A British classic. Vast and varied, Hestercombe was created by world-famous garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Expect lakes, temples, formal beauty and wild walks, not to mention a rather lovely café. Spanning three centuries of garden design, Hestercombe gives you a one-of-a-kind window into green fingered history. Explore the stunning cascades in Bampfylde’s Landscape Garden and the grandeur of the Formal Garden. Breathe in the scents of Lutyens’ fragrant Rose Garden. And discover a whole host of intriguing garden buildings. Inside the house itself, Hestercombe Gallery brings art and landscape together, blending the heritage of garden design with contemporary works from artists and designers. Coupled with a restaurant offering ‘sparkling afternoon tea’ and a seasonal, garden-sourced lunch menu, Hestercombe is ideal for a few hours or a full day.
Garden audio tours
Listen in on the secrets of selected gardens from their head gardeners. Our audio tours take you through seasonal planting, histories and stories.
Landscape garden tour
Philip White takes you on a journey through the first of the three historical gardens, taking in the views as they were designed to be seen. Meet your guide Philip first encountered Hestercombe gardens while working for the Somerset Wildlife Trust in the 1990s. His lunchtime walks would take him through the overgrown valley behind the house, sparking the flame of inspiration that would eventually lead to the uncovering and restoration of the Georgian garden. After much campaigning and personal investment, Philip’s vision for Hestercombe was realised, and in 2013 his work was recognised with an MBE for ‘services to historic garden restoration’.
Formal garden tour
Fall into step with Claire Greenslade as she guides you around the Formal Gardens, starting at the Victorian Terrace. Take in the textures of the aptly named Grey Walk, past the tumbling climbers on the pergola, and into Lutyens’ beautiful orangery. Head Gardener Claire Greenslade has been at Hestercombe for ten years, overseeing many exciting changes across the estate. Together with her team of gardeners and volunteers, she looks after 45 acres of gardens across the 100-acre grounds.
Areas of Hestercombe
Gardens10am – 6pm, last entry at 5pm (4pm in Winter)
House: Gallery & Secondhand Book Shop11am – 5pm (4pm in Winter)
The Column Room Restaurant12 – 5pm (4pm in Winter)
The Stables Cafe10am – 5.30pm (5pm in Winter)
Gardens Shop11am – 5.30pm (5pm in Winter)
Plant Centre11am – 5.30pm (5pm in Winter)