We moved to Surrey nearly 4 years ago now, and one of the things I love most about it is the number of beautiful gardens it has. I must have visited so many now, but each garden has something unique to offer and I love that a visit at different times of year allows you to see a completely different side to a place. These are some of my favourite gardens in Surrey to visit.
RHS Wisley is one of my favourite places to visit and I feel so lucky to have it on our doorstep. It’s a huge space, with so many different areas to explore – a large glasshouse, rose gardens, orchards, a pinetum, as well as spectacular borders. Whatever the time of year, there is always something of interest to see. In summer the Piet Oudolf designed borders look stunning; in autumn the orchards are a highlight; winter brings interest with berries and grasses (or simply take refuge in the warmth of the glasshouse); and spring is dominated with colourful bulb displays, blossom and the fragrance of wisteria.
One of the highlights for me is the annual Butterflies in the Glasshouse event – they crank the temperature in the glasshouse up even higher than usual and you can walk amongst the butterflies. You can read about our visit in 2016 here, as well as our visit to the Harvest Weekend in 2015.
Claremont Landscape Garden
A garden on a grand scale. Claremont Landscape Garden is designed around a beautiful lake, with the stunning amphitheatre providing a wonderful view across the gardens. You can explore the woods, or take a circular walk around the lake (which is short enough for little legs to manage). They also have a playground and cafe to amuse younger guests (I like to walk clockwise around the lake to make sure we arrive at the playground last!). It’s also a National Trust property, so free entry for members.
Losely Park is situated near Guildford and is a charming walled garden. The white garden, planted around a rectangular pond, is one of the highlights in spring and early summer. There are so many paths to explore and such a variety of planting that even though it’s a fairly small scale garden, there is so much to enjoy on a visit here.
I love a good National Trust. Polesden Lacey‘s gardens are beautiful – another walled garden which I always have a soft spot for. The highlight is rose and peony season, when the smell is just amazing.
Savill Garden is set within Windsor Great Park and isn’t one that I tend to visit that often as entrance is quite expensive without membership. They have a stunning rose garden with a sculptural viewing platform to really take in all the colours and scents. But there are numerous other highlights during the year – beautiful hydrangeas, ornamental borders, a glasshouse, as well as the huge scale of the woods. Entry over winter is free, which makes it a more regular visit for me during that time. We loved their Gingerbread Man trail at Christmas which I thought was so well done and a perfect length for young children. They also have lots of ducks to feed, and a lovely cafe to get a hot chocolate in when you’re finished.
Painshill Park is probably the closest garden to where I live, and yet somehow it’s taken me until this year to visit for the first time. Probably something to do with the fact that it’s not National Trust or RHS, so I have to pay for entry! But it’s well worth it, at £8 for an adult. There are a few routes you can take around the grounds, which are set around a lake, and the accessible route is suitable for a pushchair. Scattered throughout the garden are numerous architectural features, such as the Crystal Grotto, the Gothic Tower, the Ruined Abbey, and the Gothic Temple, so it makes for a lovely walk.
We visited during daffodil season and there was a wonderful display through the woods, as well as lots of snowdrops. I can’t wait to see more of Painshill over the summer to see how their plantings take shape.
The Medicine Garden
Although on a smaller scale and a bit different to the others on my list, The Medicine Garden is well worthy of inclusion. Located in Cobham, this is a lovely place to relax with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake – and it’s free to enter. The planting is fantastic – very modern and always with lots of colour and texture. There are two cafes – The Hot House Cafe and the Garden Pod Cafe (with it’s own airstream open in summer) – as well as a few shops to browse and lose a few hours. There is a strong focus on wellbeing, with The Treatment Room offering acupuncture and ostheopathy, weekly yoga classes in The Dome, and Thai Chi on the lawn every Monday and Thursday.
There is also a little children’s play area with a small sandpit. It’s small in scale, but I’ve never known The Medicine Garden to be particularly busy, so it’s always been a lovely place to take my toddler.
Do you have any favourite gardens in Surrey? Do let me know if I’ve missed a gem – I’m always on the lookout for new days out!
This post is part of a Blog Hop with my lovely friends Dear Bear and Beany, Five Little Doves, Meme & Harri, Life is Knutts, and Double the Monkey Business. We’ve each shared our favourite spots to visit in our local areas – do head on over to their posts, linked via the buttons below, to get some ideas!