Five of the best gardens to visit this winter

Five of the best gardens to visit this winter

21 Nov 2019 - 12:28 BY Elizabeth Oliver

As the temperature falls, there’s nothing better than wrapping up warm and setting off on a winter walk. From formal gardens to tucked-away grounds, discover some of the best sites to visit this season.

Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge

© National Trust Images/Nick Meers© National Trust Images/Nick Meers

Offset the season’s overcast days with a stroll through Anglesey Abbey’s 114-acre grounds. Filled with the scent of sarcococca and winter-flowering honeysuckle, its winter garden is ablaze with fiery colours, from the orange-hued scarlet willow to red-barked dogwood. Between January and February, more than 300 types of snowdrops carpet the grounds, including 20 species that are unique to the site.

Anglesey Abbey, Quy Road, Lode, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

The Mud Maid © Toby StrongThe Mud Maid © Toby Strong

The onset of winter adds a little extra magic to this once-hidden garden. Discovered following a hurricane in the 1990s, this forgotten garden became derelict after World War I. Look out for the giant sculptures in the grounds, such as the slumbering Mud Maid, who is clad in ivory and moss. 

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan, Saint Austell, Cornwall

RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Essex

©RHS / Lee Beel© RHS / Lee Beel

Boasting views over the Essex countryside, RHS Garden Hyde Hall brings together traditional and contemporary styles. On a frosty day, the colours of the winter garden are especially striking. Tufted hair grass jostles next to the seedheads of gayfeather, and the glossy foliage of awabuki sweet viburnum contrasts with the yellow-leaved calamus. Try to spot the winter-flowering witch hazel as you walk through the grounds. 

RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex


Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

 © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Spanning 55 acres, the grounds of this National Trust property provide the perfect setting for a bracing winter walk. Its Edwardian gardens contain a series of interconnecting ‘garden rooms,’ which are structured around different themes. Make sure to explore the Kitchen Garden, home to collections of curly kale, squash and cabbages, and admire the icy water features. For a throwback to warmer times, head to the glasshouse, which contains tropical orchids and banana trees.

Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

Crarae Garden, Argyll & The Isles

 National Trust for ScotlandNational Trust for Scotland

Located in the Argyll hills, Crarae Garden has plenty to enthral visitors, whatever the season. In winter, the Himalayan-style garden bursts into life with flowering witch hazel and early-blooming rhododendrons. Take time to spot ice sculptures around the Crarae Burn, a stream surrounded by thickets of maple, birch and evergreens.

Crarae Garden, Crarae, Inveraray

Elizabeth Oliver is Editorial Assistant, The Arts Society Magazine


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