In the summer, we are always planning our next adventure. However, in winter time and colder climes, we can often struggle to think of a way fill our time. While winter sun holidays are on the agenda for some, for others it’s simply not possible. Because of that it’s important to plan events a little bit closer to home; just because the temperature has dropped, the fun levels don’t have to! On a crisp but sunny day, a nice relaxing walk around one of our many beautiful gardens can blow away the cobwebs and provide the perfect setting for a great day out.
Here, we take a look at the best destinations to head to this winter:
- Alnwick Garden, Northumberland
The award-winning garden was named the North East’s top large visitor attraction in 2018. With over 12 acres of meandering gardens there are also water features and an adventure golf course. The site also has a treehouse where you can dine and take in beautiful views and is nearby to Alnwick Castle, which was used to film scenes in the Harry Potter movies, and you can even visit the Hogs Head Inn, named after the pub with the same name in the fictional wizarding world village, Hogsmeade.
Location: The Gardeners Cottage, Greenwell Road, Alnwick, NE66 1NQ
- Mottisfont, Hampshire
The Winter Garden here was created in 2009 so that visitors would be interested to attend all-year-round. With a haven of late seeds shrubs and winter honeysuckle, this masterpiece is continuing to grow in size and stature. Currently, there are over 5,000 new plants and shrubs in the grounds, with more than 80,000 bulbs having been planted. It provides a great day out for all the family and has an array of self-led trails to keep you entertained.
Location: Mottisfont, near Romsey, Hampshire SO51 0LP
- Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire
The Italian Garden hosts over 400 varieties of perennials across its 70 flower beds and many of the 80,000 which were planted are left standing in the late winter, making this location an amazing location to enjoy in the winter. This award-winning location has plenty pathways taking you around the blissfully peaceful lake and, this year, is home to the Trentham Fairy Trail.
Location: The Trentham Estate, Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent
- Stowe, Buckinghamshire
The National Trust site offers 250 acres of lawns to explore. It’s a garden with a difference and, following being built in the 18th century, it has an array of secret messages everywhere you go. It’s regarded as one of the best landscape gardens in England and consists of many temples and trails that provide stunning views for its visitors.
Location: New Inn Farm, Buckingham MK18 5EQ
- Waterperry Gardens, Oxford
Between the 1930s and 1970s, this scenic setting was home to a ladies’ horticultural school and the tranquil atmosphere is still present. Set over eight acres, you’ll find sweet scented viburnums and carpets of hellebores and snowdrops during the winter months. Alongside the spectacular floral range, you’ll find a Museum of Rural Life, a tea room and an art gallery, making for a fun-filled trip out. Better still, in January, entrance is free!
Location: Near Wheatley, Oxford OX33 1JZ
- Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park, Surrey
Set over a huge space — 35 acres — this garden is glorious in the winter. With scents to delight your nostrils from the vast selection of mahonias and viburnums, to the vibrant colour that’s a sight to behold thanks to dogwoods and witch hazels, Savill Garden is a luxurious garden at its finest. It is also home to unusual trees such as the snakebark maple and, like Waterperry Gardens, access is free in January.
Location: Wick Lane, Englefield Green, Egham TW20 0UU