Gardens to Visit in Surrey

The rich county of Surrey is home to a vast array of grand houses, historic parklands and specialist gardens; including Winkworth Arboretum and the RHS gardens at Wisley. The National Trust are the guardians of a large number of stately homes in this verdant county, the gardens of which have been meticulously maintained and held open for public enjoyment.

Clandon Park

© National Trust Images/Anthony Parkinson

Fine Palladian country mansion with attractive formal gardens that include a neat box parterre, a flint grotto, sunken garden and a Maori meeting house (added by the 4th Earl of Onslow). Fine lawns and attractive bedding is backed by hedges of clipped hornbeam. The property is currently undergoing refurbishment following a serious fire.

Facilities: parking, restaurant, shop
Open: April to October
Address: Guildford, Surrey GU4 7RQ
Tel: 01483 222482 - Run by National Trust
Web: nationaltrust.org.uk

Claremont

© National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

One of the earliest surviving examples of an English landscape garden. Created in the 18th-c and developed over many generations by a number of famous garden designers, including William Kent and Capability Brown. The garden's main feature is a tranquil tree lined lake, surround by a collection of interesting follies. Particularly noted for its splendid displays of rhododendrons and azaleas.

Facilities: parking, tea-room, shop
Open: all year (exc. Xmas)
Address: Portsmouth Road, Esher KT10 9JG
Tel: 01372 467806 - Run by National Trust
Web: nationaltrust.org.uk

Ham House

© National Trust Images/John Millar

Early 17th-c brick house, updated in 1670 by the Lauderdale's, who also designed the extensive formal gardens. The site was restored by the National Trust in 1976, and retains much of the original layout and planting. The walled garden (shown above) is a real delight. To the east a formal box parterre is augmented by yew tunnels and pleached hornbeam. Guided tours available.

Facilities: parking, café, shop, plant sales
Open: all year (closed Xmas)
Address: Ham Street, Ham, R.o.T. TW10 7RS
Tel: 020 8940 1950 - Run by National Trust
Web: nationaltrust.org.uk

Hatchlands Park

© National Trust Images/James Dobson

Created in the mid 18th-c for Admiral Boscawen, following his important victory at the battle of Louisburg. A mind-boggling 430 acres of a beautiful parkland and woods. A delightful little parterre garden, near the house, was the creation of Gertrude Jekyll.

Facilities: parking, restaurant, shop
Open: April to October
Address: East Clandon, Surrey GU4 7RT
Tel: 01483 222482 - Run by National Trust
Web: nationaltrust.org.uk

Hampton Court

Hampton Court Gardens

Formal Borders at Hampton (ASP)

One of the most iconic gardens of England. The magnificent red brick Tudor mansion was started in 1516 by Cardinal Wolsey and expanded on by several monarchs since. The property is graced with sixty acres of beautifully manicured gardens, containing sparkling fountains, water gardens, a symmetrical ornamental Privy Garden and the famous Hampton Court Maze.

Facilities: parking (limited), restaurant
Open: all year (closed Xmas)
Address: East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
Tel: 0844 482 7777
Web: hrp.org.uk

Leith Hill

© National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

A fine woodland garden that is particularly spectacular in April and May, due to its vast collection of azaleas and rhododendrons.

Facilities: parking, picnic area, cafe, trails
Open: all year
Address: Leith Hill, Dorking
Tel: 01306 712711 - Managed by National Trust
Web: nationaltrust.org.uk

Loseley Park

Walled Garden - Loseley Park ©Paul Gillett (CC2)

Extensive rolling parkland with magnificent Cedar of Lebanon trees form the core of this delightful site. Garden features include a restored walled garden, award-winning roses, a herb and vegetable garden and well stocked flower borders. Guided tours are available of both the house and grounds.

Facilities: parking, shop, tea rooms
Open: May to September
Address: Guildford, Surrey GU3 1HS
Tel: 01483 304440
Web: loseleypark.co.uk

Painshill

The Serpentine Lake © Ian Capper (CC2)

One of Europe's finest landscape and early naturalistic gardens, contemporary with Stourhead and Stowe. The gardens were laid out in the 1740s by plantsman and garden designer Charles Hamilton. Visitors can expect to see magnificent Cedar trees, a Serpentine Lake and bridges, plus many whimsical follies including a ruined Abbey, crystal grotto, Turkish tent, Gothic Tower and a Magnificent cast iron water wheel.

Facilities: parking, café, shop
Open: all year, daily (closed Xmas)
Address: Portsmouth Road, Cobham, KT11 1JE
Tel: 01932 868113
Web: painshill.co.uk

Polesden Lacey

Iris Borders © Seasonal Gardening

Elegant early 19th-c Regency villa. The spacious grounds and gardens surround the house, filled with classical urns and statues, clipped hedges of box and yew and a tranquil walled rose garden. Festival, concerts and plays are performed in the grounds during the summer months.

Facilities: parking, restaurant, shop, plant sales
Open: April to October
Address: Great Bookham, Surrey RH5 6BD
Tel: 01372 452048 - Run by National Trust
Web: nationaltrust.org.uk

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Kew Palm House © Seasonal Gardening

One of the most famous and most visited gardens in Britain. There is lots to see here, including spectacular flowering shrubs, water & rock gardens, walled gardens, winter gardens and a 163ft Chinese pagoda. A main feature is The Princess of Wales Conservatory, with its ten climatic zones and the famous Palm House, with a plethora of tropical plants from around the globe.

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Facilities: shops, galleries, plant sales, cafe
Open: all year, daily (exc. Xmas)
Address: Richmond TW9 3AB
Tel: 0208 332 5655
Web: kew.org

RHS Wisley

The Walled Garden © Len Williams (CC2)

Flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, that attracts over 750,000 visitors each year. Highlights include an impressive rock garden, formal walled and water gardens, alpine houses, long mixed borders (designed to provide seasonal colour and interest), rose gardens and a number of Glass Houses. A series of model gardens demonstrate new garden design ideas. Guided tours available.

Facilities: parking, cafe, garden centre, shop
Open: all year, daily (closed Xmas)
Address: Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB
Tel: 01483 224234
Web: rhs.org.uk

Winkworth Arboretum

© Len Williams (CC2)

Spectacular 20th-c garden that is home to over 1000 different varieties of rare shrubs and trees. Located on 100 acres of wooded hillside, with excellent views over the North Downs. The arboretum is at its best in spring when the azaleas are in bloom, and again in October when maples and sorbus cover the hillside with every shade of red, orange and gold.

Facilities: parking, tea room, shop, trails
Open: all year, daily
Address: Hascombe Road, Godalming GU8 4AD
Tel: 01483 208477 - Managed by National Trust
Web: nationaltrust.org.uk


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