20 of the best gardens to visit in the UK
With vibrant flowers, dramatic history and stately homes, the UK is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. With so many gardens in the UK, it can be challenging to know where to visit first. To help you decide where to visit on your next camping trip, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite gardens in the UK.
1. Aberglasney Gardens, Wales
Nearest campsite: Rhandirmwyn Club Site (35 minutes)*
Set in the Twyi Valley of Llangathen, Carmarthenshire, Aberglasney is Grade II listed mansion surrounded by 10 acres of magnificent gardens. In 1999, the garden was made famous by the BBC television show, A Garden Lost in Time, which followed its extensive restoration. With an Elizabethan Cloister garden in its centre, Aberglasney is one of the finest gardens in Wales and a short drive from our Rhandirmwyn Club Site.
2. Alnwick Garden, Northumberland
Nearest campsite: Dunstan Hill Club Site (15 minutes)*
Sitting beside the magnificent castle of the same name, the Alnwick Garden comprises formal gardens and fascinating history. Despite falling into disrepair at the turn of the 21st century, the Duchess of Northumberland redeveloped the garden between 2001 and 2006. Today, the Alnwick Garden is one of the most ambitious gardens in the UK. Just a 15-minute drive from our Dunstan Hill Club Site, the garden is home to the world’s largest Taihaku cherry orchard and a spectacular rose garden.
3. Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Gardens, Cornwall
Nearest campsite: Sennen Cove Club Site (35 minutes)*
Located in the charming Cornish town of St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Gardens offers an exclusive insight into one of Britain’s most revered artists. Living and working in Trewyn Studios – now the museum – between 1949 and 1975, Barbara Hepworth was an artist and sculptor renowned for her Modernist work. Take a short drive from our Sennen Cove Club Site, and wander through the gardens, studying her most iconic work.
4. Biddulph Grange Garden, Staffordshire
Nearest campsite: Leek Club Site (25 minutes)*
Situated in the Staffordshire town of Biddulph, near Stoke-on-Trent, Biddulph Grange is a Victorian garden created by James Bateman for his collection of plants. Featuring diverse collections of rhododendrons, summer bedding displays and the oldest surviving golden larch in Britain, Biddulph is a fascinating day out for anyone interested in botany, geology and theology. Located in Staffordshire, our Leek Club Site is a 25-minute drive from Biddulph Grange.
5. Botanic Garden, Belfast
Nearest campsite: Delamont Country Park Club Site (40 minutes)*
Established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, the Botanic Gardens is a significant part of Belfast’s Victorian heritage. With an early example of a glasshouse and some of the world’s oldest seed plants, Belfast’s Botanic Garden is one of the most impressive gardens in Northern Ireland. Located in the heart of the city, within driving distance of our Delamont Country Park Club Site, the Botanic Gardens is a Green Flag Award winner – recognising it as one of the UK’s best open spaces.
6. Branklyn Gardens, Perthshire
Nearest campsite: Scone Club Site (10 minutes)*
Created in the 1920s using seeds collected by plant hunters, Branklyn Gardens covers 2 acres of hillside garden. During springtime, vibrant alpine flowers, dog’s tooth violet and Himalayan blue poppies flower in abundance. Located on the outskirts of the historic city of Perth, it’s less than a 10-minute drive to our Scone Club Site.
7. Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Cambridgeshire
Nearest campsite: Cambridge Club Site (10 minutes)*
Welcoming over 275,000 visitors each year, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a 40-acre, grade II listed heritage garden. Maintaining the University’s collection of over 8,000 plant species, the garden welcomes visitors of all ages while supporting University teaching and research. Located just over 2 miles from our Cambridge Club Site, the botanic garden is home to one of the most diverse collections of trees in the country.
8. Down House, Kent
Nearest campsite: Oldbury Hill Club Site (30 minutes)*
Nestled in the Kent countryside, near our Oldbury Hill Club Site, Down House was the former home of the revered English naturalist Charles Darwin and his family. It was here that Darwin worked on his theories of evolution and his study where he wrote ‘On the Origin of Species’. Stroll through the gardens that inspired Darwin, often described as an outdoor laboratory for his experiments.
9. Eden Project, Cornwall
Nearest campsite: Tregurrian Club Site (30 minutes)*
Often labelled as the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Eden Project is a dramatic global garden housed in tropical biomes. Explore the largest indoor rainforest in the world, wander around 20 acres of gardens and discover over 3,000 varieties of plants at the Eden Project. Housed in a crater the size of 30 football pitches, the Eden Project is a short drive from our Tregurrian Club Site.
10. Gordon Castle Walled Gardens, Scotland
Nearest campsite: Speyside by Craigellachie Club Site (30 minutes)*
Sitting beside Gordon Castle in North East Scotland, world-renowned designer Arne Maynard has lovingly restored the walled garden to its former glory. Over 200 years old, the Gordon Castle Walled Garden is one of the largest and oldest walled gardens in Scotland. Covering eight acres of vegetables, fruit, herbs and cut flowers, the garden is within driving distance of our Cairngorms campsite – Speyside by Craigellachie Club Site.
