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With so many spectacular gardens across the country, it’s hard to know where to start if you’re planning a lovely day out. The UK is home to some of the finest gardens, displaying stunning landscaping, diverse horticulture, and lush greenery. With many of these gardens open for the public to enjoy, the only question left is - which is the best one to visit?
We’ve analysed over 30 of the UK’s most popular gardens, looking at their size, heritage and percentage of excellent reviews on Tripadvisor to generate a list of the best ones to visit.
If you’re looking for a new place to enjoy on your next-day trip or staycation, here are the top gardens to add to your list that will certainly not disappoint!
Situated near the village of Leven in the Kent valley, Levens Hall is home to a spectacular 9,500 acres of breathtaking landscape - making it one of the biggest gardens in the UK and the number one garden to visit on our list. These gardens have been preserved and unchanged since the 17th century, from rose gardens and fine lawns to wildflower meadows and willow labyrinths. Levens Hall is sure to please, and the public agrees - with its visitors capturing its beauty on over 672 Instagram posts and leaving 68% of reviews on Tripadvisor rated excellent.
Did you know: 961’125 litres of water per week would be needed to irrigate Leven Hall’s gardens in its entirety during dry weather conditions… that’s 25 litres per square metre!
CORRECTION: The entire Levens Hall estate is 9500 acres. The garden is 12 acres. Sorry for the mistake.
Claiming its title as one of the oldest gardens in the UK, Arundel Castle has 1,000 years of heritage - presenting 40 acres of English and tropical garden for the public to appreciate. The gardens at Arundel Castle are the perfect place to visit if you have a passion for gardening, with plenty to explore. Expect warm glasshouses full of chillies, grapes, and lemons as well as the tranquil Fitzalan Chapel's White Garden. Visitors have tagged the location over 6,400 times on Instagram, and the gardens have received an impressive 73% of excellent reviews on Tripadvisor.
Windsor Castle is well known by many for being a royal residence, but if you take a look outside you will see stunning views of what is the East Terrace Garden. Created in 1824, the East Terrace Garden stretches across 13 acres of land and contains approximately 3,500 rose bushes - each full of colour and captivating scents. 69% of the garden’s Tripadvisor reviews are excellent, which explains why the castle and gardens receive over 104,000 visitors a year and over 435,000 posts on Instagram.
Coming in at number four on our list, Anglesey Abbey is a national trust property found north of Cambridge in the village of Lode. It holds a stunning 888 years of history to explore and discover. The 114 acres of garden receive over 300,000 visitors a year which has generated 64% of excellent Tripadvisor reviews. This is no surprise, with beautiful seasonal displays that aim to excite guests all year round. Today, the garden team is made up of eight gardeners and over 25 volunteers that care for the plants and grounds.
Depending on when you plan to visit this historical estate in Hampshire, you will be greeted with a breathtaking seasonal display that stretches across 1,600 acres of land. Be it a beautiful winter garden, pathways of spring bulbs, early summer roses, or classic autumnal colours - this is a garden to visit throughout the year. The garden carries over 800 years of history, and in that time has become home to many fine specimens of trees. Approximately 200,000 people visit Mottisfont yearly and its gardens currently have 55% of excellent Tripadvisor views.
This beautiful Welsh garden is overflowing with over 340 years of history. Its impressive 3,000 acres of land accommodates spectacular hedges, dancing statues, and fragrant spring bulbs for the many people that visit yearly to enjoy. The beautiful surroundings have earned 68% of excellent views on Tripadvisor from many happy visitors. If you’re located in Wales or fancy a trip there, be sure to visit Powis Castle and admire the divine landscape.
Number seven on our list, this Wiltshire garden has over 400,000 visitors a year, drawing them in with some of the finest landscapes available and the lake found at its centre. Its tactical planting scheme creates a beautiful rust colour palette in late August and makes a great spot for a scenic autumnal walk. Over 1,700 people agree, leaving 68% of excellent reviews on Tripadvisor after visiting the location.
This is one of the finest gardens in Wales, with a beautiful national trust property that overlooks the Conwy Valley towards the Carneddau mountains. The gardens are home to botanical collections from around the globe and see over 106,000 visitors yearly. This has earned them a strong 82% of excellent Tripadvisor reviews over the years. Home to many exotic plants, Bodnant Gardens is also a location that many people like to photograph and it has been snapped over 26,900 times under the location’s hashtag.
Another one of the best botanical gardens can be found up north in Edinburgh. The Royal Botanic Garden receives an impressive 450,000 plus visitors yearly and is located just a mile away from the city centre. The garden offers fantastic views of the capital's skyline, including Edinburgh Castle, and accommodates 35,000 different types of plant species over 62 acres of land. It’s also popular online, with over 26,900 tagged posts on Instagram.
Although it is number 10 on our list, Sculpture Garden comes out on top for the highest number of good reviews from its visitors - with 83% of excellent reviews on Tripadvisor. Tucked away in the Sussex countryside, this garden is on the smaller side - covering just 3 acres of land. Don’t let this put you off! It is the perfect place to relax, picnic, and enjoy breathtaking views of the South Downs..
There are plenty of beautiful gardens to enjoy all around the UK, that may even inspire your own garden at home. With so many to discover, get inspired and explore some of the most loved, most visited gardens up and down the country.