6 Of The Best Gardens to Visit in the Cotswolds (2023)

If you love flower and fauna, then read on as we bring you the six of the best gardens to visit in the Cotswolds.

These gardens are a perfect way to immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of the Cotswolds and explore the charm of England’s rural heartland.

From historic houses to picturesque villages, the gardens in the Cotswolds offer a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy.

The Cotswolds, with its stunning landscapes, is also home to a wonderful variety of flora and fauna.

You can spot the lovely Harebell, a beautiful flowering plant found across the northern hemisphere, and the charming Spanish Bluebell, often seen in gardens and known for crossbreeding with the UK species.

There are ongoing efforts to preserve traditional flower meadows in the Cotswolds, cultivating species native to the region.

With the presence of unique plants, the Cotswolds is truly a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Quick Take

  • The Cotswolds is home to stunning gardens that offer a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy.
  • Colesbourne Gardens, Highgrove Royal Gardens, Newark Park, Painswick Rocco Garden, Hidcote, and Kiftsgate Court Gardens are must-visit locations.
  • Whether you love historic houses, picturesque villages, or exploring the beauty of the countryside, the gardens in the Cotswolds have something for everyone.

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Gardens To Visit In The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in England. Whether you prefer formal or informal gardens, there is something for everyone.

From the stunning snowdrops, daffodils, and bluebells in the spring to the vibrant fall colours, the gardens in the Cotswolds are a sight to behold.

One of the most famous gardens to visit in the Cotswolds is Hidcote Manor Garden. Created by the visionary garden designer Lawrence Johnston in 1907, Hidcote is renowned for its stunning design.

The garden is divided into a series of outdoor ‘rooms’, each with its own unique character and charm. Highlights include the stunning red borders, the serene white garden, and the wildflower meadow.

Another must-visit garden is Kiftsgate Court Gardens. Located just 800 yards from Hidcote, Kiftsgate is a beautiful English garden that has been lovingly created over three generations.

The garden boasts stunning views of the Cotswold hills and is home to a wide variety of plants, including rare and unusual species.

If you’re looking for a more informal garden, then Bourton House Garden is the perfect choice. Set in the grounds of a grand 18th-century manor house, the garden features many rare and unusual plants in the colorful herbaceous borders, but the stars of the show here must be the imaginative collection of topiary – including a knot garden, parterre, and topiary walk.

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Colesbourne Gardens – A Tranquil Historic Park

Colesbourne Gardens is a must-see and is found halfway between Cirencester and Cheltenham in the Churn Valley and this private garden is a hidden gem in the heart of the Cotswolds.

One of the highlights of Colesbourne Gardens is the snowdrop display that takes place every spring.

With around 350 snowdrop cultivars, including Galanthus plicatus ‘Diggory’ and Galanthus elwesii ‘Carolyn Elwes’, it’s a sight to behold. The snowdrops are spread throughout the garden and woodland walks, making for a lovely stroll.

Besides the snowdrops, Colesbourne Gardens also features a beautiful lake, historic houses, and a Victorian walled garden. You can take a picnic and enjoy the peaceful surroundings, or simply take a leisurely walk and soak up the atmosphere.

If you’re interested in history, Colesbourne Gardens has plenty to offer. The garden has been owned by the Elwes family for over 200 years, and the historic houses and walled garden are a testament to their legacy. The garden also has a fascinating collection of trees, which are stunning in the fall.

Overall, Colesbourne Gardens is a tranquil and historic park that is well worth a visit if you’re in the Cotswolds. Whether you’re a fan of snowdrops, historic houses, or just enjoy a peaceful walk in beautiful surroundings, Colesbourne Gardens has something for everyone.

Highgrove Royal Gardens – The Private Garden of King Charles III

If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable garden experience, look no further than the Highgrove Royal Gardens. These gardens are the private residence of Their Majesties, The King Charles III and The Queen Camilla, and are near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England.

The gardens at Highgrove are a true masterpiece, featuring a variety of different styles and themes. One of the highlights of the garden is the Persian Garden, which was inspired by the ancient gardens of Persia. This garden features a central pond, surrounded by a series of water rills and fountains, and is planted with a variety of exotic plants and trees.

