Gorgeous gardens: Thames Valley

Round & About

gardens

Spring is here and now is the perfect time to see patches great & small in full boom. Liz Nicholls suggests some local favourites worth a visit…

Berks

Of all pleasures in life (and I’ve dabbled in a few), gardening has to be the most rewarding. I agree with my man-crush and fellow depressive Monty Don who says: “Being outside in every weather and every season connects you to something bigger than yourself; it connects you to a rhythm of life.” We’re surrounded by so many glorious outdoor spaces which are fertile breeding ground for inspiration. Whatever size plot you have to tend, get out and enjoy any or all of the following…

• Cliveden, Taplow, SL1 8NS

A magnificent formal garden overlooking the River Thames, Cliveden boasts stunning seasonal floral displays, a six-acre parterre, a 2m yew maze, an oriental style water garden and a play area. Follow the wondrous woodland & riverside walk for fabulous views. Call 01628 605069.

• Basildon Park, Pangbourne, RG8 9NR

The gardens at Basildon Park were designed by JB Papworth around 1839, for owner James Morrison. He took what was parkland right up to the house and laid out a pleasure ground to the north, which included stunning views out into the park and countryside framed by a variety of trees and evergreen shrubbery beds. Call 01491 672382 / nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park

• Greys Court, Nettlebed, RG9 4PG

The gardens were virtually derelict when the Brunners arrived in 1937. Lady Brunner was keen to make a haven of tranquillity. The kitchen garden has its roots in the Second World War Dig for Victory campaign and is still in good use today, thanks to volunteers. Admire the wisteria walk, rose garden and buy plants to take home. 01491 628529 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/greys-court

• Stonor Park, Henley, RG9 6HF

The lush parkland of Stonor is set in a dramatic, sweeping valley deep within the heart of the Chiltern Hills. Visitors can explore, from the ponds and fountains of the 17th century Italianate Pleasure Garden to the old kitchen garden and the eclectically treed arboretum. There’s also the ancient stone circle and the Wonder Woods; perfect for little explorers!  Visit stonor.com or call 01491 638 587.

• Runnymede and Ankerwycke, Windsor Road, SL4 2JL (satnav TW20 0AE)

The ideal place to relax outdoors, the river scenery is home to rolling hills, open meadows and wildlife. Why not enjoy one of the most inspiring sights at Runnymede in spring: the swathe of bluebells lit up by the sun as it flickers through the native woodland trees. Join a guided tour of Coopers Hill Woods on Sunday, 26th April, 11am-12.30pm, to discover hidden places where bluebells form a carpet in the undergrowth. Learn and observe how the trees and flora acclimatise to the changing of the seasons. Call 01932 425686.

• The Vyne, Basingstoke, RG24 9HL

Two lakes, a walled garden, formal garden and meadow along with lawns and a herbaceous border sit neatly inside The Vyne. Rest and relax in the sprawling gardens and woodlands or follow a path to gaze on a tapestry of bluebells. The Summerhouse Garden has beautiful blooms & a 600-year-old oak tree which has enjoyed the company of Henry VIII, Jane Austen and Second World War evacuees. Call 01256 883858.

• Buscot Park, Faringdon, SN7 8BU

The pleasure gardens surrounding the late 18th-century house are glorious, comprising the Four Seasons garden which is stunning in spring, one of Britain’s finest water gardens and lovely woodland. Call 01367 240786 or visit buscot-park.com

• The Savill Garden, Egham, TW20 0UJ

The Savill Garden has earned its reputation as one of the finest woodland gardens in the country – not because it is the biggest woodland garden or that it has the largest collection of plants, but for a combination of all of these elements. Visit throughout the seasons and you will see there is always something new to discover. In exceptional years spring can begin as early as late February with the appearance of breathtaking magnolias, or it might be as late as April before we see the drifts of crocus followed by thousands of dwarf daffodils in the Alpine Meadow. Visit from spring onwards and you will be rewarded with a host of floral interest. Call 01753 860222 or visit windsorgreatpark.co.uk/savillgarden

• The Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham, RG19 3FU

Packed full of interactive wildlife and natural history displays, there is a network of footpaths from small family-friendly toddles to longer yomps, surrounded by a mosaic of habitats. Call 01635 874381 or visit www.bbowt.org.uk

• National Garden Scheme – visiting many a garden near you!

