ACCOMMODATION YEAR ROUND GARDENS
And then there are the gardens which look amazing all year round! We have quite a selection here in the Cotswolds which means that you can visit off season too.
Blenheim Palace is a World Heritage Site surrounded by over 2,000 acres of beautiful ‘Capability’ Brown parkland with lakes, fountains and formal gardens providing a wealth of interest throughout the year.
For one of the country’s most important gardens, Rousham is relatively little known – completely un-commercialised with no shop or tea rooms. Dating to the first phase of English landscape design, this is one of the few 18th century gardens to have escaped major alteration.
Kiftsgate garden is the wonderful creation of three generations of women gardeners and looks stunning at any time of the year.
Again, the arboreta look great at any time of the year – they are well known for their autumn displays but the spring magnolias, evergreen colours in many of the trees make them year round places to visit. Nearer to Christmas Westonbirt becomes an enchanted magical place with an illuminated trail or you can sample Batsford on Boxing Day with a mulled wine experience. Kids (and big kids) can experience breath taking views from the new walkway in the trees at Westonbirt from April 2016.
The Cotswolds does quirky really well and we have some fantastic hidden gems for you to visit. Here are just a few.
Sezincote is unique – a 200 year old Mogul Indian palace, set in a romantic landscape of temples, grottoes, waterfalls and canals reminiscent of the Taj Mahal.
dr Jenners’ tranquil garden was the refuge of Edward Jenner, pioneer of vaccination with lots of unusual and medicinal plants.
Stanway House has a water garden, which is one of the finest in England, and a 300ft single jet fountain – the highest in Britain and the highest gravity fountain in the world.
Herbs for Healing at Barnsley House was created using plants with healing properties – a small but very relaxing space to sit and ponder.
With so many gardens to visit, why not stay a while to give you plenty of time to explore? The area has such a variety of accommodation from manor house hotels with formal gardens, to bed and breakfast and self-catering cottages that have traditional country gardens bursting with flowers, colours and scents.
To check out places to stay visit www.cotswolds.com/accommodation
STAY & LEARN
If you fancy learning gardening tips then why not book into one of the many rural courses available around the area including hedge laying via www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk
, or an advanced planting course at www.cotswoldgardeningschool.co.uk
or join a guided walk exploring some of the seasonal ‘Wonders of Westonbirt’ with the local guides.
Many of the gardens also have regular talks including Highgrove, Batsford and Hidcote or why not book into a lecture by Tony Russell, TV presenter and author of The Cotswolds Finest Gardens.
The Cotswolds Garden Route experience is further enhanced by fields of summer poppies, wonderful garden centres, local nature reserves and of course spectacular rural views as you drive from one garden to another. To see all the gardens you will need to spend a week or more so make sure you book to come back again. www.cotswolds.com/gardenbreaks
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