The wait is over. Temperatures are rising, days are getting longer, but above all – Britain’s flora is beginning to flourish. Here at Newmarket Holidays we are thrilled to see the arrival of Spring. It’s the best time of the year to see Britain looking its best, so here are our top five #BestOfBritish botanical getaways.
1. The Tatton Park Flower Show
Cultivated over the last 200 years, Tatton Park today offers a variety of gardens to explore, including a kitchen garden, Japanese garden, as well as beautiful pleasure gardens popular with younger visitors. Once a year, the park turns into a hub for garden enthusiasts with breathtaking flower displays and expert gardening advice. The park is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and attractions such as the RHS National Flower Bed Competition, Show Gardens and Floral Marquee.
2. The Lost Gardens of Heligan
For those of you accompanied by little ones (or the young-at-heart),the Lost Gardens of Heligan offer the best of two worlds: playful and exotic garden designs with local wildlife. Their history stretches as far back as the 1200s when the Heligan Manor was first built. The garden, however, wasn’t developed until the late 1700s when the walls of Flower Garden and Melon Yard were built. Today, you can experience plants from around the world, spot birds such as the Rare Green Heron or cross the new 100ft jungle rope bridge.
3. Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Join the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, coinciding the 500th anniversary of the palace itself! Along with the stunning traditional rose displays, this year’s show will celebrate its Silver Anniversary in floristry with a display that time-travels through its historical gardens. Also unique to the Hampton Court are their water gardens.
4. Kew Gardens (and Chelsea Flower Show)
Founded in 1759, The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the world’s leading botanic research institutions. Over the past 250 years, Kew has shared its knowledge about plants and their benefits for mankind. Current projects involve research in global plant and fungal diversity and providing evidence for global scientific research.
Apart from being educational, a visit to Kew Garden is also a visual feast, offering landscaped lawns, formal gardens and over 30,000 plants. This time of year you can look forward to see magnolias, chionodoxas and camellias come alive.
5. Alnwick Garden
Neighbouring the second largest fortress in England is the magnificent Alnwick Garden – also known as the home of one of the country’s largest collections of European flowers. The once derelict site has been transformed into a world-class attraction, thanks to the Duchess of Northumberland’s bold vision and the landscaping talents of Capability Brown (who also landscaped Kew gardens!). Today, visitors from all over the country come to experience striking arrangements of geometric flowerbeds, secret gardens and one of the world’s largest tree houses.
Photos by marcas_and_sue, Farrukh, Hannah Hawke, Damian Entwistle and Duncan Hull @ Flickr.