Another must-see feature of the Highgrove Royal Gardens is the wildflower meadow, which was created on the advice of Miriam Rothschild, a leading advocate of biodiversity. This meadow is home to a variety of wildflowers and grasses, and is a haven for bees, butterflies, and other wildlife.

Visitors to the Highgrove Royal Gardens can take a guided tour of the gardens, which includes access to the gardens and some of the estate’s historic buildings. There are also private tours available for those looking for a more exclusive experience.

Please note that the house at Highgrove is not open to the public, but the gardens are open between April and October every year.

Unlike other gardens to visit in the Cotswolds, the Highgrove Royal Gardens are subject to additional security procedures and only those who join groups are allowed access. Walk in visitors are not permitted entry.

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Newark Park – An Enchanting Woodland Garden

If you’re looking for a peaceful and enchanting woodland garden in the Cotswolds, then Newark Park is the perfect destination for you. This National Trust property is situated in the green hills overlooking the valley of the River Severn and offers a great place to get away and explore the countryside.

The garden and parkland’s natural location means there are lots of birds to spot, such as red kites and owls. It’s also a glorious spot for bluebell spotting in the springtime, with swathes of these beautiful flowers carpeting the woodland floor.

As you wander through the garden, you’ll come across a variety of trees and wildflowers. The parkland is home to several rare and ancient trees, including a 500-year-old oak tree and a 300-year-old beech tree. The arboreta is a great place to explore and learn about different tree species.

Besides the woodland garden, Newark Park also has a beautiful walled garden, which is home to a variety of fruit trees and vegetables. It’s a magnificent place to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

If you’re planning a visit to Newark Park, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera to capture the beauty of this enchanting garden.

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Painswick Rococo Garden – A Spectacular 18th Century Landscape Garden

If you’re looking for a truly unique garden experience in the Cotswolds, look no further than Painswick Rococo Garden. This spectacular 18th century landscape garden is a hidden gem that is not to be missed.

Designed in the 1740s as an English country gentleman’s pleasure garden, Painswick Rococo Garden is a place where you can escape, explore, and imagine. It was created for holding intimate garden parties, and it’s easy to see why. The garden is laid out in a hidden valley around Painswick House, and it’s the country’s only complete surviving rococo garden.

One of the highlights of Painswick Rococo Garden is the parterre. This is a formal garden that is laid out in a symmetrical pattern. The parterre is filled with colorful flowers and is a great place to take a stroll or simply relax and enjoy the view.

Another must-see area of the garden is the knot garden. This is a formal garden that is designed to resemble a knot. It’s made up of low hedges that are trimmed into intricate patterns. The knot garden is a great place to take photos and enjoy the beauty of the garden.

In addition to the parterre and knot garden, there are many other areas of the garden to explore. You can take a stroll through the woodland garden, which is filled with native trees and shrubs, or relax in the orchard, which is filled with apple, pear, and plum trees.

Overall, Painswick Rococo Garden is a spectacular 18th century landscape garden that is not to be missed. Whether you’re a garden enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful place to relax and unwind, this garden has something for everyone.

There are still plenty of gardens to visit in the Cotswolds.

Hidcote – Vibrant and Eclectic Colorful Plantings

If you’re looking for a garden with an eclectic mix of vibrant and colorful plantings, Hidcote is the place to go. This garden, located in the north Cotswolds, is a world-famous Arts and Crafts-inspired garden created by the talented horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston.

The garden covers an area of 10.5 acres and takes visitors on a journey through intimate formal areas revealing a different atmosphere or new vista at every turn.

One of the unique features of Hidcote is its intricate outdoor spaces, including herbaceous borders, trees, and shrubs.

The garden’s selection of plants is acclaimed for its variety, thanks to Johnston’s dedication to traveling around the world to hunt down exotic plants in far-flung locations. The result is a garden that is both vibrant and eclectic, with an array of colors and textures that are sure to delight any visitor.

Hidcote Manor is a must-see if you’re on holiday in the Cotswolds. The garden is full of surprises, with innovative gardens that are unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just someone who enjoys beautiful outdoor spaces, Hidcote is sure to impress.

So if you’re looking for a garden that is both vibrant and eclectic, be sure to visit Hidcote. With its colorful plantings, innovative gardens, and beautiful outdoor spaces, it’s a must-see for anyone visiting the Cotswolds.

