In a country that’s famous for its gardens, there’s something quite special about the Cotswolds.
 
Indeed, gardening is a serious passion in this region which, blessed with many Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, really is a ‘garden’ in itself.
 
So, with the country celebrating the Year of the English Garden and the 300th anniversary of landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s birth, why not take a stroll with us through the mature trees, breathtaking views and brilliant planting of some of the UK’s most appreciated gardens and arboreta.
 
Read on to discover our pick of the best of the Cotswolds ‘crop’.

Cerney Gardens

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Cerney Gardens

© Cerney Gardens

Cerney is a romantic, secret garden nestled in a hidden Cotswold valley. Set around a Victorian walled garden with a 19th century conservatory, visitors can explore the predominantly working kitchen garden and orchard, culinary and medicinal herb garden and wildflower bank along with 40 acres of woodlands and parkland.
Find out more: Cerney House Gardens, The Garden House, North Cerney GL7 7BX
Where to stay nearby: Our Cotswold Lake Lodges are less than 20 minutes’ drive.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Kiftsgate Court Gardens

© Kiftsgate Court Gardens

The creation of three generations of women gardeners, this 20th century gem is planted to perfection. Set amongst dramatic scenery with views out to the countryside and the Malvern Hills, all the areas of this garden are lovely. There are two magnificent water features, the rose garden, four squares and a terrace and so much more. Don’t miss the bluebell wood, a breathtaking sight in early May. Or why not kill two gardens with one shovel and visit Hidcote too, located just half a mile away?
Find out more: Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Chipping Campden GL55 6LN
Where to stay nearby: Our holiday cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham are 20 -23 miles away.

Abbey House Gardens

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Abbey House Gardens

© Abbey House Gardens

These enchanting five-acre gardens, nestled against the stunning backdrop of Malmesbury Abbey, have a very special peaceful and timeless atmosphere. Discover the country’s largest private collection of roses, double herbaceous borders that rival Monet’s in Giverny, and fabulous autumn colour from specimen trees and shrubs. The absolute passion of Ian and Barbara Pollard – known as The Naked Gardeners – the gardens are chock full of gardening inspiration. Why not come and judge for yourself?
Find out more: Abbey House Gardens, The Abbey House, Malmesbury SN16 9AS
Where to stay nearby: A 20 -30 minute drive from our Cotswold Lake Lodges and our Bristol cottages.

Sezincote

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Sezincote

© Sezincote

Rather different to the average Cotswolds’ garden, Sezincote’s resplendent, Rajasthan-styled gardens have dazzled visitors for centuries. Sezincote is the extraordinary Indian house that inspired the design of the Brighton Pavilion. A curving orangery frames the Persian garden of paradise and there is a romantic water garden with pools, waterfalls, a grotto, much statuary and a temple to the Hindu Sun God.
Find out more: Sezincote, near Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9AW
Where to stay nearby: Our holiday cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham are 20-30 minutes' drive away.

Westonbirt Arboretum

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Westonbirt Arboretum STIHL walkway

Enjoying Westonbirt’s STIHL Treetop Walkway: image credit Paul Groom

Whichever time of year you come, you can’t fail to be impressed by Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, one of the most beautiful tree gardens in the World. More than 16,000 trees from all over the globe can be viewed from 17 miles of well-kept trails. The opening of the 300-metre long STIHL Treetop Walkway in April this year, allows visitors an unusual and exciting way to get up close and personal with the canopy too.
Find out more: Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt, Tetbury GL8 8QS
Where to stay nearby: Our Bristol cottages and our Cotswold Lake Lodges are half an hour’s drive away.

Bourton House Garden

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Bourton House Garden

© Bourton House Garden

This award-winning 3-acre garden surrounding a grand 18th-century manor house is beautiful at any time of year. Bourton House Garden features luxuriant terraces, several water features, stunning deep herbaceous borders and box…in parterres, knots, low hedges and spiralling topiary. The location is idyllic and within the garden is a 16th-century tithe barn.
Find out more: Bourton House Garden, Bourton-on-the-Hill GL56 9AE
Where to stay nearby: Our holiday cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham are 10-13 miles away.

Rodmarton Manor

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Rodmarton Manor

Rodmarton by Julia Maudlin

Rodmarton, made in the true spirit of the Arts and Crafts movement is the grand-daddy of under-appreciated gardens in England. The house and garden designed by Edward Barnsley, one of the leading Arts and Crafts architects, is still the cherished home of the Biddulph family, who commissioned it. The eight-acre garden is a series of outdoor ‘rooms’ with topiary, high brick walls and gorgeous ‘tapestry-style’ planting.
Find out more: Rodmarton Manor, Cirencester GL7 6PF
Where to stay nearby: Our Cotswold Lakeside holiday cottages are just 8 miles away.

Blenheim Palace

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Blenheim Palace

© Blenheim Palace

Wander through 2,000 acres of glorious grounds designed by Capability Brown that provide Blenheim Palace with the formal majestic setting that visitors see today. Stroll under ancient oak trees and through Italianate gardens adorned with statues and water features and traverse intricately planted rose gardens to tumbling waterfalls.
Find out more: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock OX20 1PP
Where to stay nearby: Our holiday cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham are half an hour’s drive away.

