Gardens & Parks

Wiltshire is home to a world-class collection of gardens. The county's sweeping landscapes are studded with horticultural gems and below are some - in addition to National Trust Properties - that you may be tempted to visit. How long would you like to stay?!!!

1) Bowood Country Park >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 10 minutes)

The whole family can relax in 100 acres of parkland, designed by ?Capability? Brown offering a lake, arboretum, pinetum and cascade. Or visit the House itself which hosts a wealth of unique items. Separate Rhododendron Walks are open late April to mid-June, depending on the flowering season, located almost 2 miles from the house, offering breath-taking vistas of colour and beauty covering over 60 acres.

2) The Hope Nature Centre >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 25 minutes)

The Hope Nature Centre is a charity set up in 2000 to help young adults with learning difficulties and is still developing a 15 acre Animal Park, now contains a tea room and various animals including some very special rare breeds, such as Alpacas and Hebridean Sheep.

3) Iford Manor &Peto Gardens >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 35 minutes)

Award winning Grade I Listed Italianate terraced hillside gardens, close to Bradford on Avon, famous for its tranquil beauty, the home of architect and landscape gardener Harold Peto, from 1899-1933, who taught Lutyens.

4) Royal Victoria Park &Botanical Gardens >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 40 minutes)

One of the most delightful features of Royal Victoria Park in Bath, The Botanical Gardens were formed in 1887 and within their 9 acres is one of the finest collections of plants on limestone, certainly in the West Country. 

5) The Abbey House Gardens >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 40 minutes)

Gardening ideas, beautiful plants from daffodils, crocus, tulips and iris in spring through the country's largest private collection of roses, double herbaceous borders that rival Monets, to fabulous autumn colour from specimen trees and shrubs;all to be enjoyed in a special atmosphere - you have to visit to believe.

6) Lydiard House >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 40 minutes)

Lydiard House, near Swindon, is a Georgian jewel. With its formal parkland, pasture, beautiful woodland walks, avenues and lake, it still retains the grand design of its 18th-century heyday.

7) River Barn >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 40 minutes)

River Barn is a beautiful 3 1/2 acre garden near to the market town of Malmesbury and boasts a wildflower meadow and wildlife pond.

8) Special Plants Nursery - Near Bath >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 40 minutes)

Although restricted opening times if you are a passionate gardener this may well be worth the trip. Growing and selling unusual plants from all over the world including an amazing range of hardy herbaceous and rockery plants as well as many tender perennials for terrace and conservatory. Derry Watkins, author of two books on greenhouse gardening has introduced many new plants from her plant collecting trips to South Africa and elsewhere.

9) Somerset Lavender >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 40 minutes)

This family-run working lavender farm offers visitors spectacular views across its lavender fields in a quiet and relaxing environment.

You are invited to stroll around the garden and take in the soothing scent of lavender or to sit and admire the scenery from the rose arbour.

10) Longleat House and Gardens >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 45 minutes)

Longleat is a beautiful stately home in Wiltshire and also attracts a family audience. The house, seat of the Marquess of Bath, is surrounded by magnificent grounds that again bear the mark of industrious 18th-century landscaper 'Capability' Brown.

11) Wilton House &Gardens >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 45 minutes)

Wilton House, home to the 18th Earl of Pembroke, provides a fascinating insight into British history. Built on the site of a 9th century nunnery but now set in 21 acres of landscaped parkland, with water and rose gardens beside the River Nadder and Palladian Bridge.

12) Heale Garden >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 45 minutes)

A seventeenth century house on the banks of the Avon, with a twentieth century Arts and Crafts garden. The garden was designed by Harold Peto in 1910. Heale Garden has terraces, ponds, old roses and a landing stage by the River Avon. The owner, Louis Greville was a diplomat and brought a tea house and bridge from Japan.

13) Westonbirt, The National Arboretum >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 50 minutes)

An internationally renowned tree collection and heritage landscape. Westonbirt offers an unforgettable day out in all seasons - from the magnolias and rhododendrons in spring, the green leafy glades in summer and the autumnal colour explosion of the world-famous Japanese maples.

14) Highgrove Royal Gardens

(Time from Avalon Lodge 50 minutes)

Highgrove House and Gardens, the private residence of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Since 1980 his Royal Highness has devoted much energy to transforming the gardens around the house, which are renowned as some of the most inspiring and innovative in the United Kingdom. To visit you must book in advance.

15) Arundells >>

(Time from Avalon Lodge 50 minutes)

Within Salisbury's Cathedral Close is the home of former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, which opens on a guided tour basis. It features Sir Edward's collections of musical and sailing memorabilia and a beautiful 2-acre riverside garden.

16) Larmar Tree Gardens
(Time from Avalon Lodge 1 hour 10 minutes)

Set in the outstanding landscape of the Cranborne Chase, these beautifully laid out gardens were created by General Pitt Rivers in 1880. Recognised by English Heritage as a Garden of National Importance, they were first privately owned gardens to be opened for public enjoyment.

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