Lazy Susan's favourite country gardens in the UK

We love a summer day trip and these are our favourite country gardens we think you should visit in the UK this summer...

At Lazy Susan we love a summer day trip with our families and if that involves a beautiful country garden then you can bet many of us will have visited. Or, if not, it’ll certainly be on our to-do list for 2023! 

With summer just around the bend though and the weather picking up, we wanted to share with you some of our favourite country gardens.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re a keen horticulturist or not, these castles, country homes and visitor attractions have some of the most beautiful gardens we think the UK has to offer, making them all perfect for your next family day out.

Our top 7 country gardens in the UK

Our top 7 country gardens in the UK

Of course, if there are any of your favourite country gardens in the UK not on our list that you think we should visit, then we’d love for you to pop them in the comments section at the bottom of this page or tag us on Instagram or Facebook.

1. Mottisfont 

Lazy Susan's favourite country gardens in the UK | Mottisfont

Our first entry is right on our doorstep, many of us are regular visitors, so it made sense for us to give it the number one spot.

Mottisfont is a stunning historical house, garden and country estate in Hampshire, managed by the National Trust. It is all stunning but the jewel in their crown for the team here at Lazy Susan is their country garden with riverside walkways and ancient spring.

As they say:

“Discover a garden of ancient trees, babbling brooks and rolling lawns. Carpets of spring bulbs, walled gardens, a world-famous collection of old-fashioned roses, rich autumn foliage and a colourful, scented winter garden create a feast for the senses all year round.”

Visit Mottisfont

2. Cragside

Lazy Susan's favourite country gardens in the UK | Cragside

Anyone who’s walked around the magical gardens at Cragside will know why it’s on this list. Located near Rothbury in Northumberland, it was the home of Lord Armstrong, founder of the Armstrong Whitworth armaments firm.

Whilst the formal garden is stunning, the reason it is number two on our list is the rock garden, with its meandering rocky paths and mix of heathers, azaleas, berberis, sorbus and pieris that surround the main house.

As they say:

“Illuminated with hydroelectricity and powered by hydraulics, explore Britian's original smart home - a pioneering Arts and Crafts mansion filled with gadgets and inventions for efficient, modern Victorian living.” 

Visit Cragside

3. The Peacock Garden at Warwick Castle 

Lazy Susan's favourite country gardens in the UK | The Peacock Garden at Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle’s Peacock Garden was designed by the Victorian landscape gardener, Robert Marnock in the mid to late 19th century, and takes its name from the magnificent birds that reside there.

The garden itself consists of a number of topiary peacocks and manicured hedges. It makes our list as we loved the centrepiece fountain and stunning views across the Pageant Fields.  

Of course, the castle is the main attraction, but the gardens are a must-visit. We can also highly recommend taking Afternoon Tea overlooking the gardens from their fab Conservatory Tea Room.

As they say:

“Experience one thousand years of jaw-dropping history at Warwick Castle; great battles, ancient myths, spellbinding tales, pampered princesses, heroic knights and the dark Castle Dungeon.”

Visit The Peacock Garden at Warwick Castle

4. Arundel Castle

Lazy Susan's favourite country gardens in the UK | Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle is a restored and remodelled medieval castle that was first established during the reign of Edward the Confessor and completed by Roger de Montgomery. 

For us, a good country garden should have history, and Arundel, like all on our list, is packed with it. However, it is the gardens themselves, and the diversity on offer that we love. From their award-winning Tropical & English Gardens to the quirky Stumpery and abundant Kitchen Garden, there’s a surprise at every turn. 

As they say: 

“Our story begins in 1067 and continues to the present day. Many of the original features such as the Norman Keep, medieval Gatehouse and Barbican survive. Between the 1870s and 1890s, the house was almost completely rebuilt and the magnificent architecture in Gothic style is considered to be one of the great works of Victorian England.”

Visit Arundel Castle

5. Westgate Gardens

Lazy Susan's favourite country gardens in the UK | Westgate Gardens

Westgate Gardens are located on the edge of Canterbury’s old city next to one of the ancient gates and church. It is a picture postcard of a setting and a great place to sit and enjoy the views.

The gardens themselves are made up of four wonderful park areas, that together form a delightful linear park which follows the river from the heart of Canterbury's busy city centre into the countryside. It is a stunning place to wander around on a mild spring day when the Magnolia are in full bloom

As they say on Explore Kent:

“The beautifully landscaped Westgate Gardens will inspire visitors of all ages whether you are after a gentle stroll over lunchtime or are escaping the hustle and bustle of city shopping. Made up of four equally special and relaxing areas, a visit to Westgate Parks should be on the top of your ‘to do’ list when visiting Canterbury!”

Visit Westgate Gardens

6. Kew Gardens

Lazy Susan's favourite country gardens in the UK | Kew Gardens

We did toy with putting the Chelsea Physic Garden on this list but we just couldn’t hand on heart say we prefer it to a day at Kew. Our advice, visit both, but for the purpose of our top 7 favourite country gardens in the UK, Kew pips it.

That said, we suppose that neither is “country” as such, but Kew just has that vibe and is about as close to green-thumbed perfection as you can get. However, Kew also uses and manages the equally wonderful Wakehurst site too, which is just up the road from us and a regular day out for many of the Lazy Susan team.

As they say:

“Visit the world-famous Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew to witness the largest collection of flora and fungi. Situated in Richmond upon Thames in southwest London, Kew Garden boasts 50,000 living plants, making it the most biodiverse place on Earth. Recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003, the 300-acre botanical gardens not only embrace lush green beauty but also plays an important role in various scientific and sustainable conservation projects.”

As for Wakehurst:

“Explore our wild botanic garden in the heart of Sussex, home to the Millennium Seed Bank, over 500 acres of diverse landscapes and plants from across the globe.”

Visit Kew Gardens and Wakehurst

7. Eden Project

Lazy Susan's favourite country gardens in the UK | Eden Project

Again, a bit of a curveball here, but it just had to be on this list. Like Kew, not so much a country garden, but this one is definitely in the country, so it makes our list as it is a fab garden to visit come rain or shine.

The gardens themselves instantly transport you to warmer climes, and for the team here we just love exploring their fragrant, tropical rainforests and meandering through vast Mediterranean landscapes without ever leaving the Cornish countryside.

As they say:

“Explore massive covered Biomes to trek through the world’s largest indoor rainforest and immerse yourself in the calm fragrance of the Mediterranean Biome. Enjoy extensive Outdoor Gardens, contemporary artworks, performances and storytelling. Discover places to rest, play and eat, and pick up inspiring ideas to take home on how to care for the planet that cares for you.”

Visit the Eden Project

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