This great initiative gives visitors access to more than 3,700 private gardens in England and Wales and raises thousands for charities through admissions, tea and cake. The team are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens, too. To highlight this, Gardens and Health Week runs from 9th to 16th May. Whatever type of garden you favour or whatever type of gardener you are you’re sure to find some inspiration.

• Opening dates, locations and times vary. To find one near you, please visit www.ngs.org.uk

Oxon

• Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, OX20 1PP

Sir Winston Churchill proposed to his future wife in the gardens at Blenheim Palace, which are renowned as the finest the land, from the Herb and Lavender Garden to the Marlborough Maze, started in 1705. Blenheim Lake, created by Lancelot “Capability” Brown and spanned by Vanburgh’s Grand Bridge, is the focal point of over 2,000 acres of landscaped parkland. Call 01993 810530 or visit blenheim.org

• Basildon Park, Pangbourne, RG8 9NR

The gardens at Basildon Park were designed by JB Papworth around 1839, for owner James Morrison. He took what was parkland right up to the house and laid out a pleasure ground to the north, which included stunning views out into the park and countryside framed by a variety of trees and evergreen shrubbery beds. Call 01491 672382 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park

• Greys Court, Nettlebed, RG9 4PG

The gardens were virtually derelict when the Brunners arrived in 1937. Lady Brunner was keen to make a haven of tranquillity. The kitchen garden has its roots in the Second World War Dig for Victory campaign and is still in good use today, thanks to volunteers. Admire the wisteria walk, rose garden and buy plants to take home. Call 01491 628529 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/greys-court

• Stonor Park, Henley, RG9 6HF

The lush parkland of Stonor is set in a dramatic, sweeping valley deep within the heart of the Chiltern Hills. Visitors can explore these, from the ponds and fountains of the 17th century Italianate Pleasure Garden to the old Kitchen Garden and the eclectically treed arboretum. There’s also the ancient stone circle older and the Wonder Woods! Visit stonor.com or call 01491 638 587.

• Kingston Bagpuize, OX13 5AX

Grace Charlotte Raphael set about creating the beautiful gardens here in 1939, influenced by her travels to China, Japan, Canada and South Africa. Thanks to notable plantsman Harold Hiller (later Sir), the gardens are planted with an impressive collection of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs giving year-round interest including magnolias in spring. Visitors can enjoy the formal garden and terrace walk, woodland garden, shrub border and adjacent copses. Visit kbhevents.uk or call 01865 820259.

• Nuffield Place, Nuffield, RG9 5RY

The gardens surrounding the former home of Sir William Morris are a sight to behold, especially for their bluebells and foxgloves at the end of April, pony paddock and vegetable garden. Book in for a garden tour with one of the volunteers. Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/nuffield-place or call 01491 641224.

• Buscot Park, Faringdon, SN7 8BU

The pleasure gardens surrounding the late 18th-century house are glorious, comprising the Four Seasons garden which is stunning in spring, one of Britain’s finest water gardens and lovely woodland. Call 01367 240786 or visit buscot-park.com

• Harcourt Arboretum, Nuneham Courtenay, OX44 9PX

Open daily 10am-5pm from April, the university-owned arboretum boasts the county’s best collection of trees, including some of the oldest redwoods and finest conifer collections in the UK, within 130 acres of historic picturesque landscape. Look out for the peacocks, too! Call 01865 610305 or visit obga.ox.ac.uk

• University of Oxford Botanic Garden, Rose Lane, OX1 4AZ

The University of Oxford Botanic Garden has probably the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world. Its caretakers say there is even more biological diversity here than there is in tropical rain forests and other global biodiversity hotspots. The gardens include the glasshouses, walled garden with a water and rock garden and innovative black border. Call 01865 286 690 or visit botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk

• National Garden Scheme – visiting many a garden near you!

This great initiative gives visitors access to more than 3,700 private gardens in England and Wales and raises thousands for charities through admissions, tea and cake. But more than that, they are passionate about promoting the physical and mental health benefits of gardens, too. And to highlight this, Gardens and Health Week runs from 9th to 16th May. Whatever type of garden you favour or whatever type of gardener you are you’re sure to find some inspiration.

