Gardens & arboreta

Abbey House Gardens - A riotous display of spring bulbs starts the season at Abbey House Gardens, giving way to rhododendron, azalea, wisteria and laburnum. There are herbaceous borders, a herb garden and fernery, all set against the backdrop of Malmesbury Abbey. A scree garden has been developed by the river.

Address: Abbey House Gardens, Market Cross, Malmesbury

Telephone: 01666 822212


Batsford Arboretum - Moreton-in More than 1,500 species of trees cover an extensive area of parkland overlooking the Evenlode Valley. The Arboretum is renowned for having the National Collection of Japanese Cherries.

Telephone: 01386 701441

Address: Batsford Arboretum, Batsford Park, 


Bourton House - Containers bursting with colour at every turn, luxuriant borders and formal topiary make up the 3-acre garden surrounding Bourton House and its tithe barn. The house dates from the Georgian period.

Address: Bourton House Gardens, Bourton-on-the-Hill, M 

Telephone: 01386 700754


Cerney House Gardens - A Victorian walled garden provides shelter for striking herbaceous borders, roses and climbers. There is a herb garden and a medicinal garden. The working kitchen garden provides the ingredients for jams and chutneys, which are sold locally.

Address: Cerney House Gardens, Cerney House, North Cer

Telephone: 01285 831205/300


Cirencester Park - Around 3,000 acres of mixed broad-leafed and conifer woodlands, crossed by wide avenues, provide a peaceful setting for walking. Polo is played every Sunday from May to September.


Claverton Manor Gardens - The theme of the American Museum extends into the gardens surrounding Claverton Manor with a replica of George Washington’s Mount Vernon garden and a colonial herb garden. A nature trail winds through the woods.

Address: Claverton Manor Gardens, Claverton Manor, Bat

Telephone: 01225 460503


Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens - The gardens are as much of an attraction as the animals at the Cotswold Wildlife Park. There are herbaceous borders, container displays and swathes of prairie planting. The sheltered walled garden supports exotic plants, including bananas and cannas. Planting around the wildlife areas is intended to echo the animals’ natural habitats.

Address: Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, Burford,

Telephone: 01993 823006


Dragonfly Maze - This is a traditional yew hedge maze with a twist: it is combined with a Rebus puzzle. Visitors are set a challenge not only to find their way to the centre, but also to discover the hiding place of a golden dragonfly. There are helpful clues along the way. The centre is marked by an ornate pavilion housing automated sculptures, made by the artist and writer Kit Williams, and a mysterious ‘Minotoad’.

Address: Dragonfly Maze, Rissington Road, Bourton-on-t

Telephone: 01451 822251


Hidcote Manor Garden -  Hidcote Manor Garden has its origins in the Arts and Crafts Movement and is regarded as one of the most influential gardens of the 20th century. It is designed as a series of outdoor rooms divided by clipped hedges and walls. Each area has its own character, whether devoted to a particular species, colour or mood, or as a profusion of cottage-style planting.

Address: Hidcote Manor Garden, Hidcote Bartrim, Chippi

Telephone: 01386 438333


Hodges Barn - Stone walls, hedging and topiary provide the structure for an extensive garden in the Arts and Crafts style. Planting includes climbing and rambling roses, wisteria and mixed borders. There is a woodland garden and a water garden.

Address: Hodges Barn Gardens, Shipton Moyne, Tetbury,

Telephone: 01666 880202


Hunts Court - Old roses are a speciality at Hunts Court, with more than 400 varieties being grown. Ornamental trees and shrubs and unusual varieties of herbaceous plants also feature.

Address: Hunts Court, North Nibley, Dursley, Glouceste

Telephone: 01453 547440


Kiftsgate Court Garden - Overlooking Bredon and the Malvern Hills, the gardens at Kiftsgate Court offer a wonderful combination of vivid colour and heady scent in the summer borders, gentle white blooms in the tranquil sunk garden, and a pretty four-square garden edged with box. The gardens were planted in the late 19th and early 20th century and continue to evolve. The bluebell wood is a breathtaking sight in early May.

Address: Kiftsgate Court Garden, Mickleton, Chipping C

Telephone: 01386 438777


Matara Centre Garden - An air of peace and tranquility pervades the Matara Centre Garden at Kingscote Park. Designed as a meditative garden, it features reflective ponds, an eastern style Shinto woodland and a Chinese-inspired walled garden.

Address: Matara Centre Garden, Kingscote Park, Nr Tetb

Telephone: 01453 861050


Mill Dene Garden - The garden at Mill Dene is set around a Cotswold watermill in its own steeply sided valley. It has been designed by the owner who, as far as possible, has selected plants for their scent. Paths climb up the valley from the mill pool, stream and grotto, through a rose walk to the lawn, offering views over the hills. There is a potager and dye plants are grown.

