National Trust spring gardens in Surrey

Karen Neville

Claremont Landscape Garden

Image: National Trust / Chris Lacey

Here are the best places to see spring flowers at National Trust gardens in Surrey this season. From blossom to bluebells, daffodils to rhododendrons, the signs of spring are sure to raise the spirits.

Everyone’s got a favourite flower, one that makes us happy, or brings to mind someone close to us. The hopeful sight of a swathe of purple crocuses or cheerful carpet of delicate bluebells can make our day.

As we emerge from the hibernation of winter, this is the perfect time to meet up with loved ones for a spring pilgrimage to see the bulbs and blooms, followed by a catch-up over a cuppa.

Find out more about the National Trust’s spring gardens near you:

Spring bulbs and blossom at Polesden Lacey

Near Dorking, Surrey, normal admission applies

Take in the views of the Edwardian house at Polesden Lacey framed by swathes of daffodils and spring bulbs, while the little ones can enjoy the brand new play area. Take a walk through the gardens to find floral fiestas in the spring borders, daffodils along New Lime Walk and anemones in the courtyard.

New for this year are 35,000 spring crocuses planted in the Ladies’ Garden to commemorate Mrs Greville. The garden team are planting a new Blossom Garden as you enter the property. In years to come 40 new cherry trees will blossom, among a meadow of wildflowers.

For well-established blossom trees, wind your way to Home Farm Orchard, where mature apple and pear trees are full of blossom in spring. Perch on a picnic bench under the apple blossom and breathe in the spring.

Image: National Trust / Megan Taylor
Image: National Trust / Eddie Hyde

Bluebells at Hatchlands Park

Near Guildford, Surrey, normal admission applies

The parkland at Hatchlands is a glorious place to visit for a spring walk. Delicate bluebells form a carpet of violet in the ancient woodlands in late April and early May. Pretty anemones and violets are scattered along the Long Walk, followed by the cheery sight of cowslips in the meadow and May blossom. Enjoy the scent of lilac and skimmia in the garden and see daffodils beneath a magnificent London plane tree.

The much-loved Hatchlands donkeys are moving to a new purpose built stable this spring. Close by will be a small play area for pre-schoolers and picnic benches.

Image: National Trust / James Dobson

Daffodils and rhododendrons at Claremont Landscape Garden

Near Esher, Surrey, normal admission applies

Take time out to enjoy the refreshing sights of spring, when Claremont Landscape Garden is at its loveliest. Swathes of daffodils and camellias first herald the new season, with azaleas and rhododendrons following on.

As the days get longer, stroll through corridors of rhododendrons, the sunshine sparkling on the lake and look out for tiny ducklings and goslings. There are wonderful viewpoints and vistas from which to watch the signs of spring emerge as the garden awakens.

Image: National Trust / Andrew Butler
Image: National Trust / Andy Millar

Bluebells and azaleas at Winkworth Arboretum

Near Godalming, Surrey, normal admission applies

Spring arrives at Winkworth with pops of daffodils and magnolias in bloom at first, then an explosion of colour: with rhododendrons, azaleas and bluebells spreading glorious colour across the arboretum.

Walking down the azalea steps at Winkworth Arboretum on a May morning is a moment of heaven in Surrey, with their boldly coloured flowers and the echoing song of blackbirds. The upper slopes of the arboretum and bluebell wood fill out with an unmissable carpet of native bluebells.

Thanks to recent conservation work by the countryside team, the bluebells will have even more opportunity to emerge throughout the arboretum this year.

Image: National Trust / John Millar
Image: National Trust / James Dobson

Rhododendrons and bluebells at Leith Hill

Normal parking charges apply

At the foot of Leith Hill, the winding paths of Caroline Wedgwood’s historic rhododendron wood are lined with vibrant rhododendron blooms and gently scented azaleas. The towering specimen trees, including redwoods, provide dappled shade and a place to relax.

A climb up to Franks Wood will be rewarded with the wonderful haze and scent of native bluebells and spectacular views across the south downs.