The historic gardens in our care are among the finest in the country. From sweeping parkland to pretty parterres, and from showstopping water features to shady woodland walks, these spectacular spaces offer fantastic days out in the places that made horticultural history.
With our gardens looking their best in the spring and summer months, and with a whole series of Blooming Gardens events to enjoy, there’s never been a better time to start planning your next visit.
GARDENS TO VISIT
From rolling parkland and stunning vistas to elegant parterres and working kitchen gardens, we look after some of the most magnificent gardens in the country.
Audley End House and Gardens
Wander the tranquil gardens created by Capability Brown, and enjoy stunning views across the Essex countryside.
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
Explore the medieval castle, the Grecian inspired Hall and acres of impressive gardens.
Boscobel House and Royal Oak
Explore box hedging and plants such as peonies and artemisias characteristic of parterre gardens in the 17th century.
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
Explore this 15 acre garden connected by tunnels, bridges and pathways, including a fern dell built in the 1860s.
Enjoy the charming period planting, water features and orchard, from the ground level and from the battlement walk.
Visit the site of great scientific discovery at Down House, the home of Charles Darwin.
Explore a rare example of a 1930s Arts and Crafts garden during a visit to this stunning Art Deco home.
Walk in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth I in Kenilworth Castle’s restored 16th-century garden.
Set on the crest of Hampstead Heath, Kenwood's meandering paths lead to 112 acres of glorious parkland.
Mount Grace Priory
Perfect for a relaxing and peaceful day out. Discover the reconstructed monk’s cell and herb plot.
Enjoy the glorious terraces and stunning bedding made possible by the mild climate at Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight home.
Look out for spring blooms on Walmer’s woodland walk, and vist the tearoom to sample produce from the organic kitchen garden.
Witley Court and Gardens
Discover elaborate parterre gardens and monumental fountains then find your way through enchanting woodland to the unique adventure play area.
Enjoy over 90 acres of beautiful gardens, including landscapes remodelled by Capability Brown.
Featuring talks from our expert garden teams, self-led tours of the gardens, plant sales, machinery displays of historical gardening equipment, and more.
Blooming Gardens at Eltham PalaceSat 12 - Sun 13 June 2021 Eltham Palace and Gardens
Blooming Gardens at Wrest ParkSat 12 - 13 Sun Jun 2021 Wrest Park
Blooming Gardens at Belsay HallSat 12 - Sun 13 Jun 2021 Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
Blooming Gardens at OsborneSat 12 & Sun 13 Jun 2021 Osborne
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Tips from our Historic Gardeners
Today we can benefit from the lessons learned hundreds of years ago, many of which have filtered in to the modern techniques adopted by the gardeners that continue to work on our historic estates.
Drawing inspiration from both the past and the present, our experts share their top tips for protecting your plants and produce at home.Read our article
Every year our gardeners and volunteers take on the epic work of planting our parterre gardens with unique spring and summer displays. They are a showcase for horticultural skill and taste, and are very labour intensive.
Read our article to find out more about the definition of a parterre, the history of parterre gardens and the historic sites where you can find them.Find out more
Gardens through Time
From the Romans to the 20th century, use our timeline to trace the evolution of gardens in England and explore some of the distinctive features that help define each period of garden design.View our Timeline
HISTORIC GARDEN BLOGS
HOW CHARLES DARWIN’S GARDEN INSPIRED THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION
From playing music to earthworms to wandering up and down his own ‘thinking path’, Charles Darwin found plenty of inspiration for his theories at Down House in Kent.
NOT JUST CRICKET: 7 SPORTS PLAYED AT OUR HISTORIC PLACES
While the rules and attitudes might have changed over the years, many historic sports are still recognisable today. Here are some sporting highlights you can explore in our historic gardens.
MOUNT GRACE: HOW TO SPOT AN ARTS AND CRAFTS GARDEN
Simplicity of design, use of local materials and traditional craftsmanship were all central principles of the movement we now know as ‘Arts and Crafts’. Discover how this applies to gardens.
How to garden like a Medieval Monk
Discover how much attention monks paid to their gardens. We take a closer look at the history of Mount Grace Priory and the role gardens played in the daily life of its monks.
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: POT 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.
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 100 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.
Shop Home and Garden
From seeds and planters, to insect houses and bird boxes, find that perfect something for your home and garden on our online shop.