Top Ten Gardens to visit in England in 2016 – the Year of the English Garden
With many key anniversaries to be celebrated in 2016, not least the 300th anniversary of ‘Capability’ Brown – one of England’s most famous landscape designers, we look ahead with great anticipation to the Year of the English Garden. There are so many wonderful gardens, how to choose our top ten? Well, we have selected those gardens that are celebrating something very special in 2016, or have something new to offer. We hope you enjoy reading our top ten picks. Check out how you can visit some of the fabulous gardens on our list by browsing our 2016 Tours.
1. Hill Top – this lovely small cottage garden in the English Lake District surrounds Hill Top, the 17th century farmhouse home of Beatrix Potter, children’s author and conservationist. It is a ‘time capsule’ of her life, particularly poignant as we celebrate 150 years since her birth in 1866. We visit Hill Top in September on our Great Houses and Gardens of Yorkshire and Lake District Tour, 11-18th September 2016
2. Blenheim Palace – at the other end of the gardening scale are the extensive gardens and grounds at Blenheim Palace that cover some 2000 acres. These include the fabulous formal gardens featuring The Water Terraces, The Italian Garden, the Rose Garden and The Secret Garden. But to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown, don’t miss the awe inspiring landscape grounds he created. We visit Blenheim Palace on our Summer Gardens with Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Tour, 3-9th July 2016. We also see one of his finest gardens at Bowood House on our Glorious Gardens from Windsor to Bath Tour.
3. Hampton Court Palace – 2016 sees H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II celebrate her 90th birthday. The Royal Palace, Hampton Court hosts the world’s largest Flower Show in July and from there you can explore the incredible palace and gardens which surround. Alternatively visit one of the Queen’s very own favourite residences, Windsor Castle – the longest inhabited Castle in England. We visit both Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle on our Summer Gardens with Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Tour, 3-9th July 2016.
4. Chelsea Flower Show – the world’s most famous and prestigious flower show. There will be twenty eight show gardens, the famous floral pavilion and of course the fabulous trade stands. We look forward to seeing The British Eccentrics Garden in 2016, sponsored by Harrods. It promises ‘a gentle garden of terraces and topiary complete with octagonal folly and a sunken Italianate pond’. We visit Chelsea Flower Show on our Spring Gardens with Chelsea Flower Show Tour, 21-28th May 2016
5. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – 2016 celebrates the 450th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare – England’s most renowned playwright. The garden at his wife’s family home is a riot of colour and represents a typical productive cottage garden. His family home, New Place, has been updated to tell the story of Shakespeare’s mature years. We visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Stratford-upon-Avon on our Summer Gardens with Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Tour, 3-9th July 2016.
6. Newby Hall – if Dolls Houses are your thing, Newby Hall in North Yorkshire is the place for you to visit in 2016. It is now home to Britain’s finest collection of Dolls Houses. But the draw for many garden lovers is its wonderful 25 acre garden featuring one of the longest herbaceous borders in Europe. It has been completely replanted over the last two years, so by September 2016 it will be looking splendid. We visit Newby Hall on our Great Houses and Gardens of Yorkshire and Lake District Tour, 11-18th September 2016
7. Goodnestone Park Gardens – Jane Austen was a regular visitor here as her brother married the daughter of the house and lived nearby. 2016 will celebrate the 200 year celebration of Jane Austen’s novel ‘Emma’ so now would be a good time to walk in her footsteps at this lovely and most romantic garden in Kent. We visit Goodnestone Park Gardens on our Spring Gardens with Chelsea Flower Show Tour, 21-28th May 2016
8. Shute House – described by Penelope Hobhouse as “a modest-sized masterpiece by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, created in 1968, but timeless in atmosphere”. This private garden’s most famous feature is the rill garden. Water from the River Nadder runs over copper waterfalls designed to make musical sounds. 2016 will mark 20 years since the death of Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe and we very much admire his work at Shute House and his book The Landscape of Man. We visit Shute House on our Glorious Gardens from Windsor to Bath Tour, 3-9th July 2016.
9. Bury Court – here we encounter two very individual and stylish gardens stretching around one property in Hampshire, respectively by Piet Oudolf (1995) and Christopher Bradley-Hole (2001). We’ll be enjoying this garden in its 15th season. The Oudolf garden is typically exuberant with its sustainable perennials while Bradley-Hole has a more formal architectural approach. We visit Bury Court on our Glorious Gardens from Windsor to Bath Tour, 3-9th July 2016.
10. Great Dixter – Famous garden of late plantsman Christopher Lloyd. The house and garden were originally restored by Lutyens in the 1920s to create a series of enclosures and garden themes. A great garden for plantsmen, continually developing under the creative direction of head gardener Fergus Garrett. And why on our top ten? Well, we just love this garden! We visit Great Dixter on our Spring Gardens with Chelsea Flower Show Tour, 21-28th May 2016