Dormy House couldn’t be better placed for exploring the grand gardens and hidden arbours of the Cotswolds. There are an astonishing 30 flora-filled green spaces within 30 miles of the hotel…
Set in the two-acre grounds of a historic water mill, this classic English country garden offers a fruit garden, grotto, and wonderful views over the hills, and cream teas by the kingfisher-frequented millpond.
At the centre of a family-run 4,500-acre agricultural estate, this romantic water garden surrounds a 200-year-old Indian-inspired palace and is full of grottoes, streams and waterfalls.
Bourton House Gardens
Known for the inventive topiary, knot garden and selection of rare exotic plants, Bourton House’s three colourful acres are replete with water features, including a raised basket pond that was presented at the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Snowshill Manor Gardens
A charming Arts & Crafts garden surrounding a Tudor manor house, Snowshill is a relaxing, ornament-dotted place to wander away an afternoon.
Kiftsgate Court Gardens
Passing through three generations of female gardeners, Kiftsgate Court Gardens are magnificently situated on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment, with views towards the Malvern Hills. They’re especially famed for the Kiftsgate Rose – reported to be the largest climbing rose in Britain.
Hidcote Manor Garden
One of England’s most beloved Arts & Crafts gardens and a National Trust flagship, Hidcote unveils itself in a sequence of beautiful themed ‘rooms’, originally designed by Lawrence Johnson. The 10.5-acre grounds are also home to a plant shop and café, and Hidcote’s proximity to Kiftsgate makes them ideal to double up for a day trip.
Home to one of England’s biggest collections of trees and shrubs (including many that are extinct in the wild), Batsford’s 56 acres also offer views of the Evenlode Valley, alongside a garden centre, furniture store and café.
The picturesque ruins of the once-magnificent Hailes Abbey are set amid delightful Cotswold countryside, close to Winchcombe.
Stanway House Gardens
The grand Grade I-listed gardens of this Jacobean manor are famously the home of the Stanway Fountain, which, with a 300-foot jet, is the tallest in Britain.
Chastleton House Gardens
The ornate, topiary-ringed Jacobean gardens at Chastleton have a striking claim to fame – it was on these lawns that the rules of competitive croquet were first developed, back in 1865.
Ragley Hall Gardens
Spread over 10 hectares surrounding Ragley Hall and originally designed by Capability Brown, these gardens aim to balance the aesthetic appeal of a traditional garden with the ecological value and biodiversity of a habitat for flora and fauna.
Sudeley Castle Gardens
Open March to October, Sudeley’s award-winning gardens have been carefully restored to complement the castle and ruins. Their seasonal transformation makes repeat visits a must – in springtime, Rosemary Verey’s secret garden is especially resplendent, as 2,500 tulips emerge from the soil.
New Place Gardens
Reopened in summer 2016, Shakespeare’s final home is surrounded by beautifully re-landscaped grounds, including a meticulously restored sunken knot garden.
Coughton Court Gardens
Created and maintained by the Throckmorton family across the centuries, the grounds of Coughton Court are centred upon a spectacular walled garden, and the Rose Labyrinth – with more than 200 varieties – is celebrated as one of the finest rose gardens in the world.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens
Nine acres of woodland, orchard and beautifully maintained gardens surround the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife, including a sculpture trail themed around her husband’s works.
This 16th-century country house is owned by the National Trust and surrounded by Capability Brown landscapes. There are woodland walks, rambling deer and views across the River Avon – perfect for a picnic with a spot of bird watching.
Home to Cheltenham’s Pump Room, this attractive Regency park in spans more than 80 acres and includes an ornamental lake with elegant bridges, as well as play areas for children.
Located behind Cheltenham’s Town Hall, these formal gardens are admired for the splendid summer floral displays – featuring around 25,000 bedding plants. There’s a handy garden bar, too.
Spetchley Park Gardens
Overlooking the Malvern Hills, Spetchley’s 10-acre Victorian gardens feature plants from all over the world, with an especially impressive collection of peonies. Set beside a 150-acre deer park, the garden is woven with pathways that offer surprises at every turn.
Upton House Gardens
Known for its vast cedar-lined lawn and extensive collection of Aster, the gardens of this Warwickshire country house include a series of terraces and herbaceous borders that lead down to a tranquil water garden.
Capability Brown Gardens at Warwick Castle
First established in the 16th century but redeveloped by Capability Brown in the1750s, these 64-acre rolling landscaped gardens are as much of an attraction as the castle itself. The Peacock Garden – named for both the birds that roam freely around it and the impressive topiary the gardeners have created – are a major attraction, with their manicured hedges and beautiful pond and fountain.
Barnsley House Gardens
This boutique hotel features an enchanting country-house garden originally designed by the legendary Rosemary Verey. The knot gardens, lawns, terraces, meadows and pockets of wilderness are open to both guests and visitors.
Farnborough Hall Gardens
Woodland and waterside paths lead the way through the scenic grounds of an 18th-century honey-stoned house, with a rose garden, two temples, a long-view terrace and extensive parkland.
Little Malvern Court and Gardens
In the grounds of what was once a Benedictine monastery, these 10-acre gardens overlooking Severn Valley are wonderfully romantic, with serene lakes, fine hedges and rose-lined pergolas. They’re only open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays between April and July so plan ahead!
Blenheim Palace and Gardens
Given the palace’s status as a World Heritage site, you’d expect the gardens to be pretty spectacular – and they don’t disappoint. Spanning an enormous 2,000 acres, they include a water terraces, a succession of formal and pleasure gardens, a butterfly house and the famous Malborough Hedge Maze.
Cerney House Gardens
A labour of love by the owners of Cerney House near Cirencester, the Angus family, the gardens are a romantic blend of woodlands, shrubberies, herb and kitchen gardens spread over 40 acres. (The family also makes the award-winning Cerney Cheese.)
This moated, timber-framed manor near Warwick is graced with extensive formal gardens, including a beautiful walled garden, as well as wilder woodlands and a lake. A nature trail runs through the woods and around the fish ponds.
Home to the biggest walled garden in Britain, Croome Park’s Capability Brown-designed grounds are perfect for scenic strolls – and are dog-friendly too. The
serpentine lake is the park’s focal point, but there’s a host of temples, follies and intriguing statuary to discover too.
Open April to September, Buscot Park’s 100-acre grounds cradle an impressive Italianate water garden, as well as a walled kitchen garden divided into quarters to represent the four seasons.