the estate - great food and atmosphere.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 03:14 AM
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Two of my faves are Stourhead and Kiftsgate Manor. There is also the Rococo Garden near Painswick in the Cotswolds... I'm hoping to go there in May with JuliaT.

Have fun,
Schnauzer
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 06:25 AM
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Adding this thread to my favorite bookmarks alongside this one on Scottish gardens:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...sh-gardens.cfm

Thanks all for the great suggestions!
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 06:48 AM
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Thank you for all the great suggestions. It will be very hard choosing where to visit.
Helsie - when do the roses bloom? We'll be there mid to late May.
Hi schnauzer! Where will you be?
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 02:10 AM
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Yestravel - roses don't normally come out until June, but you might be lucky with one or two of the early ones being in bloom.
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