If it’s a leisurely mooch you’re after, bring your walking shoes and let the majestic 30-acre Pinetum Gardens do the talking. In the last four decades, the largest 'new' garden in Cornwall has sprouted ten individually themed “garden rooms” which are furnished with around 6,000 plants and some of the county’s most spectacular trees. Wander among giants in the Pinetum, where redwoods rise out of a manicured woodland made up of 80 different types of conifer. Find inner peace amid the harmonious blend of mindfully placed pebbles, plants and water in the Japanese garden, look out for an abundance of wildlife at the dragonfly speckled water garden or just admire the floral eye candy on display in the colourful borders of the courtyard garden. The Pinetum Gardens is a fabulous place to engage children and teens with nature as most of the plants have been helpfully labelled. And the charming Courtyard Cafe is the perfect place to reflect on your favourite plants over lunch.
- Opening times: 10am - 5pm daily during April-September, 10am - 4pm daily during October - March
Fans of ferns are in for a treat at Attadale Gardens, which is home to one of the largest fern collections in Scotland. The fern-filled geodesic dome and atmospheric sunken garden are a joy to discover. But these unfurling fronds aren’t the only thing exciting green-fingered visitors. On arrival, visitors can marvel at the lily pad-covered water gardens before taking a stroll along the old rhododendron walk. Those with kids in tow will have a blast seeking out the animal sculptures hidden among the foliage while those looking to slow the pace can unwind in the Japanese-inspired raked gravel gardens. But what really makes Attadale Gardens special is its location in Wester Ross, Scotland. Head up to the viewpoint where you can see this mosaic of gardens set against the beautiful backdrop of neighbouring Skye. As well as the charming gardens, there’s an onsite tearoom providing homemade snacks, sweet treats and hot drinks in exchange for a donation, which you can leave in the honesty box.
- Opening times: 10am - 5pm daily during April - October
Pure Land Centre & Japanese Gardens
- Opening times: 10am - 5.30pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays from end March through October
National Botanic Garden of Wales
National Botanic Garden of Wales
Wales’ national botanic gardens are home to a dazzling range of themed gardens including the world’s biggest single-span glasshouse, unique Welsh plants, and a centre for birds of prey. Taking centre stage here is the Great Glasshouse, as well as the tropical butterflies in Plas Pilipala – keep your eyes peeled for the enormous Atlas Moth. See a rare Katsura tree in the traditional Japanese Garden and learn about beekeeping in the Regency-period Double Walled Garden. Then wander to the Apothecary Garden, laid out according to different parts of the body. Little ones will love climbing the trees in The Ghost Forest, and if you’re after some peace and quiet, visit the three Necklace of Lakes, where you might catch a glimpse of otters, kingfishers and dragonflies. Just moments from the more formal gardens is the wilder Waun Las National Nature Reserve, where you can see orchids in summer and wild mushrooms in the autumn. If you want to pick up a plant or two, stop at the Y Pot Blodyn Garden Centre before you head home.
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- Opening times: 10am - 6pm daily during April - October, 10am - 4pm daily during November - March.
Mount Pleasant Gardens & Sculpture Trails
Mount Pleasant Gardens
Tiered gardens with views over the Cheshire Plain, Mount Pleasant Gardens offers meandering pathways, thousands of plant varieties and an idyllic summer sculpture trail. Originally created from scrubland by Dave and Louise Darlington, Mount Pleasant has blossomed into a serene space to while away a few hours. Wander through the wildflower meadow to the sculpture park, where work by talented British artists can be admired among hardwood trees and tropical palms. The Japanese garden features acers and azaleas, and ponds that feed the Bog garden via underground pipes where lush tree ferns thrive. After exploring the grounds, refuel with tea and cake at the small garden café, and browse the many plants for sale. Stone-carving and needle-felting workshops take place regularly if you want to turn your green fingers to other skills. The garden is only a short walk through peaceful forest tracks from Delamere Station – and just 15 minutes from the centre of Chester – making it an easy day out.
- Opening times: 11 am - 4 pm Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays during May - September