Amazing gardens in London & the Southeast for 2018

Kew’s annual Orchids Festival

Kew’s annual Orchids Festival

Brenda Watkinson continues her look at what’s blossoming in the gardening world.

Waddesdon Manor in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, is a Renaissance-style château housing one of the world’s finest collections of French 18th century decorative arts. Outside, the Victorian garden has a parterre, aviary, seasonal displays, fountains and statuary.

Waddesdon is offering a new opportunity to explore their Manor Gardens during the winter months of January, February and March (Monday to Friday only) followed by a two-course lunch at the Five Arrows Hotel in Waddesdon village. The tour will be accompanied by one of the garden guides, who will share their knowledge and experience of horticultural life at Waddesdon.

Kew Gardens is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site offering unique landscapes, vistas and iconic architecture from every stage of the Gardens’ history, and the collection of living plants is the largest and most diverse in the world.

May 2018 will see the grand unveiling of the magnificent Temperate House, the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse, after an ambitious five-year restoration project. The Temperate House will house over 1,000 different species of exotic plants, and will give schools and community groups the chance to learn about and be inspired by plants.

The Gardens at Waddesdon Manor

The Gardens at Waddesdon Manor

Throughout February, Kew’s annual Orchids Festival is themed around Thailand, and visitors will be immersed in a celebration of the country’s vibrant colours, culture, and magnificent plant life inside the tropical paradise of Kew Gardens’ Princess of Wales Conservatory.

Situated in the heart of historic Windsor Great Park, The Savill Garden was created in 1932 and comprises 35 acres of beautifully themed landscaped gardens.

New for visitors in 2018, is a guided coach tour of the natural heritage of Windsor Great Park. Lasting an hour, the tour will finish off with the rare opportunity to disembark from the coach at the top of the iconic Long Walk, giving your members time to take a photo from The Copper Horse statue of George III to the historic Windsor Castle. The tour is available 1st April–30th September (Tuesday to Thursday only, excluding 19th–21st June).

In Kent, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle & Gardens will be offering three different garden tours for groups of 15 or more during 2018. The tours lasting approximately an hour each are followed by general entry around the gardens.

Groups can choose to book a tour with one of the gardening team, a tour with Head Gardener Neil Miller or for those more interested in the history of the gardens, one led by one of the Hever Castle guides. The three tours vary slightly in price and for just £2 extra can include admission to the Castle too.

Exploring The Savill Garden

Exploring The Savill Garden

Canterbury Cathedral’s new trail leads groups around the tranquil and beautiful gardens surrounding the cathedral. Included is the Memorial Garden, paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the Great War, the Friends’ Garden, Herb Garden and the Water Tower Garden. Ruins of the old monastery survive in places and guided tours can be booked.

To mark the 125th anniversary of one of the most important plantsman and collectors’ gardens in the south east a new Magnolia Grove garden, planted with 48 specimen magnolia trees, has been created at Borde Hill Gardens.

The house and garden, near Haywards Heath in West Sussex, was purchased in 1893 by Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke with the express intention of creating a magnificent garden. He sourced and planted rare trees, and 73 have now attained ‘champion’ status including magnolias collected from China, America and Japan. In celebration, special ‘magnolia and camellia tours’ will run from 15th March to 15th April (minimum 15 people).

Close by in East Sussex, Herstmonceux Castle is a 15th century moated red brick castle amidst a 300-acre estate. Suited to visitors of all ages, Herstmonceux Castle welcomes groups to spend a leisurely day walking through the magnificent gardens and woodlands.

There is plenty of seating around the grounds and the gardens are easily accessible for those with limited mobility.

GO Travel ShowGTO Magazine is proud to be exhibiting at the GO Travel Show on the 17th April 2018 at Kempton Park Racecourse. It’s the perfect place to discover new trip ideas for FREE, as well as experience exhibitors like:

  • Belmont House and Gardens
  • Borde Hill Garden
  • Mount Ephraim Gardens
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
  • Savill Garden
  • Sussex Prairies Gardens

So come and say hello! Book your FREE place now, and up to six friends, before tickets run out!

Book your FREE tickets!