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Beautiful Cotswold gardens you need to visit

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:21 13 August 2018

Sudeley Castle © Gordon Robertson CC BY 2.0

Sudeley Castle © Gordon Robertson CC BY 2.0


Whether you're an avid gardener or a lover of all things outdoors, we pick some of the most beautiful gardens in the Cotswolds we think are definitely worth a visit.

1. Painswick Rococo Garden

Built in the 1730s, Painswick Rococo Garden is the last rococo garden left in the country. It’s densely packed with colourful flower gardens and wilderness shrubberies and its appearance has been described as ‘the beginnings of a landscape garden style’. It’s also a fantastic place to find snowdrops in February. After a relaxing stroll through the rococo garden, you can enjoy a light lunch and tea in the onsite café. The gardens are open throughout the year between 10.30am – 5pm and admission is £8.30 for adults and £4 for children. Over 60’s pay £7.30.

2. Hidcote Manor Gardens

Hidcote is renowned for its impressive and tranquil outdoor space, with gardens that are tastefully divided into different ‘rooms’. The garden was created in 1907 by an American ex-soldier who was passionate for both plants and travel. As a result, the garden features an exceptional variation of flowers and plants from Japan, Australia, South Africa and China (to name a few).

The garden changes with the seasons and it’s a pretty place to visit at anytime of the year. It is open 10am – 6pm everyday with admission costing £14 for adults and £7 for children. The Winthrop Café sells home cooked food, and there’s a plant centre where you can take some of Hidcote’s magic home with you.

3. Sudeley Castle

The magnificent gardens that surround Sudeley Castle were landscaped by talented designers such as Lanning Roper, Rosemary Verey, Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall and Charles Chesshire. The Queens’ Garden is the centre piece of Sudeley, with hundreds of varieties of delicate roses on show. There is also a magical knot garden with a mosaic fountain at the centre and carp pond.

With over ten gardens to explore, the £16.50 admission price for adults and £7.50 for children is well worth the money (and it includes access to the castle). Sudeley Castle is open until December 21 2018, between 10am and 5pm.

4. Kiftsgate Court

Three generations of green-fingered ladies have contributed to the upkeep and intricate design of this beautiful and renowned garden. Some of the most notable features of Kiftsgate Court include a garden terrace with spectacular views over to the Malvern Hills, a resplendent rose border and a tranquil water garden.

Kiftsgate can be found only a stone’s throw from the charming market town of Chipping Campden and opening hours vary throughout the year so make sure you check out the website before arriving. Admission is £8.50 for adults and £2.50 for children.

5. Sezincote Gardens

Following its neglect during the Second World War, Sezincote Garden was restored back to its former glory in 1968 by Sir Cyril and Lady Kleinwort. Water features heavily in this spectacular outdoor space, with streams and pools covered by luscious bog plants found throughout the garden. The gardens also uphold the Indian style décor that characterises the stately home.

The gardens are open until November, on Thursdays, Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays between 2pm and 6pm. Admission is a very reasonable £5 for adults and £1.50 for children.

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6. Barnsley House

This Cotswold countryside retreat is on the doorstep of the quaint town of Cirencester. It predominantly serves as a hotel and restaurant where the menu is packed with home-grown produce from the kitchen garden. 

Designed by the prolific and very talented Rosemary Verey, features of this enchanting outdoor space include a vibrant knot garden and statues by Simon Verity. You can wander around the gardens for £10 per person, and this includes tea, coffee and homemade biscuits. 

7. The Royal Gardens at Highgrove

An inspiring, yet varied, collection of landscapes, The Royal Gardens at Highgrove are a testament to the hard work and dedication of TRH Prince of Wales. The private residence of His Royal Highness and The Duchess of Cornwall boasts five gardens from the rambling natural beauty of the Wildflower Meadow to the pretty-all-year-around Cottage Garden.

The gardens are open for individual tours throughout the year at £27.50 per person. The two-hour tours will be led by one of Highgrove’s guides, exploring the breadth and width of the gardens. There will also be opportunity to enjoy refreshments at the Orchard Restaurant and pick up a myriad of gifts at the Highgrove Estate Shop.

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8. Cerney House Gardens

From aconites and snowdrops at the beginning of the year to rich and vibrant colour in the summer, there’s always a reason (and season) to admire the beauty and experience the romance of Cerney House Gardens. Pathways wind through a stunning knot garden, secluded woodland bursting with wild flowers and a working organic kitchen, to name just a few of the sights expected.

The gardens are open 10am – 7pm daily, up until October 31 and are a short distance from the centre of North Cerney. Entry is a modest £5 for adults and £1 for children. Self-service refreshments are available.

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9. Bourton House Garden

Three acres of lovingly kept gardens surround the 18th century Bourton House, in the small village of Bourton-on-the-Hill. After years of neglect, the gardens were restored and passionately maintained with the help of recently retired head gardener Paul Nicholls who has now passed the mantle onto long-standing assistant Jacky Rae. Lawns, topiary, an orchard, a knot garden and herbaceous borders await visitors – and horticultural enthusiasts will marvel at the award-winning attraction often described as a ‘garden’s dream.’

Before even stepping foot into the gardens, the beauty of Bourton House begins. Entry is via a magnificent Grade I listed 16th century Tithe Barn, which also hosts an occasional exhibition. Admission is £7 and free for under-16s, and the gardens are open 10am – 5pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from April through until the end of October.

10. Batsford Arboretum

Stunning all year round, each season bestows a beautiful chapter in the collection of trees, shrubs and plant life residing at Batsford Arboretum. The Arboretum is based in Bourton-on-the-Hill, and boasts 2,850 labelled specimens including an outstanding natural collection of Japanese Flowering Cherries. After all that exploring, there’s an onsite café to enjoy a cup of tea and cake, as well as a garden centre and gift shop to browse.

Open every day of the year except Christmas Day, there’s plenty of opportunity to plan a visit to Batsford Aboretum. Monday – Saturday the gardens will be open from 9am – 5pm and on Sundays 10am – 5pm. Entry is £7.95 for adults and £3.50 for children (under 4s go free).



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