A National Trust garden near to Mere, Stourhead is truly beautiful and can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Having grown up in Salisbury I’ve been lucky enough to visit here many a time and have been here when the lake was partly frozen, when the daffodils were out and in glorious sunshine too. The grottos and temples are enchanting and as a child I used to imagine them as fairy kingdoms and the like! Nowadays I just appreciate the gardens for their tranquillity (and for the cake in the café too).
Having worked two summer seasons whilst a student at Wilton House, one of the best perks of this job was being able to laze about in the gardens on my lunch break. There’s the Japanese water garden with the red bridges, the rose garden (which smells amazing) and the Whispering Seat. Strolling along the path by the River Nadder is always nice too. For children there’s the ever-popular adventure playground.
With beautiful walks around the lake, grottos and landscaped grounds my first visit to Bowood reminded me a lot of Stourhead. There’s also the rhododendron gardens which are seasonally opened (May-June) which are truly stunning! I was lucky enough to visit when not only the rhododendrons but the bluebells were out too. For the little ones there’s an adventure playground, soft play zone and recently opened Tractor Teds Little Farm.
The parkland here is extensive with peaceful lakeside walks, picnic areas and best of all free entry! There’s a charge to get into Lydiard House and the Walled Garden but I would recommend it. The Walled Garden was filled with a large variety of flowers and had benches to rest.
Set behind the impressive Queen Ann style house is a small but perfectly formed garden with tea room. It’s a nice spot to come for a piece of quiet in a sometimes hectic city and as with many a National Trust tea room, the cakes are amazing!
These are just some of the gardens that are open to the public in Wiltshire. Tell us about your visits and let us know if you’d like to be a guest blogger.
When I was last at Lacock, there was many a family enjoying a relaxing afternoon in the Abbey’s gardens and even a croquet set on the lawn of the botanic gardens for visitors to have a try. There were lambs running after their Mums in the fields beyond and the flowers were in bloom on the cherry blossom trees. The National Trust regularly run family events in the grounds like bug hunts and bat finding nights too.
Tell us about your trips to Wiltshire and let us know if you’d like to write a guest blog piece on our county. To find out more about out great county here.