• Opening dates and times of the thousands of gardens vary. To find one near you to enjoy in all its glory, please visit ngs.org.uk

Wilts

• Avebury Manor & Gardens, Marlborough, SN8 1RF

Parts of Avebury Manor may date back to the 12th century. It’s well worth a visit to see the ancient stone circle, museum and manor house in the heart of this world heritage site. The friendly garden team are always on hand for advise, but on the last Friday of every month March to October, enjoy dedicated gardeners’ questions time, 2-3pm in the Monk’s Garden. Call 01672 539250.

• The Abbey House Gardens, Malmesbury, SN16 9AS

Once part of the Benedictine monastery founded about 666AD, the site was cultivated by monks for medicinal herbs and also as the Abbot’s garden. Since the dissolution by Henry V111 in 1539, it has been privately owned and recently developed for garden-lovers from all over the world. There are 2,000 roses and 2,000 herbs which give a great display in the summer. In the spring borders are a mass of colours with thousands of tulips and daffodils. Walk along the river including St Aldhelm’s Pool where you might be lucky to see kingfishers and yellow wagtails. Call 01666 822212 or visit www.abbeyhousegardens.co.uk

• Lydiard Park, Swindon, SN5 3PA

The 260-acre country park at Lydiard Tregoze (its formal former name) and walled garden are well worth a visit whatever the season. In the 1740s, the St John family created the latter, a rhombus-shaped garden behind the coach house and stable buildings to grow flowers and fruit and provide a pleasant place for a post-prandial stroll. Spring is great for bird watching and to admire the vibrant bluebells before the azaleas and rhododendrons burst into life in May. Jungle Parc, with its aerial adventure zone within the woodlands, is a great place for children to let off steam. Call 01793 466664 or visit www.lydiardpark.org.uk

• The Scotchel, Pewsey, SN9 5NY

This small but lovely but nature reserve is a lovely place to meander and let children or pets paddle. Seated areas in the gladed woodland for a sit down. Search “the Scotchel” on Facebook.

• Buscot Park, Faringdon, SN7 8BU

The pleasure gardens surrounding the late 18th-century house are glorious, comprising the Four Seasons garden which is stunning in spring, one of Britain’s finest water gardens and lovely woodland. Call 01367 240786 or visit buscot-park.com

• Monpesson House, Salisbury, SP1 2EL

The garden tea room is a tranquil place for a break, with the cathedral spire beyond and beautifully restored borders. there’s a family trail and Cadbury Egg Hunt from 10th to 13th April. Call 01722 335659 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mompesson-house

• Town Gardens, Swindon, SN1 4EN

This Victorian garden is set in an old quarry which was used to produce Portland stone. Sip a tea and admire English formal gardening at its best with beautiful colours in spring, borders of polyanthus, tulips and pansies among the flowering cherries. There’s a formal pond and seating near the aviary. Call 01793 490150 or visit twigs community gardens.org.uk

• Bowood House & Gardens, Calne, SN11 0LZ

Set within 100 acres of beautifully landscaped parkland designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown (some of the best preserved of its type), Bowood is also recognised for its award-winning walled gardens. These include an Italian-inspired terrace garden, ever-changing herbaceous border, gorgeous woodland gardens and arboretum, too. Open to the public from the start of April. Call 01249 812 102 or visit bowood.org

• Cricklade Fritillaries

Mid April, North Meadow, half a mile from the Cricklade town centre, erupts into a blaze of colour thanks to snakeshead fritillaries blooming on this ancient meadow. Flooding has badly affected the site this year but keep an eye on www.crickladecourtleet.org.uk for updates.

• The Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham, RG19 3FU

Packed full of interactive wildlife and natural history displays, there is a network of footpaths from small family-friendly toddles to longer yomps, surrounded by a mosaic of habitats. Call 01635 874381 or visit www.bbowt.org.uk

• National Garden Scheme

This initiative gives visitors access to more than 3,700 private gardens in England and Wales and raises thousands for charities through admissions, tea and cake. The team are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens, too. Gardens and Health Week runs 9th-16th May. Whatever type of garden you favour or whatever type of gardener you are you’ll find inspiration.

