We know how much our Best of British holiday park visitors love a garden, so we thought we'd indulge you in some horticultural jollity! The National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,700 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, and raises considerable amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, tea and cake. This year they have worked quickly to enable virtual visits while their gardens are closed. Here's our pick of the virtual garden tours close to some of the Best of British holiday parks.
Gorsty House, Powys
Gorsty House in Powys brings us a beautiful view of spring in the picturesque Welsh countryside. Thousands of daffodils bloom in this two-acre garden, just what we need after a damp and dark winter. Long-neglected by previous owners, Gary and Annie Frost, have transformed this wonderfully wild garden in just six years. This has been achieved by introducing native daffodils and spring bulbs, creating a haven for local wildlife. With beautiful views out to the Welsh countryside, Gorsty House is the perfect garden escape.
Nearest Best of British park: Daisy Bank Touring Caravan Park (Powys).
Blackland House, Wiltshire
Blackland House in Calne contains over 4 acres of gardens and is owned by Polly Nicholson, who runs Bayntun Flowers. As such, the garden is a floriferous delight. Unusual flowers and foliage are contained within a series of Georgian walled gardens and historic tulips are displayed in abundance. Join her for a tantalising visit and a tip toe through some historic beauties.
Woodview in Ross-on-Wye is near a number of the Best of British parks. Containing both formal and informal gardens, Woodview is set in four acres of lovely woodland with herbaceous borders, hostas, mature trees, shrubs and seasonal bedding. There’s so much to discover including statuary and sculpture, local limestone, rockwork and pools. It’s a restful, delightful visitor experience.
Hedgehog Hall – Tilton on the Hill, Leicestershire
Hedgehog Hall is in Tilton on the Hill, Leicestershire. Owners Janet and Andrew Rowe have taken an unpromising old quarry with north east facing slopes and transformed it into a stunning, organically managed half acre garden. Self-confessed plant lover Janet provides us with a virtual visit of Hedgehog Hall. From daffodils to emerging peonies, we love the birdsong and the peacefulness of this tour.
Ruthall Manor, Shropshire
Ruthall Manor in Shropshire has been open with the National Garden Scheme for 40 years. Owner Lynda charged a 30p entrance fee to start. The old horse pond, always a favourite with NGS visitors, is a colourful and stunning sight in the summer when the candelabra primulas and iris are in bloom, followed by the Himalayan cowslip and astilbes. The colour continues through the autumn with a variety of plants. The whole garden is a horticultural delight and Lynda hopes her summer and autumn open days this year will go ahead.
Highfield Cottage, East Riding of Yorkshire
Highfield Cottage in Driffield is a little further afield from our Best of British parks, but the garden tour on the NGS website is an utter delight. Debbie Simpson and her husband John renovated and extended the once derelict cottage and started training yew into topiary 30 years ago. It has a tranquil stream-side setting, bluebell walk and beautiful borders, but it's the topiary that is the star of the show. The topiaries are all created freehand with no shaped wire frames. Debbie uses artistic license in her creations, the teapot used to be a camel whose humps were just too tricky to maintain! While the garden isn't open, take a look at the virtual tour to get a feel for the joy of topiary and if you happen to be passing by East Yorkshire en route to your holiday destination, try and combine it with a visit!
All the Best of British holiday parks look forward to welcoming visitors back when Government advice permits them to do so.
All photos courtesy of National Garden Scheme