Historic Gardens

Historic Gardens

From sweeping vistas to organic vegetables, English Heritage cares for a number of historic gardens and landscapes around the country.

Learn more about the history of gardens through the ages, including those created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown - the 18th century pioneer who radically changed the world of landscape gardening.

Due to changing tier restrictions over the winter, please check the individual property pages of the sites you'd like to visit for the most up-to-date information.

Winter garden highlights

There's nothing like a fresh winter walk through a beautiful historic garden. Our castles, halls and stately homes are enchanting in the colder seasons, and now is the perfect time to make the most of rewarding garden walks and sparkling wintry views.

We've selected nine of our favourite gardens for you to visit this festive season. Wrap up and keep warm for a cosy winter adventure outdoors.

Find a garden

A SHORT HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS GREENERY

Decorating our homes with greenery is a Christmas tradition ingrained in our national consciousness. The Christmas tree is, of course, the most well-known, but it is equally hard to imagine Christmas without wreaths, holly and mistletoe. But when and why did such traditions emerge? 

In this article we delve into the history of Christmas greenery to try to find the origins of some much loved traditions. 

Find out more

Podcast: Belsay Awakes

Join head of English Heritage’s gardens and landscape team, John Watkins, and acclaimed landscape designer Dan Pearson, for a combination of history and horticulture as we find out about the planned transformation of the gardens at Belsay Hall in Northumberland.

Discover the history of the gardens, the plans to bring them back to their blooming best, and the wider project to transform the visitor experience at this spectacular site.

Stories

from England's gardens

  • Gardens Through Time

    Use this timeline to trace the evolution of gardens in England, from medieval monks to Capability Brown and William Morris. 

  • Weeding Women: Shaping England's Gardens

    Until the late 19th century professional gardeners were always men. However, this does not mean that England’s gardens were only shaped by male hands.

  • Gardens Conservation

    English Heritage looks after many nationally important historic gardens and landscapes. Discover how our experts care for these special outdoor spaces.

HISTORIC GARDEN BLOGS

How to Make Soup

Watch as Mrs Crocombe, the Victorian cook, shows you how to make a light soup the Victorian way using rhubarb from the kitchen garden at Audley End House. You can discover more of her recipes by visiting our YouTube channel.

Watch on YouTube

More to explore

  • Shop the Rose in Bloom Collection

    Inspired by Wiltshire based artist Caroline Day’s “Seize the Moment” oil painting, this range of gifts was created to celebrate the beauty of flowers and is perfect for gardeners, nature lovers and art enthusiasts alike.

  • Days out with Dogs

    Enjoy a great day out with your dog at an English Heritage property. There are plenty of dog-friendly sites across the whole of England for your furry friends to enjoy.

  • Become a Member

    Start a year of adventure. An English Heritage membership offers an unlimited annual pass to over 400 historic sites across the country.

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