ENGLISH GARDENS TRAVEL GUIDE
England is a nation of garden lovers, and the people of this green nation take great pride in creating serene sanctuaries of rolling lawns and a range of colourful flora. With peaceful lakes dotted with elegant white swans, forest paths leading to secret walled courtyards and meadows blossoming with vibrant flowers, you'll find some of the most alluring gardens in the world here.
Enjoy the beauty of the landscape while unearthing the rich history of this nation's stately manors, with the homes and gardens of everyone from Winston Churchill to the Kings and Queens of England's past open to the public. Drink in the enchanting array of English gardens by travelling with P&O Ferries today.
Famous Gardens in England
If you want to explore London's famous green areas, you won't be short on choice. Kew Gardens to the city's south west contains the world's largest living plant collection, with over 30,000 types found over its 130 hectares of thick foliage and towering trees. Spend your time here viewing the shrubbery below from the treetop walkway or relaxing by lily pools, and keep an eye out for ring-necked parakeets, which can be found flying freely around the grounds.
Further south, just outside of London, Wisley is the Royal Horticultural Society's flagship garden. Boasting a world-class selection of plants, you'll see a fantastically vivid display of colour across the carpets of bright bulbs within. Make sure to visit the enormous cathedral-sized glasshouse for exotic plant life and a population of pretty butterflies in season.
If formal gardens aren’t your thing, why not explore the pristine lawns and peaceful lakes of England's finest landscape parks. The vast 2,650 acre Stourhead Estate in Wiltshire, South West England, is one of the most famous examples in the world, taking inspiration from nature in its design and greatly influencing gardens across Europe. The breath-taking grounds are dotted with artefacts from Greek mythology that you can spot while circling the picturesque lake, giving visitors a fascinating tour as they stroll around its grounds. Similarly, the Stowe garden in Buckinghamshire features 28 classical temples, lush greenery, grand Georgian constructions and themed walks.
See the Work of Capability Brown, England's Greatest Gardener
2016 marks the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown's birth, with his legacy as strong as ever. This gifted landscape architect helped to create many of the most iconic and quintessentially English gardens the world knows and loves today. Immortalised in the popular TV series Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is one of Brown's greatest masterpieces, and its carefully sculpted parkland of cedar trees, graceful lawns and pillared temples make it a magical place to visit. You can see more of the master landscaper's ingenuity by visiting Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, or Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
Stately English Homes
As you might expect, many of the most prestigious gardens in England were once owned by royalty. One of the most remarkable is Hampton Court Palace, the former household of King Henry VIII and home to a world famous flower show. Further regal delights can be found at Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, where you can wander through the Elizabethan Garden built to impress Queen Elizabeth I, making sure to find the spectacular marble fountain.
Still, not all the country's most splendid gardens were the domain of aristocrats, with many famous English writers, artists and politicians also creating enviable flower arrangements and treasured refuges too. The renowned diplomat Harold Nicolson created the awe-inspiring Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent, an artful arrangement of plants that surrounds a medieval manor. A visit to Chartwell House in Kent offers a unique insight into English history, with the chance to explore Winston Churchill's former home and see his many paintings. A walk through the fragrant walled garden built in part by the former prime minister himself provides an opportunity to walk in his footsteps and reflect on what you have learned.
Discover the fairy-tale gardens of England with P&O Ferries today.