• Opening dates, locations and times vary. To find one near you, please visit www.ngs.org.uk

Thames Valley: Glorious Gardens

Round & About

gardens

With spring bursting into life, there can be no better time to get out and enjoy what’s on offer in some of the finest gardens you’re ever likely to see.

Stowe

(near Buckingham, MK18 5EQ)
Cyclamen and aconites abound this year in Easter shades of purple and yellow and there’s the promise of bright bluebells after 125,000 were planted in October. The bell-shaped blooms of the Snakeshead fritillary will be bowing their heads in April-May after 200,000 were planted in a swathe around the property – set to form one of the few Snakeshead fritillary meadows in the country.

 

Cliveden

(near Maidenhead, SL1 8NS)
The six-acre parterre is bursting at the seams with 21,000 spring bedding plants filling the 16 central triangular beds. Elsewhere, 11,000 polyanthus will create a carpet of colour combining with the box hedging and topiary of this unique garden. The oriental inspired water garden is awash with dusky pink of flowering blossom and creamy-white magnolias forming stunning reflections in the water.

Basildon Park

(near Reading, RG8 9NR)
Yellow is the predominant colour at Basildon with the grounds sprayed with buttercups and daffodils. Choose one of the four paths to walk and admire violets, cowslip, cherry blossom and primroses. Further on you’ll find a sea of bluebells leaving you spoilt for choice when it comes to taking photographs.

 

The Vyne

(near Basingstoke, RG24 9HL)
The wild garden is where it’s at for The Vyne this season – from bright yellow aconites under trees to boughs of soft pink cherry blossom on the trees. Pastel blue takes over next month with star-shaped blooms of camassias and of course, plenty of bluebells to charm you too.

 

Waddesdon

(near Aylesbury, HP18 0JH)
The garden is beginning to wake from its winter sleep and colour is creeping into the spring displays. Nearly 40,000 plants will be used to recreate the Victorian splendour of yesteryear. Each area has its own colour scheme – the parterre will be blue, white and pink; the avenue will be bathed in delicate shades of yellow and white, planted in the shape of a star.

 

Nuffield Place

(near Henley, RG9 5RY)
The perfect spot for a peaceful spring stroll surrounded by herbaceous borders with spring bulbs breaking through and light mauve wisteria around the house. Foxgloves are starting to appear in the woodland, attracting insects and a hard-standing path means everyone can admire the bluebells.

hughendon

(near High Wycombe, HP14 4LA)
Visitors here will be able to wander through the handkerchief-like blooms of magnolia, frost permitting, admist the purple pink hues of dog tooth violets, blue forget me knots and bright pink of the Judas tree. Later in spring expect to see grape-like hyacinth while the walled garden will be brimming with the smells of cherry, apple, redcurrants and gooseberries.

 

Greys Court

(near Henley, RG9 4PG)
The woodland floor as been cleared ready for spring with thousands of bulbs being planted to form a blue carpet along the path to Spinney Wood to admire the daffodils, cowslips and irises. Follow the nut tree walk to the maze to enjoy a patchwork of colour with bulbs planted in a quilt-like fashion. Wander around the walled garden to find hyacinths under the 130-year-old wisteria and watch cherry blossom fall on the paths.

 

Harcourt Arboretum

(Nuneham Courtenay, OX44 9PX)
The arboretum is part of the University of Oxford which has now grown to 130 acres and is part of the Botanic Garden. The oldest part, the Pinetum and Serpentine Ride is soon to be awash with the dramatic colours of rhododendrons and azaleas while a walk in the native woodland will showcase the different types of woodland in the UK and will be carpeted with bluebells in April and May.

 

Kelmscott Manor Gardens

(near Lechlade, GL7 3HJ)
The arts and crafts garden is well worth a wander round when you’re visiting the house. The front garden is laid out from the drawing of the frontispiece in a William Morris book, the original owner, while the back is dominated by a mulberry tree which is just under 100 years old. A small orchard and a large meadow are delightful places to enjoy a spring stroll.

 

Buscot Park

(near Faringdon, SN7 8BU)
The pleasure gardens here are just that – a pleasure and time should be taken to enjoy them. The red brick walls of the original kitchen garden shelter the Four Seasons garden, resplendent with spring blooms. Woodland walks lead to a fine water garden while the front of the house features a carriage drive through mature woodland.