Batsford Arboretum

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Batsford Arboretum

© Batsford Arboretum

Batsford Arboretum, once home to the infamous Mitford sisters, is little bit of the Orient tucked away on a sunny Cotswold slope. This 56 acre scenic haven contains a stunning variety of rare plants and trees, with Japanese cherries, magnolias and bamboos complete with a Chinese bridge and bronze foo dog. The rocky landscape on the western edge surrounds a tumbling stream, created from pumped spring water. Also within Batsford Park is a popular falconry centre (separate admission).
Find out more: Batsford Arboretum, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9QB
Where to stay nearby: Our holiday cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham are 10-13 miles distant.

Painswick Rococo Garden

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Painswick Rococo Garden

Painswick Rococo Garden by Rictor-Norton-David-Allen

Created in the decadent and funloving 1730s, there’s nowhere quite like Painswick. Designed in the Rococo style, this ten-acre plot survived the brief period when theatrical pleasure gardens were all the rage. Famed for its snowdrop displays, wander the paths through the flowers and woodland, get lost in the unusual maze and admire the more formally planted areas that reveal beautiful vistas and quirky Gothic follies.
Find out more: Painswick Rococo Garden, Painswick GL6 6TH
Where to stay nearby: Just half an hour’s drive from our Cotswold Lake Lodges.

Snowshill Manor and Garden

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Snowshill Manor Garden

Snowshill by Karen Roe

Previously owned by eccentric architect and poet Charles Paget Wade, Snowshill is now owned by National Trust. Comprising two acres and surrounding the manor house, Wade created an Arts and Crafts delight at Snowshill. The gardens unfold in a series of ‘rooms’ separated by low stone walls, cropped yews, terraces and different levels in harmony with the surrounding countryside. The seasonal changes in the garden are spectacular.
Find out more: Snowshill Manor and Garden, Snowshill WR12 7JU
Where to stay nearby: Our holiday cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham are half an hour’s drive away.

The Courts Garden

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: The Courts Garden

The Courts Garden by Nessy Pic

Full of variety, this charming garden owned by the National Trust shows the English country style at its best. Peaceful water gardens and colourful borders, with topiary, demonstrate an imaginative use of colour and planting, creating unexpected vistas. Stroll through the arboretum with its wonderful species of trees and naturally planted spring bulbs. Don’t miss the productive small vegetable garden and orchard.
Find out more: The Courts Garden, Holt, near Bradford-on-Avon BA14 6RR
Where to stay nearby: Less than an hour’s drive from our Bristol cottages, our Cotswold Lake Lodges and Stable Cottage.

Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Westonbirt Arboretum STIHL walkway

Tim Miles, Head Gardener, in the gardens; © Cotswold Widlife Park

This garden certainly has the most exotic residents! Set in over 160 acres of beautiful parklands in Bradwell Grove, the Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens has one of Britain’s finest zoological collections. Alongside the diverse collection of species, there is also a stunning, multi-coloured Eden – full of banana trees, gunnera, palm trees, yuccas and giant canna – designed to replicate the tropics. Tendered by a creative team of gardeners, every part of the Park is a delight for the whole family, including your pet pooch.
Find out more: Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, Burford OX18 4JP
Where to stay nearby: Less than half an hour’s drive from our holiday cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham and our Cotswold Lake Lodges.

Hidcote Manor Gardens

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: The Courts Garden

Hidcote by Dave Catchpole

As fine an example of an Arts and Crafts garden as you’re likely to see, Hidcote was carefully crafted by the talented American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston. Probably the most influential garden of the 20th century, it contains a series of garden ‘rooms’, divided by hedges, each skillfully planted and with its own unique character. Johnston set a trend which still dominates British gardening today. It’s the perfect place if you’re in need of gardening inspiration at any time of year.
Find out more: Hidcote Manor Gardens (National Trust), Hidcote Bartrim, Chipping Campden GL55 6LR
Where to stay nearby: Our holiday cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham are 20-22 miles away.

Mill Dene Garden

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Mill Dene Garden

Mill Dene Garden by JR P

This gorgeous 2½ acre watery wonderland has been designed and planted around an old watermill in an informal English Country garden style. Containing more than a few surprises, this heavenly garden has all the charms of a private garden with winding paths that lead you through many different areas including vegetable and fruit gardens, a ‘cricket lawn’, a grotto and a herb potager.
Find out more: Mill Dene Garden, School Lane, Blockley GL56 9HU
Where to stay nearby: A 20-30 minute drive from our luxury holiday cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham.

Open Gardens

Cotswolds Gardens and Arboreta: Littlefield Garden, Hawling

Littlefield Garden, Hawling; image credit The Chatty Gardener

There are a great many private gardens open to the public on certain days of the year through the National Gardens Open for Charity scheme. Visit their website to see what is open and when and don’t miss out on the chance to talk to the devoted Cotswolds gardeners, see parts of the villages not normally on display and enjoy tea and cake on the lawn. Check out too The Chatty Gardener’s website and peruse her wonderful articles on open gardens, interviews with passionate growers, upcoming garden events in the Cotswolds and more.

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