Stourhead

1. Stourhead

Described as a ‘living work of art’ when it first opened in 1740, this world-famous landscaped garden is every bit as breath-taking today. The 1,072-hectare estate near Mere, Wiltshire, is best known for its magnificent lake and the picturesque temple (the Temple of Apollo) that sits in its centre. Anything look familiar? The lake, temple and pretty Palladian bridge all starred in the 2005 remake of Pride & Prejudice. If it’s good enough for Mr Darcy…

Studley Royal Water Garden

2. Studley Royal Water Garden

The beauty of this incredible World Heritage Site is all thanks to a man named John Aislabie. In an attempt to impress visitors to his Yorkshire estate, he transformed (what was) wild woodland into one of the country’s most stunning Georgian water gardens. The highlight is ‘The Surprise View’ or ‘Anne Boleyn’s Seat’ (named after the sharp intake of breath you make when you come across it), which boasts unrivalled views of the Abbey ruins in the distance.

Hill Top

3. Hill Top

Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton Tail: this quintessential English garden in Cumbria was home to them all. Formerly owned by Beatrix Potter ‒ along with the 17th-century farmhouse in the grounds ‒ its informally planted flowerbeds and colourful vegetable patches are bursting with charm. The garden path, which the author loved so much, was written into not one, but two of her books. If you look closely, you might even see Peter Rabbithopping amongst the hedgerows (we like to think so, anyway)…

Trebah Garden

4. Trebah Garden

Searching for paradise? Look no further. Filled with exotic plants and flowers ‒ warmed by the Gulf Stream ‒ this sub-tropical garden is what we imagine Narnia or Neverland to look like in real life. From the sheltered and secluded creeks and stunning coastal backdrop to the giant green Gunnera that grows lush and tall in the summer months, this 26-acre jungle is a truly magical corner of the Cornish countryside. The best part? It’s only a drive away (no planes necessary)…

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

5. Sissinghurst Castle Garden

This is a garden for true romantics. Transformed in the 1930s by poet Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, this former prison (which dates all the way back to the 1700s) in Kent is now one of the most famous gardens in the world. Vita’s legacy and love of old English roses ‒ found both in her garden and her prose ‒ still lives on today in the castle’s spectacular grounds, with over 500 being planted this year alone. We told you it was romantic.

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