Britain’s Historical Houses: Gardens

The British Landscape is rich with ancient and majestic houses, hidden away in the nooks of cities and in the depths of the countryside. Britain’s Historical Houses therefore explores these houses and brings their stories to you, our readers.

Here we will be exploring the ornate gardens of Britain’s Historical Houses.

As we all know, winter (and fall and spring and sometimes summer) can be rough here, so when the weather is nice enough to enjoy the splendid gardens that we have here in Great Britain, we seize the opportunity to visit. The main attraction to some of the greatest historical houses is the gardens, preserved and restored to showcase their beauty.

1. Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire – Crathes Castle is a 16th century tower house surrounded by over 500 acres of green space and about four acres of walled garden. The walled garden within Crathes Castle has enchanted visitors for nearly 400 years.  During the summer, roses and herbaceous perennials brighten the garden with an array of vibrant colours that last until September. Don’t fear if you can’t make it for the summer, the colours in Autumn are quite spectacular, as well.

You may want to stay in the gardens all night after a leisurely walk in the grounds all day, but grass isn’t as comfortable as you think to sleep on. Best Loved Hotels Meldrum House is located in Aberdeenshire and has it’s own fair share of open green space, so we’d recommend staying there. The world-famous golf course is one of the few in the country that measures over 7,000 yards. Fun fact: it was believed to be owned by the Knights Templar in the 13th century.

2. Rousham House, Oxfordshire – The gardens of this 17th century house were designed by William Kent in the 18th century and have remained almost exactly how they were when he first executed his intricate designs. Surrounded by ponds and baths are classical statues of Roman gods and mythological creatures. To get to the garden, you will pass temples and follies that represent the style of the 18th century. Hungry? There are espalier apple trees surrounding the garden.

The Bay Tree Hotel in Burford, Oxfordshire, offers its own terraced garden to relax in after a long day of sightseeing or perfect for afternoon tea. The lovely Bay Tree is located right in the heart of one of the most picturesque Cotswolds villages and has welcomed guests since 1565 when it was the country home of Elizabeth l’s Chief Baron of the Exchequer.

3. Sissinghurst Castle, Kent – The world famous Sissinghurst Castle Gardens were created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville West, a poet associated with the Bloomsbury Group, and are maintained and owned by the National Trust today. These gardens are especially magnificent because they are set up as different rooms, each with a different theme and separated by hedges. One of the most famous rooms is the White Garden, designed in 1950. The White Garden has a canopy causing rays of sunlight to peek in and shine on the many roses lining the walkway.

The Salutation, Kent, is a charming bed & breakfast that also boasts an impressive garden. Read a book or have a picnic in the 3.5 acre Lutyens and Jekyll gardens. The decor is a calming combination of cream furniture and polished parlours. The Salutation is also located near the must-see Canterbury Cathedral.

Crathes Castle Gardens image by Nikon Jim. Rousham House Gardens image by Oxon Trev. Sissinghurst Gardens image by Mark Wordy