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Gardens in Somerset

Gardens in Somerset

This Sunday (14 May) is the first Somerset Garden Day. The aim is to make time to relax and enjoy your garden. It also promotes the amazing range of gardens in Somerset and highlights some of the numerous places of interest which the county has to offer.

Even for a local like me, it can be easy to forget just how many fantastic gardens in Somerset there are that open to the general public. Alongside National Trust properties, there are privately owned gardens, council managed botanical gardens, RSPB reserves and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty! Many of these places are just a few miles away from my bed and breakfast in Croscombe.

Our journey begins

The Bishop’s Palace in Wells has been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years. England’s smallest city derived its name from the wells that can be found within the 14 acres of gardens at the palace. These gardens in Somerset have been acknowledged by the Royal Horticultural Society no less! 

Gardens in Somerset

The Bishop’s Palace in Wells

 

Venture just a few miles from Wells and you will find the incredible landscapes at Cheddar Gorge and Ebbor Gorge. Last month, Cheddar Gorge was voted as having the 5th best view in the UK. Lesser known Ebbor Gorge is certainly no slouch in the view stakes. Ebbor gorge is owned by the National Trust but you won’t find any shops here. Bring a picnic and soak up the views. 

Gardens in Somerset

Cheddar Gorge

 

National Trust gardens in Somerset

Like getting your money’s worth from your National Trust membership? Well, Barrington Court, Blaise Hamlet, Clevedon Court, Dunster Castle, Lytes Cary, Montacute, Tyntesfield and Tintinhull are all in Somerset. Among the beautiful privately or independently owned houses and gardens in Somerset are Cothay Manor, East Lambrook, Forde Abbey, Hestercombe and Kilver Court. These range from just a couple of acres to over 50 acres in size.

If you fancy something a little more steamy, then the glasshouses at the Botanical Gardens in Bristol might be just up your street. There are another 9 acres of botanical gardens to enjoy in the city of Bath. These gardens include a replica Roman Temple which was shown in the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924.

Something more informal

Like to see a rare animal or two in the great outdoors? Not a problem. Just head down to the Avalon Marshes. This area lies in the heart of the Somerset Levels and, being flat, it’s a great place to explore by bike.

Sticking with the more informal outdoor theme, lace up your walking boots and head for the Mendip Hills (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) or Exmoor National Park. The limestone Mendip Hills offer stunning landscapes, ancient monuments, rich grasslands and a wide variety of wildlife. The same can be said of Exmoor National Park’s 267 square miles (most of which are in Somerset!).

And if that’s not enough, you can admire some incredible outdoor exhibits at the Hauser and Wirth garden and gallery in Bruton.

Gardens in Somerset

Hauser & Wirth in Bruton

 

The magnificent gardens in Somerset are just another reason to visit this incredible county. As for Somerset Garden Day, I hope to be able to snatch a little ‘me time’ in my courtyard garden. Perhaps with a glass of wine rather than a trowel in my hand.

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