Gardens in the Cotswolds

Gardens in the Cotswolds

The glorious Cotswolds National Landscape is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in the country, set at the foot of stately homes, emerald woodland and flowing countryside. Providing an ever-changing backdrop – from the multi-coloured blooms of spring to the copper-coloured leaves of autumn – they provide year-round sanctuary for contemplation and exploration.

To trace weaving paths through floral idylls, here’s our complete guide to some of the best gardens in the Cotswolds.

Abbey House Manor Gardens, Malmesbury

The beautiful golden stone house and topiaries at Abbey House Manor and Gardens in the Cotswolds

Nestled within the grounds of a 12th Century abbey, Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury, North Wiltshire, are awash with colour, personality and history. Providing a portal into a world of floral serenity, they are a wonderful place to explore and let the imagination drift through time. Take part in guided garden tours and learn about the garden’s fascinating history (the first King of England is said to be buried here) and enjoy this historic haven in the heart of the Cotswolds.

Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh

Bluebells at Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds

A stunning 56-acre woodland reserve, home to a huge array of rare and exotic trees, Batsford Arboretum in Evenlode Valley, Gloucestershire, is a must-visit. From the snowdrops of spring to the snowflakes of winter, this dog-friendly garden in the Cotswolds provides year-round inspiration. Garden highlights include the National Collection of Japanese flowering cherries and one of the UK’s first comprehensive collections of bamboo.

Bourton House Garden, Moreton-in-Marsh

The beautiful knot garden with maze-like hedges at Bourton House Garden in the Cotswolds

Bourton House Garden near Stow on the Wold is an award-winning 3-acre garden with beautiful countryside views. A patchwork of flowing pasture, gardens and manicured borders, it has been hailed as one of the best attractions in the Cotswolds for its visionary planting, colour combinations and unusual and attractive species of plants. From its imaginative topiary to its water features fed from natural springs to its floral borders, there is something to see at every turn.

Brockworth Court and Garden, Brockworth

To see one of the prettiest cottage gardens in the Cotswolds, head over to Brockworth Court and Garden in Brockworth village, Gloucestershire (close to Cooper’s Hill of cheese-rolling infamy). Part of a historic estate, the organic gardens here have roots dating back to the 13th Century and were once visited by Henry VIII and his wife Anne Boleyn in 1535. For an exclusive experience, private garden tours are available by appointment in advance.

Cerney House Gardens, North Cerney

A beautiful green archway at Cerney House Gardens in the Cotswolds

Situated near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, Cerney House Gardens invite you to explore 40 acres of dog-friendly Cotswolds parkland and Victorian garden. Woven with working kitchen plots, picturesque floral corridors, hidden corners and organic landscapes, these timeless gardens exude nostalgic romance and beauty. Follow Cerney’s paths and look out for classic favourites, including dahlias in spring and roses in summer. For further exploration, Cotswold Water Park in South Cerney is just 10 miles away. 

Colesbourne Park, Colesbourne

A close up of some of the flowers on display at Colesbourne Park in the Cotswolds

England’s greatest snowdrop garden, Colesbourne Park near Cheltenham is the place to go in spring. Planted with around 350 cultivators, the gardens and grounds here don a bright white cloak between January and March, decorated with the delicate petals of pearly snowdrop flowers. Visit the dog-friendly gardens from late January to late February and wander the 10 acres of formal snowdrop walks, or book a guided tour.

Cotswold Lavender, Snowshill

Rows upon rows of lavender at Cotswold Lavender

Not far from Broadway in the Worcestershire Cotswolds, Cotswold Lavender awaits with 70 acres of lavender fields stretching across picture-perfect English countryside. A seasonal favourite, the lavender fields are open from June to August when the flowers are in full flourish, awash with the intoxicating floral scents of thousands upon thousands of blooms. Elsewhere, the farm also boasts wildflower meadows and a beechwood trail, great for family-friendly adventures.

Dyrham Park, Bath

The perfectly cut lawns and floral displays at Dyrham Park in the Cotswolds

The National Trust-run Dyrham Park near Bath in South Gloucestershire is home to a Grade I listed baroque English country house and an ancient deer park. Grade II* listed, the 270-acre parkland is peppered with wizened trees, still ponds, wildflower orchards and beautiful gardens, all of which combine to make for one of the most exciting destinations for bucolic exploration in the Cotswolds. On rainy days, you can explore inside the house too.

Hidcote Manor Gardens, Chipping Campden

Looking over the carefully cut bushes and trees at the manor of Hidcote Manor Gardens in the Cotswolds

A world-famous, Arts and Crafts garden created by renowned horticulturist and collector, Major Lawrence Johnston, Hidcote is a real gem. A magnet for gardeners, landscapers and naturalists of all ages, it’s the perfect place for picnics, nature spotting, lawn games (in summer) and of course gleaning herbaceous inspiration. Discover its 10 acres of formal areas and garden rooms, and revel in Hidcote’s abundant natural beauty.

Highgrove House, Tetbury

The incredible gardens and lawns of Highgrove House in the Cotswolds

The private residence of the British Royal Family, Highgrove House and Gardens near Tetbury in Gloucestershire has long been renowned for its regal prestige. The result of King Charles III’s devotion to transforming the house’s green spaces, Highgrove’s gardens are widely recognised as some of the most inspiring in the UK. To explore this royal garden, from its Sundial Garden to its wildflower meadows, book a guided tour – made all the more special with a Champagne tea.