Pictures: National Trust

Have a look at our London and Surrey gardens if you’re thinking of going further afield

London: Glorious Gardens

Round & About

gardens

With spring bursting into life, there can be no better time to get out and enjoy what’s on offer in some of the finest gardens you’re ever likely to see.

savill gardens

(Englefield Green, TW20 0UJ)
Everything is coming to life, pay a visit to daffodil valley in The Valley Gardens and Spring Wood at the Savill Garden and marvel at the magnolias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Birds are nesting so watch out for fledglings as they start to take flight. You may even be lucky enough to see young deer taking their first steps in Deer Park too.

 

Cliveden

(near Maidenhead, SL1 8NS)
The six-acre parterre is bursting at the seams with 21,000 spring bedding plants filling the 16 central triangular beds. Elsewhere, 11,000 polyanthus will create a carpet of colour combining with the box hedging and topiary of this unique garden. The oriental inspired water garden is awash with dusky pink of flowering blossom and creamy-white magnolias forming stunning reflections in the water.

Basildon Park

(near Reading, RG8 9NR)
Yellow is the predominant colour at Basildon with the grounds sprayed with buttercups and daffodils. Choose one of the four paths to walk and admire violets, cowslip, cherry blossom and primroses. Further on you’ll find a sea of bluebells leaving you spoilt for choice when it comes to taking photographs.

 

runnymede & ankerwycke

(near Old Windsor, SL4 2JL)
As nature awakens, a flush of new life spreads over the historic hills and waters of Runnymede. Riverside willows are the first to put on their springtime greenery. Blackthorn blossom helps create a sense of new life all along the riverside. Spring arrives in the form of ancient woodland flowers. Patches of bluebells, lesser celandines, dog’s mercury and wood anemones create a magical atmosphere in the protected woodland.

 

dorneywood garden

(near Burnham, SL1 8PY)
1930s-style garden, with herbaceous borders, cottage garden and lily pond. Dorneywood is traditionally the country residence of a senior member of the Government and was given to the National Trust. The house re-opens in April. Booking essential if you wish to visit. Email [email protected]

 

claremont

(near Esher, KT10 9JG)
Spring offers the chance to stroll through corridors of rhododendrons, feed tiny goslings, and make the most of the longer days, spot swathes of these regal purple flowers springing up throughout the garden. Take a stroll along the lake and up past the ha-ha wall during April to witness the seasonal display of bluebells at its very best. Swathes of daffodils first herald the new season, with camellias, cherries, azaleas and rhododendrons soon following suit.

hatchlands park

(near Guildford, GU4 7RT)
From blossom to bluebells, the grounds here are coming out of their winter hibernation and as with other properties are awash with yellows and blues. The woodland hedgerows are lit up with blackthorn blossom while later in the spring expect to see the wildflower meadow in full bloom just as the bluebell wood is going over.

 

clandon park

(near Guildford, GU4 7RQ)
As the rebuilding process continues after the devastating fire in April 2015, visitors can enjoy the magnificent sight of the park in springtime with the grounds carpeted in yellow. A pictorial trail will guide you through the garden, using historic images to take you through the years comparing past and present perspectives.

 

Polesden lacey

(near Dorking, RH5 6BD)
Prepare to be greeted by delicate white snowdrops, trumpet-like daffodils in all shades of yellow, orange and cream and bluebells at Polesden Lacey and the wider estate. Enjoy walks surrounded by colour whatever the weather.

 

old waterfield

(Ascot, SL5 7LJ)
Operating as part of the National Open Garden Scheme, this house is set in four acres between Ascot Heath and Windsor Great Park. Open from 1st April to 31st October, the garden has been developed and extended over the past few years and offers herbaceous borders, meadow with specimen trees, large vegetable garden, orchard and mixed hedging. Vistors are welcome by arrangement for groups of 10 to 25. Admission £4.50 adults, children free. For more information contact the owner Catherine Stevenson at [email protected]

Pictures: National Trust

Have a look at our Thames Valley and Surrey gardens if you’re thinking of going further afield

Surrey: Glorious Gardens

Round & About

gardens

With spring bursting into life, there can be no better time to get out and enjoy what’s on offer in some of the finest gardens you’re ever likely to see.

