Sezincote Gardens

Sezincote Gardens in Gloucestershire

Perhaps one of the most architecturally distinctive sites in the Cotswolds is the Sezincote House in Gloucestershire.  This estate was designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell in 1805 in the Neo-Mughal style.  The manor was constructed out of red sandstone with a copper chattri and minarets and is somewhat more exotic than the average English manor house.  The interior design however is more typically European, similar to that of other manor houses in the Cotswolds.

Sezincote’s gardens offer many lovely views of the exterior of the exotic manor house, wide green lawns, a lily pond, statues of elephants, and hedges carved like elephants and other whimsical shapes.  Sezincote is not your typical English manor house, nor are the gardens the classic English gardens you might expect when visiting the Cotswolds, but they do capture a different aspect of England’s past.  Sezincote hearkens back to the age of British Empire, uniting the styles of England with those of the lands that England once conquered.  This provides a different look at history captured through the lens of Cockerell’s fusion of architectural styles.  Fans of English and Mughal architecture alike will enjoy his beautiful construction while roaming the green lawns of Sezincote gardens.

Sezincote Gardens is just a few miles from Moreton In Marsh & Blockley in Gloucestershire.

Sezincote Gardens

Sezincote Gardens Wikipedia

 

 

Prior Park Gardens

If you are visiting the city of Bath in Somerset and feel a need to get away from the crowds for a while and enjoy the neighboring countryside, you might want to plan an excursion to the Prior Park Landscape Garden.  This 18th century garden was designed by the famous poet Alexander Pope in collaboration with the landscape artist Capability Brown.  Currently it is overseen by the National Trust, and offers visitors access to wide green lawns and sweeping hillsides, beautiful views of the city of Bath, as well as a number of intriguing architectural features.

The most iconic site in the Prior Park Gardens is probably the Palladian Bridge.  The Palladian Bridge was constructed in 1755 by Ralph Allen with some input from both the garden’s creators.  Palladian architecture was quite popular during the 18th century, but this was one of the last Palladian bridges built in England.  The bridge was restored during the 90s to remove river silt and repair damage.  Care was taken however to preserve graffiti left on the bridge clear back in the 18th century, now as historic as the bridge itself.   Other destinations in the park include the beautiful summerhouse, the historic icehouse, and waterfalls from the Serpentine Lake.

Prior Park Gardens Website

Proir Park Gardens

Peto Gardens


The Peto Gardens are located at the Ilford Manor Estate in the idyllic Ilford Valley by the Fromme River in Wiltshire.  The manor itself is a beautiful building constructed out of characteristic golden Cotswold stone with an 18th century façade.  The gardens take their name from Harold Ainsworth Peto, a landscaper who lived in the manor house from 1899 to 1933.  Peto’s beautiful gardens are still a favorite destination for visitors to the Cotswolds today.

Peto’s gardens have a very fanciful look inspired by the gardens of classical civilizations.  Roman columns, statues, and paved walkways lead visitors between shady cypress trees, tranquil pools, delightful terraces, and aromatic wisteria vines.  Visiting the Peto Gardens is like taking in a bit of classical Italy without leaving English shores.  The columns and statues will make you feel like you’ve taken a trip back in time to ancient Rome.  The Romans themselves were past inhabitants of the Ilford Valley, and through Peto’s landscape designs, they have left a lasting mark.  If you are visiting during midsummer, you can enjoy the opera and jazz concert series.  Professional and amateur artists also are invited to play on Sunday afternoons.  The Sunday concerts are free to the public to attend.

Peto Gardens Wiltshire

Mill Dene Garden Blockley

MILL DENE

If you are visiting the towns of Blockley or Morteton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire and want to discover one of the hidden gems of the Cotswolds, consider paying a visit to the charming Mille Dene Garden.  The mill on this site has a history spanning back centuries, and was purchased by the Dare family in 1964.  The Dares got into gardening and opened up their garden to the public in 1992.  While the garden is not the most well known in the Cotswolds, nor is it the largest, it is a favorite of many visitors who are willing to wander off the beaten path a bit.

In the Mille Dene garden, you will find peaceful trails leading through the vegetable garden and past the swimming pool, stepping stones and a bridge across a babbling brook, a waterfall, a walk with roses, an ornamental fruit and herb garden, and other beautiful cultivated features.  If you are interested in learning about gardening, you can volunteer and receive free training.  Or you can simply relax and enjoy yourself as you stroll down the picturesque walkways.  Blockley itself is also a lovely village to visit, located fifteen miles away from Stratford upon Avon.  Enjoy visiting Mille Dene and escaping the crowds of Cheltenham!

Mill Dene Blockley

Lydney Park Gardens

Some of the most magical gardens in the Cotswolds are located in Lydney Park between Gloucester and the Forest of Dean.  The Lydney Park mansion was built by the Wintour Family, well-known supporters of King Charles 1.  The estate passed to Benjamin Bathurst in the year 1719, and it has remained in that family ever since.  At Lydney Park, you can visit the Spring Gardens, Forestry & Sawmill, Dairy Farm, and Roman Ruins.

The Sawmill is a working mill which provides hourly cutting of oak, red cedar, and Douglas Fir.  At the Dairy Farm, you can purchase locally produced dairy products and caught venison and other game.  The Spring Gardens are of course the main feature at Lydney Park, splendidly cultivated with magnolias, cherry trees, acers, azaleas, rhododendrons, and other beautiful trees and flowers.  These delightful gardens have a woodland feel with a sense of wilderness preserved.  In the gardens you can also view the Roman Ruins which were excavated on the property in 1805, which include the remnants of a Roman camp and temple.  A Romano-British sculpture of a dog in cast bronze is the most prominent feature, and has become the symbol for this gorgeous Cotswolds estate.

