Take in the great outdoors

Take in the great outdoors

Posted 19th Jan 2017

Take a deep breath and enjoy some of the wonders of the countryside

South West

Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall

Glendurgan’s sheltered position on the south coast of Cornwall means that spring arrives early in the gardens. Visitors can stroll down through the peaceful, exotic valley to a sheltered beach with views out over the Helford River. During the spring months, the gardens’ highlights include bluebells, wild daffodils, columbines and primroses followed by rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias. There’s also the famous cherry laurel maze, which has been baffling people for over 180 years. Who will take up the challenge and reach the centre of this living puzzle?


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Carole Drake

Knightshayes, Devon

With over 1200 plant species unique to the site, and riotous seasonal colour, the garden at Knightshayes is always worth a visit. Pay a visit in spring to see the woodland garden waking up after a winter of gentle rest and care from the National Trust garden team. With camellias, azaleas and magnolias all bursting into life amid carpets of daffodils, snowdrops and bluebells, this is when the garden begins to show its true colours.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Tony Cobley

Kingston Lacy, Dorset

There’s so much to see at Kingston Lacy, not least the beautiful Japanese Garden and peaceful Nursery Wood. Visit during the spring months to see spectacular displays of cherry blossom, azalea, camellia, and flowering tulips that continue all the way into May.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images James Dobson

South East

Hinton Ampner, Hampshire

Created by former owner Raulph Dutton, the gardens at Hinton Ampner were designed to show bold scent and colour all year round. During the spring months, highlights include the apple and pear blossom in late spring, coupled with delicious-smelling narcissus and vibrant tulips. Take a stroll down the Magnolia Walk to see pink and white magnolia blooms clambering to the roof, or go in search of forget-me-nots and tulips in the walled garden.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Stephen Robson

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

Daffodils start the season off in a flurry at Sissinghurst, dotted around Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West’s world-famous garden. It was Harold who originally planted spring bulbs in their ‘refuge dedicated to beauty’, and the seasonal blooms begin to appear in early March. Spot daffodils in the Orchard and drifts of tulips throughout the Cottage Garden, or wander across the estate to see carpets of bluebells. April visitors will see the magnolias beginning to bloom, bringing delicate colour to the surroundings.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Jonathan Buckley

East of England

Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge

In spring massed drifts of daffodils flourish throughout the gardens at Anglesey Abbey, while the heady scent of over 4000 blue and white hyacinths fills the air in the Formal Garden. Be sure not to miss the 'sea of tulips' which carpet the beautiful Himalayan Silver Birch Grove, their deep maroon foliage contrasting dramatically against the bright white bark.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Justin Minns

Wimpole, Cambridgeshire

Visit Wimpole’s Pleasure Grounds to see glorious drifts of thousands of bright yellow daffodils and narcissus that are a feast for the eyes and provide subtle floral scents to really lift the spirits after a long winter. In the Walled Garden orchard under the fruit trees, there are small Snake’s Head fritillaries and delicate but colourful displays of species tulips nodding their heads in the gentle breeze, awaiting the fall of blossom confetti from the fruit trees above.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Justin Minns


Eyam Hall, Derbyshire

Eyam’s spring highlights include drifts of golden daffodils and clouds of delicate apple blossom. As you wander round the gardens, listen out for the song of nesting birds. Spring often arrives late in this part of the Peak District, so it’s a great chance to enjoy all those early blooms again before the seasons change.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Robert Morris

Croome, Worcestershire

Take a spring-time stroll around the grounds at Croome and experience the sweet, heady scent of flowering lime trees, the delicate hint of honeysuckle and or the luxuriant fragrances of lilac and rock rose. Anyone looking for more informal blooms can seek out the statue of Pan, the god of sheep and shepherds, which is surrounded by wild tulips, dog toothed violets, snakes head fritillary and anemone. On the island you’ll find banks of primroses and cowslips.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Chris Lacey


Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Spring offers the chance to see the garden come to life with an array of vibrant colours. Enjoy the sunny shades of over 70 varieties of daffodil along with 50,000 colourful dwarf iris, and discover the bluebell mound where the ground beneath the oak trees is carpeted with a sea of stunning blue hues.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Andrew Butler



Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

A tranquil oasis just outside Cardiff, Dyffryn is a peaceful retreat where you can immerse yourself in the vast beauty of one of the country’s finest Edwardian gardens. The spring months boast nature’s finest, with birdsong ringing through the arboretum, awakening camellias, flourishing daffodils and beautiful budding magnolia by the rose garden. You can follow your senses with the fragrant viburnums and the sweet sarcococcas as you make your way to the glasshouse to discover bursts of colour with hyacinth and amaryllis flowering.


Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Chris Lacey

Lead image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Justin Minns

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