We care for some of England’s finest historic gardens. These unique landscapes have been shaped by the people who owned, cared for and enjoyed them in the past. Today, we enjoy them for both the stories they tell and the senses they delight.
This autumn, admire sweeping parklands painted with orange hues and striking yellows as these famous landscapes glow with seasonal colour and enjoy the outdoor spaces that have charmed visitors for centuries.
HISTORIC GARDENS HIGHLIGHTS
Audley End House and Gardens
Wander the tranquil gardens created by Capability Brown, be dazzled by the colour and number of plants, and hear the horses’ hooves as they cross the yard.
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
Absorb the colour and scent of the spectacular Rhododendrons - Belsay’s most photographed view in June, and marvel at the scale of the towering cliffs in the quarry garden.
Boscobel House and Royal Oak
Experience the sights and sounds of a Victorian farmyard with pigs, chickens, ducks and sheep. Inhale the scent of herbs and roses, walk through the willow tunnel and explore parterre gardens.
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
Wander through 15 acres of garden connected by tunnels, bridges and pathway - largely unaltered since the 1860s. Don’t miss the fern dell, wildflower meadow and rose pergoda.
Visit the Edwardian-inspired garden, set within the former 'privy' gardens of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Beatrice. Enjoy the charming period planting, water features and orchard.
Walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin at his Victorian family home. Witness nature as he would have in his natural experiments and explore the Walled and Kitchen gardens.
Observe the different layers of history which make up the landscape of this stunning Art Deco home. Medieval features combine with 1930s glamour, including garden rooms, rose garden and water features.
Walk in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth I in the restored 16th-century garden. Listen to birdsong from the aviary, and delight in the scented and vibrant garden designed to impress the queen.
In contrast to the natural surrounding heathland, Kenwood’s landscape was designed by Humphry Repton. Roam meandering paths, explore ancient woodland, and look out for beautiful sculptures.
Mount Grace Priory
Explore 13 acres of newly rejuvenated Arts and Crafts gardens. Roam the room-like spaces of the terraces and dell garden, and see the Monk’s Cell garden full of herbs, vegetables and flowers.
Enjoy glorious terraces and stunning bedding made possible by the mild climate at Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight home. Smell the sweet scents of the flowers Queen Victoria herself wrote of.
Relax in the Queen Mother’s Garden, meander the natural woodland trail , marvel at the undulating cloud yew hedge along the Broadwalk, and immerse in colour, smells and flavours from the Kitchen Garden.
Witley Court and Gardens
Discover elaborate parterre gardens full of colour, monumental fountains, an enchanting woodland and spectacular wildflower meadows with stunning displays.
Enjoy a journey of senses over 90 acres of beautiful gardens, including landscapes remodelled by Capability Brown. Experience heady scents, water features, beautiful statues and a pear orchard with floral lawn.
Ten flowers to see this autumn
Summer may be over but there's still so much to see at our sites. From the final glimpses of flowers in bloom to the changing colours that mark the shift in seasons, uncover the types of plants you can see on your visit this autumn.Find out more
From Folklore to Feasting: Apples in England
Apples have a long history of symbolic associations, often with very different meanings. In this article, we look at some of the surprising uses for apples through the centuries as well as the folklore and beliefs they are attached to.FIND OUT MORE
Satisfy your senses
Relax, unwind and discover the sounds, scents and sights of some of our most iconic places. From the rush of the fountain, the trickle of the brook or the breeze in the trees, meander through these dazzling landscapes that have charmed visitors for centuries.
Relax at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
Relax to the ambient sights and sounds of beautiful Brodsworth Hall and Gardens in South Yorkshire.
Relax at Witley Court and Gardens
Unwind to the ambient sights and sounds of historic Witley Court and Gardens in Worcestershire.
A Tour of the Gardens at Down House
Take a tour of the vibrant gardens of Down House in Kent, once home to Charles Darwin and his family.
Osborne: A Tour of Queen Victoria's Seaside Estate
Join Gardener Jordan, as he embarks on a short tour around Osborne's 350 acre estate.
Behind the Scenes at our Historic Gardens
Caring for over 400 historic places covers everything from essential building repair works and restoring paintings, to planting historic gardens and keeping them blooming throughout the year. Go behind the scenes to find out more about the work that takes place in our historic gardens courtesy of our expert garden teams.
KITCHEN GARDEN: PLOT TO PLATE
Go behind-the-scenes at Walmer Castle’s kitchen garden and discover how an expert team of gardeners, volunteers and kitchen staff grow and prepare delicious seasonal produce all year round.
Behind the Scenes at Belsay Hall and Castle
Go behind the scenes of the stunning 30-acre grade 1-listed gardens at Belsay, to discover how an expert team of gardeners and volunteers are honouring the original designs of Sir Charles Monck today.
Meet the Head Gardener: Down House
Discover how the Garden team keeps Darwin’s science and inventive spirit alive at Down House, the challenges of caring for the different environments, and what makes it such a special place to visit.
BBC GARDENERS’ WORLD AUTUMN FAIR
Fri 1 - Sun 3 Sept 2023
Following a sell out event in 2022, the BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair will return to Audley End in this September.
This day out includes garden inspiration, shopping, talks and workshops, as well as live entertainment, a BBC Good Food Market, street food and more. Special guests include, Frances Tophill, Arit Anderson and Adam Frost as well as 'In Conversation' talks in the Parterre Gardens.
Tickets include full access to Audley End House, Gardens, and Grounds designed by Capability Brown.Book tickets
MORE TO EXPLORE
The English Heritage Podcast
Join presenter Charles Rowe as we bring the history of our sites to life with news, views and expert interviews across over 200 episodes.
Here are some of the places where it's easiest to explore history in the open air away from the crowds.
Days Out with Dogs
There are plenty of dog-friendly sites across the whole of England for you to enjoy alongside your furry friends.
Join English Heritage
Enjoy unlimted access to our glorious gardens and historic sites with an annual English Heritage membership.