11. Hidcote Manor Gardens, Cotswolds
Nearest campsite: Winchcombe Club Site (30 minutes)*
Set among the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, Hidcote Manor Garden is one of the most popular and influential arts and crafts gardens in Britain. Created by American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston, the manor is home to mazy pathways, secret gardens and plants that burst with colour. Currently owned by the National Trust, Hidcote Manor Gardens is a short distance from our Winchcombe Club Site.
12. Hilton Court Gardens, Pembrokeshire
Nearest campsite: St David’s Club Site (20 minutes)*
With 8 acres of woodland, gardens, ponds and a geodesic tropical dome, Hilton Court Gardens is the ideal place to take a walk and unwind. Located in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the garden is housed in a Victorian courtyard. Teeming with colourful wildflowers and bustling wildlife, Hilton Court Gardens is a short distance from our St David’s Club Site.
13. Inverewe Garden, Highlands
Nearest campsite: Inverewe Gardens Poolewe Club Site (3 minutes)*
Sitting beside Loch Ewe in the Scottish Highlands, Inverewe Garden is an award-winning botanical garden, home to Wollemi Pines, Tasmanian eucalyptus and California redwoods. Maintained by the National Trust for Scotland, the garden is also home to Scotland’s “Big 5” species: red squirrels, red deer, otters, seals and golden eagles. Overlooking the shimmering water of Loch Ewe, the garden neighbours our Inverewe Gardens Poolewe Club Site.
14. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, London
Nearest campsite: Chertsey Club Site (30 minutes)*
Officially London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kew Gardens is home to the world’s most diverse collection of living plants. Explore the iconic Palm House and its exotic rainforest, before moving on to the Prince of Wales Conservatory, home to 10 of the world’s climatic zones. Less than 30 minutes from Central London, it’s also a short drive or train journey from our Chertsey Club Site.
15. Levens Hall, Lake District
Nearest campsite: Windermere Club Site (35 minutes)*
Located at the gateway to the Lake District National Park, Levens Hall is a privately-owned Elizabethan house in the centre of a 9,500-acre agricultural estate. Home to the world’s oldest topiary gardens, Levens Hall was built around a 13th-century Pele tower and was expanded and rebuilt towards the end of the 16th century. The topiary garden is home to shrubs over 300 years old and is within driving distance of our Windermere Club Site.
16. Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
Nearest campsite: Veryan Club Site (20 minutes)*
Awarded ‘Garden of the Year’ in 2013, the Lost Gardens of Heligan covers 200-acres of exotic gardens. Twenty-five years ago, Heligan’s historic gardens were unknown and unseen; lost under a tangle of weeds. It was only the chance discovery of a door in the ruins that led to the restoration of this once great estate. Sat within Cornwall’s Roseland Heritage Coast, the Lost Gardens is a short distance up the coast from our Veryan Club Site.
17. RHS Hyde Hall, Essex
Nearest campsite: Kelvedon Hatch Club Site (30 minutes)*
Set in the heart of rural Essex, Hyde Hall is an extraordinary garden maintained by the Royal Horticultural Society. Despite sitting just 30 minutes from North London, Hyde Hall is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Since its inception in the mid-1950s, this 360-acre site encompasses diverse gardens, from traditional to modern. Exhibiting ornamental horticulture, wild woodlands and majestic meadows, Hyde Hall is within driving distance of our Kelvedon Hatch Club Site.
18. RHS Rosemoor, Devon
Nearest campsite: Umberleigh Club Site (15 minutes)*
Sheltered in the beautiful Torridge Valley, between Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park, RHS Rosemoor is an enchanting 65-acre garden comprising inspiration and tranquillity. Surrounded by woodland, the garden is rich with natural beauty through every season. Meander through the Rose Gardens; the largest of its kind in the South West. RHS Rosemoor is just a 15-minute drive from our Umberleigh Club Site.
19. Spetchley Park, Worcestershire
Nearest campsite: Blackmore Club Site (20 minutes)*
Home to the Berkeley family for over 400 years, Spetchley Park is home to a collection of rare plants, shrubs and trees from around the world. Surrounded by ancient parkland, lakes and deer park, Spetchley Park is a fantastic day out for the whole family. Just three miles east of the cathedral city of Worcester, Spetchley is also a short drive from our Blackmore Club Site.
20. Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire
Nearest campsite: Boroughbridge Club Site (20 minutes)*
Officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, Studley Royal Water Garden is an awe-inspiring water garden. Veiled in a secluded valley, the Georgian Water Garden includes classical statues, follies and garden buildings. Take a walk up to Surprise View, or “Anne Boleyn’s Seat”, offering spectacular panoramic views of the garden and neighbouring Fountains Abbey. Veiled in a secluded valley in North Yorkshire, Studley Royal Water Garden is a 20-minute drive from our Boroughbridge Club Site.
Are you looking for more historical experiences? Take a look at some of the best castles in the UK to visit on your next camping trip. Still not sure where to book your next camping trip? Read some of our holiday ideas to help inspire your next getaway.