Gardens at Down House

Exterior view of Down House

It was in the gardens at Down House that Darwin developed many of his ground-breaking ideas on evolution and natural selection.  They were both an outdoor laboratory for his experiments and also a place where he could reflect deeply upon their meaning. Today you can see 12 of his experiments which have been recreated in the grounds at Down, as well as Darwin's beloved greenhouses. It was here that he made revolutionary discoveries about the reproductive behaviour of plants.

Plan your visit

For opening times, prices, directions and other useful details, see our Visitor Information pages.

See Visitor Information

Don't miss

See the Sandwalk or 'thinking path', where Darwin walked daily and came up with some of his most ground-breaking ideas. 

More on the Sandwalk

Seasonal highlights

Find out what the gardens at Down House have to offer throughout the year from spring bulbs to autumn colour.

See Seasonal highlights

The Kitchen Garden

You can see the many varieties of vegetables originally grown in Darwin's time, as well as rows of primulas replicating an important study on plant evolution.

More on the kitchen garden

Read about our gardens

Winner of The Garden Media Guild Book Awards 2010, 'The Gardens of English Heritage' describes the magnificent parks and gardens owned by English Heritage. 

Buy the book

Buy the Guidebook

The Down House guidebook is one of a suite of authoritative and beautifully illustrated guides that help to bring our properties to life with their photographs, plans and reconstruction drawings.

Down House guidebook