Lydney Park

Lyndey Park Website

Cerney House Gardens

If you are visiting Gloucestershire and are near the town of Cheltenham, you may want to take a few hours to visit the Cerney House Gardens.  These walled gardens belonged to Lady Angus and her daughter Barbara.  Previously, Barbara had no experience with gardening, but Lady Angus did, and together, they were able to cultivate a wonderland of floral beauty inside the old Victorian walls.  Initially, the garden struggled, but Lady Angus and Barbara were diligent, dedicating all of their time to cultivating it.  Over the years, this little garden has grown in fame and flourished.

Inside, you’ll find tulips, daffodils, snowdrops and many other beautiful species of flowers.  The garden, while clearly cultivated, has a wilder and more organic feel to it than many of the more orderly English gardens in the Cotswolds, and a smaller and more intimate feel.  You can also purchase hand-made cheeses at the shop on the grounds.  The Cerney House Gardens are also home to local goats, and several types of artisan cheeses are available for you to try.  These gardens are a great opportunity to get away from the bustle of Cheltenham and see some of the finest cultivated land in Gloucestershire.

Cerney House Gardens

Bourton House Gardens

Visitors to the Cotswolds who love English manor houses and gardens won’t want to miss the Bourton House while visiting the village of Bourton-on-the-Hill.  Bourton-on-the-Hill is located in Gloucestershire two miles west of Moreton-in-Marsh, some of the most scenic countryside in the Cotswolds.  The Bourton House has a history dating back to at least 1570, the date on the dedication stone preserved on the site.  The stately manor was then rebuilt by Sir Nicholas Overbury in 1598 in the Jacobean style.  Considered unfashionable, it was rebuilt once more in the early 18th century by Alexander Popham.  The house has changed its form in some respects over the intervening years, but is otherwise intact.

Bourton House is known for its elegant English garden more than any other feature.  At the Bourton House Garden, you will find expansive green lawns offering lovely views of the house itself, comfortable garden benches in shady corners, artistically trimmed hedges, whimsically sculpted trees and bushes, and colorful fruits, vegetables, and flowers adorning the garden beds.  A neatly trimmed hedge maze offers visitors the chance to explore a charming knot garden.  The Bourton House garden may not be as large as some other gardens in the region, but it is among the most beautifully cultivated.

Bourton House Gardens

Batsford Arboretum

If you love trees, flowers, and the delights of nature, you will want to make some time during your Cotswolds trip to visit Batsford Arboretum. The arboretum is located on 55 acres of richly cultivated land near the town of Batsford near Moreton In Marsh in Gloucestershire. The arboretum was first cultivated by Algernon Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale, who inherited the land in 1886 and was inspired by the gardens he saw while traveling in Asia. Today, the arboretum is maintained by a charity and is open to visitors throughout the year.

What is there to see at Batsford? The diverse collection of trees on site includes acers, bamboos, magnolias, Japanese Maples, Mountain Ash, Japanese Cherries, and much more. You will also see Asian sculptures, bridges, lily ponds, and other lovely features. The layout of the gardens is unique, since the style was inspired by gardens which Freeman-Mitford saw while in China and Japan. Bringing together these Far East styles with traditional English cultivation styles, Freeman-Mitford created a matchless park. The Batsford Arboretum is one of the largest and most beautiful landscaped areas in the Cotswolds. A café is conveniently located on site so that you can take a break and get a bite to eat while exploring the park.

Bastford Arboretum

Batsford Arboretum Website

Barnsley House Gardens

The Barnsley House Gardens are the gardens attached to the Barnsley House Hotel which is one of the top luxury hotels in the Cotswolds, a beautiful historic estate in the town of Barnsley, Gloucestershire.  The Barnsley House is open to visitors, and you can in fact stay there in one of their guest rooms while you are visiting Barnsley.  As a full service hotel, the Barnsley House features modern accommodations in an old-fashioned setting, bringing together traditional English charm and modern day comfort.

The gardens are one of the most beautiful features of the Barnsley House, and are one of the main attractions to visitors staying in town.  The gardens are presently maintained by Richard Gatenby, and feature small, intimate walks through charming fruit and vegetable gardens and delightful little hidden corners with benches on which to relax.  You can visit the gardens whether you are staying in the hotel or just dropping by.

The gardens are also available for wedding ceremonies.  If you decide to tie the knot at the Barnsley House, you will enjoy an unforgettable occasion set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful gardens in England.

Barnsley House Gardens

Barnsley House Website

Kiftsgate Court Gardens

Kiftsgate Court is a manor located between Mickleton and Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire near the border with Worcestershire and Warwickshire.  The manor house is most famous for its gardens.  The Kiftsgate Court Gardens were first planted in the 1920s by Heather Muir, and were then passed on to Diany Binny in 1950.  They are currently overseen by Anne Chambers, who resides in Kiftsgate Manor.  While the manor is a private home, the garden is open to the public.

The Kiftsgate Court Gardens include many beautiful flowers and hedges in a lovely layout.  They are most well known for the Kiftsgate Rose, a white climbing rose.  Kiftsgate Rose grows well in the shade, and it is said that the largest rose in Britain, a climbing rose measuring 80 feet, grows in the Court Gardens.  According to Chambers, if the rose plant were not trimmed back, it would be even larger.

The rose plant is currently intruding on the space of a nearby beech tree, which is why it needs to be carefully pruned.  The rose is famous not only for its size, but also for the beautiful perfumed smell which wafts out across the gardens.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens