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, horticulture and greenery. With many gardens open to the public to enjoy too, 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!
The best overall gardens to visit in the UK
1. Levens Hall
Situated in the Kent valley near the village of Levens, Levens Hall is home to a spectacular 9,500 acres of scenic gardens that have been almost unchanged since the 17th century, making it one of the biggest gardens available to visit. From rose gardens and fine lawns to wildflower meadows and willow labyrinths, Levens Hall is sure to please and the public agrees, with 68% of reviews on Tripadvisor rated excellent. Levens Hall also receives many visitors photographing the surroundings and currently has over 550 Instagram posts under the location’s hashtag.
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!
2. Arundel Castle gardens
Claiming its title as one of the oldest gardens in the UK, Arundel Castle has 1,000 years of heritage and presents 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, including the warm glasshouses full of chillies, grapes and lemons as well as the tranquil Fitzalan Chapel's White Garden. The gardens have received an impressive 2,492 excellent reviews on Tripadvisor, 73% of its overall reviews.
3. Windsor Castle’s East Terrace Garden
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. 70% of the garden’s Tripadvisor reviews are excellent, which explains why the castle and gardens receive over 104,000 visitors a year and almost 400,000 posts on Instagram.
4. Anglesey Abbey
This national trust property is situated north of Cambridge in the village of Lode and holds 887 years of history for visitors to discover. The 114 acres of garden receive over 300,000 visitors a year which has generated 65% of excellent Tripadvisor reviews. This is no surprise with the beautiful seasonal displays on show exciting 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.
5. Mottisfont Abbey
Depending on when you plan to visit this historical estate in Hampshire, you will be greeted with a breathtaking seasonal display stretching across 1,600 acres of land. From its beautiful winter garden and pathways of spring bulbs to early summer roses and classic autumnal colour, this is a garden you should plan to visit throughout the seasons to appreciate its full potential. The garden carries 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 56% of excellent Tripadvisor views.
6. Powis Castle
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.
7. Stourhead Gardens
Located in Wiltshire with a lake at its centre, Stourhead gardens have one of the finest landscapes available and sees over 400,000 visitors a year. 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 an excellent review on Tripadvisor after visiting the location.
8. Sculpture Garden at Farleys House & Gallery
With 86% of excellent reviews on Tripadvisor, this Sculpture garden, tucked away in the Sussex countryside, comes out on top for the highest number of good reviews from its visitors. On the smaller side, it covers just 3 acres of land, but don’t let this put you off, it is the perfect place to relax, picnic, and enjoy breathtaking views of the South Downs.
9. Bodnant Gardens
This is one of the finest gardens in Wales, with a beautiful national trust property overlooking 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, which 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 has been snapped over 20,000 times under the location’s hashtag.
10. Royal Botanic Garden
Another one of the best botanical gardens can be found up north in Edinburgh. The Royal Botanic Garden receives an impressive 450,000+ 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 26,000 tagged posts on Instagram.
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.