This is one of my favorite gardens to visit.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens – Botanical Bliss in an English Countryside Setting

If you’re looking for a stunning garden to visit in the Cotswolds, Kiftsgate Court Gardens is a must-see. This family-run garden has been the creation of three generations of women gardeners and is renowned for its beautiful roses, including the world-famous Kiftsgate rose.

Located in the countryside above the village of Mickleton, Kiftsgate Court Gardens is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The garden is perched on the edge of the Cotswolds, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

As you wander through the gardens, you’ll be treated to a wide variety of rare plants and shrubs, including many medicinal plants. Take a moment to breathe in the fragrant scents of lavender, rosemary, and thyme, or admire the vibrant colors of the many flowers in bloom.

One of the highlights of Kiftsgate Court Gardens is the stunning water garden, which features a beautiful fountain and a wide variety of aquatic plants. This peaceful oasis is the perfect place to relax and unwind, surrounded by the soothing sounds of flowing water.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just looking for a peaceful place to spend an afternoon, Kiftsgate Court Gardens is a must-visit destination in the Cotswolds.

So why not pack a picnic, grab a book, and spend the day exploring this beautiful English garden?

As a recap,

  1. Colesbourne Gardens is a tranquil historic park and famous for its snowdrop collection and is home to over 250 varieties.
  2. Highgrove Royal Gardens was created by King Charles III and is filled with vibrant and eclectic, colorful plantings.
  3. Newark Park is an enchanting woodland garden that offers visitors a chance to explore the beauty of the Cotswolds countryside.
  4. Painswick Rocco Garden is a spectacular 18th-century landscape garden that is a popular destination for visitors.
  5. Hidcote is another garden that is worth visiting and known for its outdoor rooms and vibrant plantings.
  6. Kiftsgate Court Gardens is a botanical bliss in an English countryside setting that is perfect for those who love flowers and plants.

Other notable gardens in the Cotswolds include Snowshill Manor and Garden, which is known for its stunning views of the surrounding countryside, and the beautiful gardens at Asthall Manor, which are home to a wide variety of plants and trees.

By highlighting six gardens to visit in the Cotswolds, we hope you visit whether as a nature lover, plant enthusiast, garden fan or just looking for a peaceful spot to explore – these gardens will not disappoint!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-visit gardens in the Cotswolds?

There are many gardens to visit in the Cotswolds, including Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Hidcote Manor Gardens, Snowshill Manor and Garden, and Bourton House Garden.

Are there any gardens near Cheltenham worth visiting?

Yes, there are many gardens near Cheltenham with the popular ones being Sudeley Castle and Gardens, The Garden at Miserden, and The Rococo Garden.

Which gardens in the Cotswolds have notable sculptured hedges?

There are many gardens in the Cotswolds featuring sculptured hedges, including Hidcote Manor Gardens and Kiftsgate Court Gardens. Both of these gardens have impressive hedges that are meticulously maintained and add to the beauty of the gardens.

Is Hidcote Manor Gardens worth a visit?

Yes, Hidcote Manor Gardens is definitely worth a visit. This world-famous garden is known for its beautiful design and stunning plant collection. The garden is divided into different outdoor “rooms,” each with its own unique character and features.

What makes a Cotswold garden unique?

Cotswolds gardens are unique because they often feature traditional English garden design elements, such as herbaceous borders, topiary, and water features. They also often incorporate local materials, such as Cotswold stone, into their design. Cotswold gardens are known for their beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

Are there any rose gardens in the Cotswolds worth seeing?

Yes, there are several rose gardens to visit in the Cotswolds. Some of the best ones include Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Snowshill Manor and Garden, and Bourton House Garden. These gardens have beautiful collections of roses and are a must-visit for any rose enthusiast.

Enchantment Awaits
Enchantment Awaits

The Cotswolds region is home to many charming villages and towns, churches, historic landmarks, outdoor activities, in a beautiful part of England. After visiting the region many times, we created the TravelCotswolds.com website dedicated to helping others plan their own trips to the Cotswolds.

Take a look at these other posts on gardens to visit in the Cotswolds: Batsford Arboretum: A Tree-mendous Escape In The Cotswolds!, Cotswolds: Discover the Best Gardens in the Cotswolds, and 10 Best Cotswolds Gardens To Visit.

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