Where to wander this winter


Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire

On the winding walk, discover bright yellow and red dogwoods and the polished bark of the Tibetan Cherry. The air is fragrant with flowering honeysuckle and look out for Himalayan Silver Grove with slender white trunks. Early in New Year there will be thousands of snowdrops.

Castle Drogo, Devon

Hidden behind pristine yew hedges stands a Lutyens-designed terraced formal garden. Winter is a great time to admire the architecture of the garden, patchwork beds and dramatic Dartmoor views. Look out for large scale photographs around the garden and surrounding estate that tell the stories of Castle Drogo's past.

Godolphin, Cornwall

One of the earliest surviving formal gardens in England, the ancient structure of Godolphin's side garden becomes most visible in winter. The mild West Cornwall climate means that snowdrops arrive early. See the gardening team working on the sunken lawns project to replant the borders with highly scented perennials and native plants to encourage bees and other wildlife. From the top of Godolphin Hill, you can see across to St Michael's Mount and St Ives.

Knightshayes, Devon

This is a fresh, spectacular stroll through the woodland garden where you breathe in scents of the wintersweets. Crunch your way around the mature trees clustered in the garden with their coloured birches and sea of red and yellow cornus. Stroll in the tranquil, frosty parkland, heading down to a secluded pond with the towering Redwood surrounded by a carpet of snowdrops. You'll be able to spot one of Europe's largest Turkey Oaks.

Killerton, Devon

This classic designed garden is home to trees and plants from around the world, collected by the Acland family. The result is a forever changing rich tapestry of colour all year round. Visit the chapel in late winter, as the grounds bloom with colour from flowering cyclamen, while around the house there are red berries and the flowers of Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) and Camellia sasanqua. At Bear's Hut, meet the Dartmoor ponies on the Clump, and explore the wider parkland using one the six walks leaflets launched in the autumn.

Stowe, Buckinghamshire

This monumental garden glistens with crisp frost and mist drifting across the lakes. There are more than 250 acres of garden to explore with lakes, classical temples, winding paths and woods created by some of the greatest minds of gardening design and architecture that include Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and William Kent.

Dinefwr Park and Castle, Carmarthenshire

From the ruined castle to deer park and woodland, there are some wonderful walking trails around the Dinefwr estate. You pass hundreds of ancient oak trees standing proudly overlooking the National Nature Reserve.

Stourhead, Wiltshire

Stourhead is a beautiful, tranquil place during winter where a magnificent lake reflects classic temples, mystical grottos and swathes of surrounding trees. The buildings and statues are a key part of garden designer Henry Hoare II's carefully constructed views. Peer through the grotto's circular opening and you'll see the Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Flora beautifully framed by volcanic rock.

Mottisfont, Hampshire

The garden blends a number of unusual plants that are rich in colour and scented. Gullies of foliage plants appear to wind through the banks of willow and spill into the stream. As winter creeps in, the garden becomes a refuge for late flowering shrubs and sweet-smelling winter honeysuckle.

Bodnant Garden, Conwy

This two-year-old garden has stark shapes, crisp patterns comprises coloured stemmed birches, bulbs and that provide a splash of colour against the winter sky. At weekends you'll be able to enjoy a warming cuppa around a fireplace at the bottom of the garden at the Dell tea stop.

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire

The winter light reveals the stark beauty of Clumber's landscape. This former Ducal Park is open all year round and is home to nearly 4,000 acres of parkland and gardens, peaceful woodlands and open spaces to explore on foot or by bike. Walk down Limetree Avenue to see the majestic double lime trees that sparkle in the winter frost and sun.

Dunham Massey, Cheshire

The seven-acre garden at Dunham Massey is home to over 700 plant species, 1,600 shrubs from striking white-stemmed silver birches and bright dogwood barks to colourful berries and flowers. In February, look out for thousands of snowdrops which carpet the garden, the striking colours of the blue winter iris and swathes of early spring daffodils.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, North Yorkshire

See magnificent abbey ruins combined with beautiful landscaped Georgian water gardens at this breathtaking World Heritage Site. It has its own medieval deer park and 800 acres of beautiful parkland full of hidden walks. You will find lots of larch and scots pine, while yews provide splashes of winter colour to frame the frosty views. The ruins of the abbey are stark against the winter sky, while the water gardens create mirror-like pools, reflecting the planting around them.



Explore the 18th-century woods and whether you take the winding Serpentine Path or the longer one that loops around the China Pond and past the impressive Portico House you will find it to be tranquil. Discover the mini lake and the enchanting walled garden.

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