Polesden lacey

(near Dorking, RH5 6BD)
Prepare to be greeted by delicate white snowdrops, trumpet-like daffodils in all shades of yellow, orange and cream and bluebells at Polesden Lacey and the wider estate. Enjoy walks surrounded by colour whatever the weather.

 

hatchlands park

(near Guildford, GU4 7RT)
From blossom to bluebells, the grounds here are coming out of their winter hibernation and as with other properties are awash with yellows and blues. The woodland hedgerows are lit up with blackthorn blossom while later in the spring expect to see the wildflower meadow in full bloom just as the bluebell wood is going over.

Winkworth arboretum

(Godalming, GU8 4AD)
This is a true paradise for garden lovers as the arboretum really comes to life in spring with magnolia blooms joining cherry blossom and drifts of bluebells. If you’re visiting in April, the azalea walk is a mass of colour along the path to the boathouse overlooking the lake.

 

clandon park

(near Guildford, GU4 7RQ)
As the rebuilding process continues after the devastating fire in April 2015, visitors can enjoy the magnificent sight of the park in springtime with the grounds carpeted in yellow. A pictorial trail will guide you through the garden, using historic images to take you through the years comparing past and present perspectives.

 

leith hill

(near Dorking, RH5 6LU)
Rhododendron Wood will be alight with azaleas as well as rhododendrons, expect to see bush after bush of the big showy flowers. The rare, pink flowers are a sign spring is here. Other specimens will be showing their colours from April through to June. The hour-long Rhododendron Wood walk is an easy pathway through the colourful surroundings.

 

RHS garden wisley

(Woking, GU23 6QB)
Colour builds daily at Wisley, yellow daffodils and pale pink cherry blossom are already providing the perfect backdrop for a walk in the gardens. Carpets of crocuses will brighten up even the chilliest of days and the bright pinks and reds of the banks of camellias are sure to catch your eye on the hill. The top terrace will be lit up with 15,000 tulips in pink, purple, yellow and lilac.

ramster gardens

(Chiddingfold, GU8 4SN)
Opening in spring from 16th March, you can discover more than 25 acres of woodland, lake views and hillside, filled with colour. The gardens are known for their rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias as well as many rare and unusual trees and flowering shrubs.

 

painshill

(Cobham, KT11 1JE)
All the lengthy preparation for spring has paid off and the gardens at Painshill are now waking up to swathes of snowdrops, dazzling daffodils and beautiful bluebells. As with many of the gardens featured, Painshill will be offering afternoon tea for Mother’s Day. Enjoy this in the 18th century walled garden amid seasonal colours as you tuck into finger sandwiches, mini scones, cakes and tea or Prosecco.

 

savill gardens

(Englefield Green, TW20 0UJ)
Everything is coming to life, pay a visit to daffodil valley in The Valley Gardens and Spring Wood at the Savill Garden and marvel at the magnolias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Birds are nesting so watch out for fledglings as they start to take flight. You may even be lucky enough to see young deer taking their first steps in Deer Park too.

 

petworth

(West Sussex, GU28 9LR)
In the spring meadows of the Pleasure Grounds you can expect to see snowdrops, cyclamen as well as bluebells, daffodils, and Snake Head Fritillary popping up through the next few months.Tulips will be one of the stars of the show throughout the grounds with thier distinctive bell-shaped heads popping up a variety of colours.

 

gilbert white house

(Selbourne, GU34 3JH )
Visitors to this secret Hampshire garden can marvel at the quirky features, glorious vistas and creative planting which are delightful whatever the season or weather but spring really is spectacular! Starting off with snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils in March, cherry blossom in April and a sumptuous wildflower meadow in May, they are the perfect complement to the hahas, herb garden, kitchen garden and six quarters.

Pictures: National Trust

Have a look at our London and Thames Valley gardens if you’re thinking of going further afield.

Glorious Gardens

Round & About

gardens

With spring bursting into life, there can be no better time to get out and enjoy what’s on offer in some of the finest gardens you’re ever likely to see.

The bright patches of colour showing through after the grey of winter are a welcome sight, guaranteed to raise the spirits and none more so than those offered from the beautiful gardens in the area. Carpets of seasonal snowdrops and daffodils cover much of the grounds with swathes of blooms in all hues just beginning to break through.

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Pictures: National Trust