Kelmscott Manor Gardens, Lechdale

The lovely golden-stone house and carefully styled gardens at Kelmscott Manor

Kelmscott Manor is a 16th Century, limestone Arts and Crafts house in the Cotswolds village of Kelmscott in West Oxfordshire. Located close to the banks of the River Thames and surrounded by a pastoral quilt, its walled gardens offer a real haven far from ‘the outside world’. With a lawn garden, mulberry garden, tea lawn, orchard and more, its medley of outdoor spaces provide an idyllic way to pass the time.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Chipping Campden

The beautiful house covered in ivy at Kiftsgate Court Gardens in the Cotswolds

Thanks to the wonderful work and vision of three generations of gardeners, the family-run Kiftsgate Court Gardens in Mickleton, Chipping Campden, are a real sensory feast. Amongst its floral plantings, some of its most famous residents come in the form of its Kiftsgate rose, claimed to be the biggest of its kind in England. Coming into bloom from early to mid-July, this species of rambling rose takes centre stage with a cascade of white flowers and is a true sight to behold.

Miserden Garden, Stroud

The lovely landscape gardens at Miserden are an idyllic natural playground in the Gloucestershire countryside. Originally designed in the 17th Century, they await with far-reaching views over the adjoining deer park and Cotswolds Hills beyond, as well as a plethora of hidden attractions. From its topiary yew tree walk to its floral borders, and from its 400-year-old mulberry tree to its stone summerhouse, there’s lots to see and do here.

Painswick Rococo Garden

An incredible white colonnade at Painswick Rococo Gardens in the Cotswolds

Designed in the 1740s, Painswick’s scenic Rococo Garden originally served as a fanciful pleasure garden for the estate’s owners. In fact, the word ‘rococo’ itself was a fashionable 18th Century term for certain aesthetics related to ornamental decoration, pastel tones and asymmetrical design. Today, you can explore these dog-friendly Gloucestershire gardens at your own pace, discovering all the secret gems and delights before refuelling at the onsite café.

Rodmarton Manor, Cirencester

The golden-stoned exterior of Rodmarton Manor with flowers and topiaries out front

A real favourite amongst nature-lovers, the beautiful Arts and Crafts Rodmarton Manor near Rodborough Common is the proud owner of 8 acres of glorious Cotswold gardens. Planned by Ernest Barnsley, its original design as a series of outdoor rooms has been preserved to this day, providing visitors with a number of spaces to sit, wander and savour countryside views. From its tallest pine to its smallest flower, there is something for everyone to appreciate here.

Rousham Gardens, Rousham

The intricate maze of bushes at Rousham Gardens in the Cotswolds

The brainchild of British designer and landscape architect William Kent, Rousham Gardens in Rousham near Bicester offers a taste of unspoilt garden paradise. Retaining many of its original 18th Century features, it’s a wonderful destination for leisurely picnics, botanical sketching, mindfulness and absorbing the sights and sounds of nature. For added incentive, there are also some great eateries nearby too, including the popular Yurt at Nicholsons in North Aston.

Sezincote House, Sezincote

The incredible Indian-inspired building at Sezincote House

The spectacular Sezincote House in Moreton-in-Marsh is a gorgeous juxtaposition  surrounded by Cotswolds countryside. Fashioned in the Mogul style of Rajasthan, this Indian-inspired architectural showstopper is surrounded by gardens with exotic influences, all intertwined with native British plants and bucolic countryside. Follow in the footsteps of poet John Betjeman and wander “under the early yellow leaves of oaks” to uncover the garden’s bridge, waterfall, pools and more.

Snowshill Manor, Broadway

The pretty garden and path at Snowshill Manor

The English architect, craftsman and poet Charles Wade turned his home at Snowshill Manor near Broadway into a stage for his works and collections. Today, his former abode is a great family-friendly attraction in the Cotswolds which, excitingly for botanists, extends into a series of garden rooms. Looked after by the National Trust, its well-maintained borders encompass a range of delights, from the walled Well Court to the model Cornish fishing harbour in Wolf’s Cove.

Sudeley Castle Gardens, Winchcombe

The impressive garden at Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds

For one of the best gardens in the Cotswolds, head over to Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. Surrounded by 10 award-winning gardens, the castle offers endless inspiration for exploration. Visit the garden’s 15th Century church (where the English queen Katherine Parr is buried), the tithe barn garden, knot garden, secret garden and more, and take the kids to let off steam in the outdoor adventure playground.

Upton Wold Garden, Moreton-in-Marsh

Less than 3 miles from the famous Broadway Tower, Upton Wold Garden is one of the Cotswolds’ hidden gems. Home to a magnificent collection of trees, shrubs and plants, it’s a place of wonder for green thumbed gardeners and admirers of all ages. It also happens to hold a National Collection of juglans (walnut) and of pterocarya (wingnuts). From its canal, ponds and fountains to its woodland, lawns and gardens, there is plenty to capture the imagination.

Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury

Looking through the trees at the historic house at Westonbirt Arboretum in the Cotswolds

Organic in approach, towering trees reign supreme at the National Arboretum in Westonbirt, while plants tumble over each other in a display of manicured wilderness. Located near Tetbury, it’s home to 2,500 different species of trees from across the globe, including five National Collections. Follow the network of paths that tunnel through the trees and take inspiration from this world-renowned collection of leafy beauties.

Feeling inspired to explore the gardens of the Cotswolds? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here.

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