There can be few things as quintessentially British as a good garden. Particularly for those of us living in London, however, the simple pleasures of exploring some pure green beauty and getting lost in nature can be easily forgotten. That’s why it’s important to step outside of your cosmopolitan bubble every once in a while and experience the best open gardens that the UK has to offer completely free of charge. Here, we’ll explore just a few of the very best and the most beautiful gardens in the UK.
Sheffield Botanical Gardens
Arranged over 19 acres in the suburbs of the great Northern city of Sheffield, these gardens first opened to the public in 1836. The gardens are made up of 15 distinct areas, each offering plants from different parts of the world. An eclectic and idyllic day out that also features some of the earliest known glass pavilions. In the summer months, you’ll also find open-air music and theatre to enjoy.
Welwyn Garden City
A verifiable utopia located just a few miles outside of London in the unassuming county of Hertfordshire, Welwyn is a town that combines the natural beauty of the country with the convenience and cosmopolitan lifestyle of the city. Pretty, Neo-Georgian cottages line the residential streets and there’s even a John Lewis in the town centre. A train to Welwyn Garden City to Finsbury Park is affordable and fast, so if you’re looking for a potential new destination for a day-out, you could certainly do a lot worse.
Something a little different here. These gorgeous gardens are set a hundred feet above Kensington in London and are segregated into three areas across one and a half acres. Run by Virgin, and also featuring the gorgeous Babylon restaurant, the main draw for these gardens are the pink flamingos that just so happen to live there!
An expansive open garden located just outside the city centre in Derby, Darley Park has been open to the public for almost 90 years and boasts not only a butterfly garden but the largest collection of hydrangeas in the country. You’ll also find a nature reserve to explore, play areas for the kids and, in September, a free open-air classical concert.
Petersfield Physic Garden
A walled garden that is named for the plants that line it and are considered to have powerful medicinal properties, this 17th century garden can be found on the Hampshire coast and offers an incredibly unique experience. The geometric beds and glorious topiary walk are what draw the visitors in but it’s the wildflowers and the stunning rose arch that end up taking up the most real estate on social media.