Itinerary Category: general
This itinerary is a must for visitors who love the beauty of an English Country Garden. Allow 4 days to visit all these gardens and you will leave marvelling at the variety and splendour you have enjoyed. From the formality and structure of Hampton Court Gardens to the wild and rocky landscape of Hawkstone Follies there is a full range of garden experiences awaiting you in Shropshire.
Suggested by: Elizabeth Hatchell of Croft Cottage B&B
Hampton Court Castle and Gardens – 6hrs
Spend a full day exploring one of England’s best kept secrets – 15th Century Hampton Court Castle is one of the most romantic houses in England, set in over 1000 acres of estate, including the spectacular, newly designed formal gardens which have received world wide acclaim. The gardens were rescued from neglect and transformed under leading garden specialists Simon Dorell and David Wheeler. The original Victorian Walled Garden now contains breathtaking displays of flower beds, ornamental walkways, waterways, fountains and cascades. Delicious lunches and teas are served in the Orangery Cafe, located in the Joseph Paxton designed grand conservatory.
Westonbury Mill Water Gardens – 2hrs
There is water, water everywhere and a splendid tunnel of gunnera manicata for children to explore, along with plant sales, suitable for wet and dry soils alike. The 3 ? acre garden is set around a tangle of streams and ponds behind an old corn mill and has a huge collection of moisture loving plants to decorate the banks and frame the views, also the fun of some fantastic follies. The garden has won a lot of attention in the gardening press, including Country Life, The English Garden and Country Living, The Times and the follies being featured in the Telegraph Magazine.There should be time for a tasty lunch in Sally’s Pantry in the converted barn before heading for Stockton Bury.
Stockton Bury Gardens in the Orchard – 2hrs
These beautiful gardens have been restored and designed by John Treasure. There was a dwelling on this site in 660 AD and it later became a Manor at the time of Edward the third. The Monks of Leominster Priory hels the site as a Grange and surviving from this time are a large fish pond, a Tithe barn and a pigeon house. The site currently covers some 4 acres of garden, including an Elizabethan garden, the Dingle, kitchen garden and secret garden and is worth visiting at almost any time during the season. The Tithe Barn does excellent refreshments and it is worth taking a reviving cup of tea.
Burford House Gardens – 2hrs
Burford House Gardens contain the National Clematis Collection, holding around 500 varieties in the gardens, maze and nursery. During the summer there may be as many as 80 clematis in flower in the garens at any one time. A Georgian turfed bridge spans the river Teme and leads to a wildflower meadow, offering contrast to the intensively nurtured formal gardens. It is a peaceful garden with fascinating and unusual plants, creating a perfect back drop for statuary, urns and garden seating. Excellent refreshments are available in the Cafe, then browse the many retail opportunities available in the House and Garden Centre.
Wildgoose Nursery and Gardens – 2hrs
Lower Millichope, Munslow, Shropshire SY7 9HE
Created in 2011 to safeguard the Bouts collection of Perennial Violas, Wildegoose Nursery has gained a reputation for both its violas and an extensive range of wonderful perennials and grasses. The kitchen garden lay abandoned but has now been transformed into a new and exciting garden that celebrates its traditional roots along side more contemporary plantings of perennials and grasses. At the centre of the garden sits the newly restored range of Georgian curvilinear glasshouses, a perfect backdrop for lunch or a snack in our tearoom.
01584 841890 http://www.wildegoosenursery.co.uk
Witley Court – 2hrs
100 years ago Witley Court was one of England’s great country houses. Today it is a spectacular romantic ruin following a huge fire in 1937 and subsequent looting. Take a stroll around the beautiful gardens and lake, enjoy a woodland walk and don’t forget to visit the superbly ornate parish church of Great Witley. Watch in awe as the stunning Perseus and Andromeda fountain fires. Once the biggest in Europe it is now fuly restored, sending a jet of water 70 feet into the air. Having worked up an appetite take lunch in the tranquil tearooms.
Bodenham Arboretum – 2hrs
A mile long drive winding through undulating countryside gently climbs to the brow of a hill to reveal a secret garden nurtured since 1973. n oasis of plantations, pools and avenues are beautifully landscaped and include over 3000 species of trees and shrubs from all over the world. There is something to marvel at whenever you visit but the Laburnum Tunnel in late May or early June is one of the highlights. Enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the award winning, environmentally sensitive Visitor’s Centre.
Dudmaston Hall – 2hrs
This interesting National Trust property mixes the old and the new – a late 17th Century mansion that houses a contemporary art collection. The delightful gardens are a mass of colour in spring and visitors can enjoy walks in the Dingle, a wooded valley, or the popular ‘Big Pool’ walk. There are also estate walks to and from Hampton Loade. Explore the new kitchen garden then have a cup of tea in the tearoom.
Hawkstone Park Follies – 6hrs
Allow a full day to explore The Follies – a fantasyland of cliffs, crags, caves, deep woods and a series of extraordinary monuments built more than 200 years ago. After years of neglect, the magical landscape was lovingly restored and reopened in 1993. Centred around the Red Castle and the awe-inspiring Grotto Hill, it offers visitors hours of delight and excitement and stunning views of the Shropshire countryside and beyond. Intricate pathways, ravines, arches and bridges, the towering cliffs and follies, the hermit in his hermitage and King Arthur addressing his troops in the awesome caves combine to create a magical visit.