Whatever the weather, spending time outdoors surrounded by nature is an easy way to boost happiness, improve physical fitness, and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Why not take advantage of the lovely Autumn weather we're having and visit one of the many gorgeous gardens in the UK today? And maybe you can get some inspiration for your own outdoor space as well!
Here are four amazing and generously sized Autumn gardens, with something to appeal to all ages - including those who're not naturally green fingered.
This National Trust property near Stratford upon Avon has an idyllic 180 plus acres of outdoor grounds (see photo above), with its deer park and landscaping by Capability Brown. Set around a Tudor mansion, substantially renovated in the nineteenth century, it has a timeless, historical atmosphere. It's even rumoured that William Shakespeare was once caught poaching deer here!
It's a perfect place to take the kids for a run around and to spot deer and sheep which freely roam. The deer rutting season starts in November, so you may see stags locking antlers as they fight over females - definitely best viewed at a safe distance! Around the house there's a mix of formal terraced areas and sheltered woodland gardens, manicured lawns and abundant plant pot arrangements.
By contrast, up until 2021 this space was a disused Cornish china clay quarry and very far from being the 30 acre living theatre the Eden Project is today. Spend a day immersed in its two enormous dome shaped biomes - one with the world's largest indoor rainforest and one filled with Mediterranean flora and fauna - and the sprawling stepped outdoor gardens. And you can now soar over the site at speeds of up to 60mph on England's fastest zip wire!
The interactive and educational nature of these gardens bring Eden's ecological mission to life - "to treasure and support a world we want to live in." With thousands of different types of plants, including those from prehistoric times and the incredibly smelly "corpse flower" plant, it's a must see for garden lovers. And don't forget to take a piece of Eden home from the huge range of plants sold at the gift shop ...
This designated World Heritage site, 12 miles north of Harrogate, is another National Trust property, and there's even accommodation on site if you'd like to make the most of your visit. Wander through the magnificent ruins of the Cistercian abbey, said to be the largest monastic ruins in England, and also used as a location for Netflix's "The Witcher 2."
The door to "The Secret Garden" (1993) was also filmed in the spectacular Georgian gardens which are filled with statues, follies and of course water features. You can happily meander around in 800 acres of classic, elegant gardens and the adjoining deerpark for hours on end - best to wrap up warm just in case!
The RHS's fifth garden and the newest one on our list, Bridgewater, opened only last year. Created from the 156 acre Worseley New Hall estate, the garden is viewed as a flagship "green lungs" project for Salford by the City Council, who have substantially invested in its redevelopment. If you live locally, you can visit for free every Tuesday for the first two years, which sounds like a great offer!
At the centre you'll find Weston Walled Garden, which is made up of 11 smaller spaces, including a Wellbeing Garden and Community Grow Spaces. An arboretum, glass house and Northern College of Horticulture are all planned. There's also a personal RHS Advice Centre, so you can get science based expert advice and recommendations for your own garden.
Which of these gardens is your favourite - or would you like to visit them all? Or which other garden(s) have you been to that you'd like to recommend? Please let us know in the comments box below!
In the meantime, inspired by these amazing gardens, here are some equally gorgeous gifts for gardeners and garden lovers from our RHS Burgon & Ball range. Whether you're looking for an Autumn birthday present or getting your Christmas shopping sorted, make sure to add these to your list!
Plus you can find many more perfect present ideas from our RHS range and more in our Home & Garden collection.