Address: Mill Dene Garden, School Lane, Blockley, More

Telephone: 01386 700457


Misarden Park Gardens - Set high above Golden Valley, the 12-acre gardens are known for their naturalised spring bulbs, flowering trees and topiary. In summer, the long herbaceous borders and rose garden steal the scene. A rill provides an interesting water feature on an upper lawn. There is an arboretum with many specimen trees.

Address: Misarden Park Gardens, Miserden Park, Stroud,

Telephone: 01285 821303


Owlpen Manor Gardens - Tucked away in a wooded valley, the seven hanging terraces surrounding Owlpen Manor date from the 16th and 17th centuries. They feature topiary yews, box parterres and old roses. The beech woods provide lovely walks.

Address: Owlpen Manor, Uley, Gloucestershire GL11 5BZ

Telephone: 01453 860261


Painswick Rococo Gardens - In a hidden combe behind Painswick House lies the sole surviving garden in the English Rococo style. Planted as a flamboyant pleasure garden in the 1740s, and recorded in a painting by the artist Thomas Robins, the garden has been the subject of a remarkable restoration project. It features long vistas, geometric patterns and intriguing architectural garden structures. The woodland is carpeted with a spectacular display of snowdrops early in the year.

Address: Painswick Rococo Garden, Painswick, Glouceste 

Telephone: 01452 813204


Prinknash Bird Park - The attractive Bird Park and water garden in the grounds of Prinknash Abbey are home to more than 50 Indian blue and white peacocks and a variety of waterfowl. Tame deer wander freely.

Address: Prinknash Bird Park, Cranham, Gloucestershire

Telephone: 01452 812727


Prior Park Landscape Garden - A Palladian Bridge and three lakes lie at the heart of Prior Park in a valley overlooking Bath. The landscape garden was the brainchild of a local 18th-century entrepreneur, Ralph Allen, who turned to ‘Capability’ Brown and the poet Alexander Pope for advice on the design. The Bath Skyline, a 6-mile (10-km) walk around the historic outskirts of the city, passes nearby.

Address: Prior Park Landscape Garden, Ralph Allen Driv

Telephone: 01225 833422; Infoline 09001 335242


Rodmarton Manor Garden - The garden at Rodmarton Manor was designed by Ernest Barnsley, architect of the Arts and Crafts house in the early 20th century. It comprises a series of outdoor rooms divided by yew, beech, box and holly hedges. There is a winter garden, a kitchen garden with old and scented roses, a troughery for alpines, and a wild garden with a hornbeam avenue, in addition to lawns and herbaceous borders.

Address: Rodmarton Manor, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Telephone: 01285 841253


Sezincote House Garden

Address: Sezincote, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire The distinctive Indian character of the house at Sezincote extends into the garden, with a temple, streams and pools lined with bog-loving plants, a water garden, and Indian bridge with statues of Brahmin bulls.

Telephone: 01386 700444


Sherborne Estate - Owned by the National Trust, Sherborne Estate comprises 4,000 acres of countryside overlooking the River Windrush, and includes much of the village of Sherborne itself. It is also the site of Lodge Park, a splendid 17th-century grandstand. The estate is an ideal place for walking and picnicking.

Address: Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate, Sherborne, C

Telephone: 01451 844130


Snowshill Manor Garden Gardens - The Arts and Crafts style gardens at Snowshill Manor were laid out by the owner, Charles Paget Wade, in the early 20th century. He created a series of rooms and terraces cut into the hillside, filled with fragrant and colourful cottage garden plants. There are fine views across the Vale of Evesham.

Address: Snowshill Manor, Nr Broadway, Gloucestershire

Telephone: 01386 852410


Stanway House Baroque Water Garden and Fountain - The water garden at Stanway House is thought to have been designed by Charles Bridgeman, the royal gardener, in the 1720s, and is one of the finest in the country. It features a formal canal and a cascade. In 2004 a single-jet gravity fountain rising to 300 ft (91 m) was installed on the Canal.

Address: Stanway House, Stanway, Cheltenham, Glouceste

Telephone: 01386 584469


Sudeley Castle Gardens - History and horticulture combine to create outstanding variety among the 14 acres of gardens at Sudeley Castle. The Queen’s Garden with old-fashioned roses and herbs protected by double yew hedges, the bold planting among the ruins of the 15th-century tithe barn, the intricate Knot Garden and the Mediterranean-style Secret Garden are just a selection of what is on offer.

Address: Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Cheltenham, Glouc

Telephone: 01242 602308


Westonbirt Arboretum - The National Arboretum is a treasure trove of trees and shrubs from around the world with 18,000 numbered specimens. Whatever the season, there is always something to see, including primroses and wood anemones in February and March, rhododendrons, magnolias and azaleas from April to June, magnificent autumn colours, and a magical illuminated trail in December.

Address: Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, 

Telephone: 01666 880220


Woodchester Park - The remains of an 18th and 19th-century landscape garden with a series of five lakes can be found in Woodchester Park, the hidden wooded valley in which Woodchester Mansion is situated. Waymarked trails lead through the valley.

Address: Woodchester Park, Nympsfield, Gloucestershire

Telephone: 01453 861541