Lacking inspiration or simply looking for a fun day out? Visiting gardens is always high on our list of things to do in the summer. And with so many beautiful RHS, National Trust and private gardens to visit in the UK, you’ll be spoilt for choice! View our recommendations below, featuring some of the best gardens to visit in the UK this summer.
Gain inspiration for your own garden, learn about new plant varieties and immerse yourself in nature. After months spent indoors, it’ll do you the world of good.
RHS Gardens to visit
The Royal Horticultural Society is the world’s leading gardening charity, known for its fantastic flower shows and spectacular gardens. This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show is postponed until September. So if you haven’t already, we highly recommend watching the virtual Chelsea Flower Show from May.
We’re also pleased to say that all RHS gardens have re-opened for visitors, including:
- Harlow Carr
- Hyde Hall
- Bridgewater (new for 2021)
RHS Wisley in Woking, Surrey, is the biggest RHS garden, spanning 240 acres. Created in 1878, Wisley is the 2nd most visited paid-entry garden in the UK. Back in 2019, it had a whopping 1,232,772 people visiting (before COVID struck!)
Explore numerous formal and informal decorative gardens, journey through the jungle-inspired glasshouse and picnic in the Jubilee Arboretum – Wisley’s best-kept secret. You’ll also find several small scale model gardens designed for horticultural inspiration. Take a look and see what can be achieved in your own garden.
Complete your garden visit with afternoon tea in the Terrace Restaurant or cocktails on the Sky Terrace. With so much to see and do, you could easily spend an entire day at Wisley.
Admission prices are £16.50 for adults and £8.20 for children from 5-16 years. Gain free entry with RHS Membership (From £49.95 per year.)
National Trust Gardens to visit
The National Trust is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation. In addition to places of historical interest, the National Trust also cares for areas of natural beauty. This includes a vast range of gardens up and down the UK.
A quick Google search of ‘National Trust Gardens near me’ will bring up gardens to visit in your local area. But if you’re happy to travel, it’s well worth visiting these famous National Trust gardens renowned for their unique natural beauty.
Biddulph Grange is a landscaped global garden created by Victorian plant-hunters. Located near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, it offers a quirky and eclectic mix of horticultural displays, including Italian terraces, Chinese-inspired gardens and even a recreation of a Himalayan glen. Look out for the vast collections of rhododendrons, dahlias, and the oldest surviving golden larch in Britain, brought from China in the 1850s.
Bodnant Garden in Conwy Wales showcases many gardens in one. There you’ll find sweeping lawns, grand terraces and lush woodlands, showcasing plants from all over the world. What’s more, it boasts the most beautiful backdrop of the Carneddau mountains and Snowdonia. A truly picturesque place to visit!
Created over 150 years, the 80 acres of garden also comprises grand Italian terraces, rose gardens, lily pools and the famous 55m long laburnum arch. Visit now for gorgeous summer blooms or later in the year to explore the brand new Winter garden.
From countryside retreat to the most technologically advanced house of its time, Cragside in Northumberland was once the home of inventor Lord Armstrong and his wife, Lady Margaret. Cragside is recorded as the first house in the world to be illuminated by hydroelectricity and prized for its Victorian gadgets for efficient modern living.
And it isn’t just the house that’s impressive. The gardens at Cragside are every bit as striking with over 40 miles of lakeside and woodland walks, a formal flower garden and one of the most extensive rock gardens in Europe.
Cragside is a fun day out for the family in Northumberland. There are plenty of things for kids to enjoy, including den building, an adventure playground and a vast Labyrinth to explore. Not forgetting the Young Engineers’ Zone where children can participate in various crafts and activities.
Hidcote is an Arts and Crafts masterpiece nestled in the north Cotswolds. Famed for being one of the most influential 20th-century British Gardens, it features a series of ‘outdoor rooms’ divided by walls and hedges. Each garden room is different in character and size, with hidden surprises and something for everyone to enjoy.
Hidcote is the perfect place to draw inspiration for your own garden and learn about plants from far and wide. Meander the maze of narrow pathways and uncover secret gardens, spectacular vistas and plants in a rainbow of colours. With plenty of beauty spots, perfect for a picnic, it’s a wonderful place to spend a day this summer.
Gardens to visit near me
Looking for a garden to visit closer to home? Your best option is to type ‘Gardens to visit near me’ into Google and take your pick! Based in Nottinghamshire, like Metal Garden Screen? We highly recommend visiting the gardens at Belvoir Castle, Clumber Park and Newstead Abbey. Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is another must-visit and only around an hour’s drive from Nottingham City Centre.
Explore open gardens in your local area
Pssst…did you know that you can visit open gardens across the UK? Yes, lots of lovely people open their private gardens to the public, giving you new places to visit and gain inspiration from.
In Nottinghamshire, there are open gardens and trails all over the county, including Beeston, Cotgrave, Gotham, Mapperley and West Bridgford, to name just a few! We’d also recommend the Nottingham Park Garden Trail, which runs every 2 years. Locals will know The Park is largely hidden from the public. This is the perfect opportunity to explore the area, get together with a community of gardeners and enjoy a peek at their private gardens.
Don’t live in Nottinghamshire? Check out the Open Gardens website to find gardens to visit in your county. There you’ll find open gardens in Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Devon, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Surrey – well, pretty much everywhere you can think of!
It’s also worth looking out for open gardens and horticultural events for 2021 on your local Facebook groups.
Open your garden
If you’re passionate about gardening, why not join one of the open garden groups and showcase your beautiful outdoor space to the world? It doesn’t matter the size of your garden – if it’s a place of quality, character and interest, people will want to visit!
Upgrade your open garden with garden screens to increase privacy and create a ‘secret’ space. People will be desperate to see what’s inside! Our garden screens are also perfect for displaying roses, clematis and other climbing plants. As well as disguising any parts of your garden that aren’t quite as pretty to look at! Browse our collection of over 200 garden screen designs made from high-quality steel and get free UK delivery on all orders.
Have we missed one of the best UK gardens?
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