Spring is here. After what felt like a never-ending winter, London’s finally warming up and showing signs of the season. I’ve been getting outdoors as much as I can, and the gardens are looking spectacular. Not just in London, either. All around the UK, spring is taking over. If you want to see the best of the season, today I bring you 15 of the prettiest spring gardens in Britain.
Spring Gardens in Britain
From castle gardens to island gems, the UK has no shortage of green spaces and flower beds to get excited about. Whether you want to explore formal gardens or stunning greenhouses, topiary hedges or wildflower meadows, there’s a perfect garden for you. Add to that annual events like the Chelsea Flower Show, and there’s a lot of inspiration to be found.
1. Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Kent is the Garden of England, so it’s no surprise that this county is home to some of the most famous floral displays in Britain. Sissinghurst Castle is renowned for its spring blooms, from the manicured gardens around the house to the wild bluebell woods on the periphery.
2. Kellie Castle Garden
Scotland’s Kellie Castle has a stunning walled garden with colorful blossoms and views of the fortress. Lines of purple flowers border grassy alleys and hidden archways lead to secluded benches where it’s easy to spend hours soaking up the atmosphere.
3. Hidcote Manor Garden
In England’s Gloucestershire, Hidcote Manor has an Arts & Crafts Movement garden with “rooms” containing different types of flowers and plants. This unique design sets it apart and makes it a Cotswolds destination worth a special trip.
4. Kiftsgate Court Gardens
Just down the road from Hidcote Manor Garden, Kiftsgate Court is another stunner. Its reflecting pools and ponds are dotted with stepping stones and contemporary art, and there are sunken gardens with colorful patio furniture to relax in.
5. Glasgow Botanic Gardens
I traveled to Glasgow in the spring two years ago and was impressed by the botanic gardens in the West End. The white daffodils were out in force, their orange centers gleaming beacons of sunshine. Inside the greenhouses, I found a world of flora and foliage, not to mention beautiful steel-and-glass architecture.
6. Tresco Abbey Garden
Off the coast of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly are magical in spring. The Tresco Abbey Garden shows off the islands’ seasonal colors at their brightest, with pink blooms garlanding crumbling arches and orange globes adding accents.
7. Abbotsford House Garden
Up in the Scottish Borders, Abbotsford House has some of the prettiest spring gardens in Britain. Tulips line the arches in front of the house and fill the walled garden with a sea of petals. The view from the end of the garden to Sir Walter Scott’s home makes the whole trip worthwhile.
8. St James’s Park
As much as I love to travel for gardens, some of the finest examples in Britain are close to home in London. St James’s Park bursts with daffodils in the spring, blanketing large parts of the grass in yellow. It’s one of my favorite places to walk when the weather starts to warm.
9. Holland Park
Not far from St James’s Park, London’s Holland Park has another of the prettiest spring gardens in Britain. Its tulips and primroses are arranged in meticulous patterns bordered by diamond hedges. Surrounding the central sculpture, they make a geometric display of color and new life.
10. Powis Castle Garden
Out in Wales, Powis Castle has some of the most impressive gardens I’ve seen in the UK. From curvaceous topiary yews to terraced flower beds cascading down the hillside, the gardens are beautiful in all seasons.
11. Hampton Court Palace Garden
Back near London, Hampton Court Palace has an abundance of gardens. From the kitchen garden where vegetables grow to sunken spaces and a manicured extravaganza, there are a lot of green spaces to explore. And that’s to say nothing of the hedge maze.
12. Shakespeare’s New Place Garden
And speaking of hedges, Shakespeare’s New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon has some of the most impressive in Britain. Waves of them take over the borders of the garden, making shapes and adding texture to the landscape.
13. Kew Gardens
I couldn’t write about the prettiest spring gardens in Britain without mentioning London’s Kew Gardens. The royal botanic gardens are some of the biggest and most impressive in the country, and everything from the greenhouses to the flower beds brightens up when the season starts.
14. Pergola Garden
North London’s Hampstead is one of my favorite places to go in spring, and the Pergola Garden shows off the flowers and greenery at their best. From crocuses to wisteria garlands, this place showcases every stage of the season.
15. Hever Castle Garden
Ending where I began, Kent’s Hever Castle has some of the prettiest spring gardens in Britain. From tulips growing in front of the fortified house to daffodils dotting the landscape, spring flowers flourish. Away from the moat, expansive topiary hedges and walled gardens with flower-filled urns round out the scene.
I hope this list has inspired you to get outside and get into the natural world this season. Spring flowers are fleeting and bloom in stages, so make sure to plan your visit so you see them at their best.
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