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MONDAY, 11TH JULY 2011
Stunning Gardens in England

Hell bent on horticulture? Fair-weather gardener? Or do you just enjoy a spot of tranquillity now and then? No matter how your garden grows, UK holidays are the perfect opportunity to have a nosey round someone else's! You may not find silver bells and cockle shells, but you will see natural beauty in abundance. If you're taking a self-catering UK holiday this year, then check out our pick of the best gardens in England.


Oxford Botanic Gardens - flckr - tejvanphotosUniversity of Oxford Botanic Garden - Oxford, South East England
The UK's oldest Botanic Garden, this is a little gem in the heart of historic Oxford. Oxford Botanic Garden dates back to 1621 and is home to some 7,000 species of plants. A haven of tranquillity off the bustling High Street, you'll find 4 ½ acres of inspiration for your own garden as well as some more exotic exhibits and a focus on medicinal plants. Head indoors to the glasshouses and discover rainforest and desert habitats, and don't miss the amazing giant Victoria Cruziana water lily. Or relax on the banks of the river Cherwell and watch the punts glide by. Oxford Botanic Garden also comes with literary credentials - if you're suffering from writers' block, then seek out the Black Pine, under the boughs of which Tolkien would sprawl when he was in need of inspiration. Younger visitors and fans of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy can take a break on Will and Lyra's bench, located in the Water Garden. Your day ticket will also get you into the Botanic Garden's sister site, the Harcourt Arboretum, six miles south of Oxford. Visit www.botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk to plan your visit. For cottages in Oxfordshire.


RHS WISLEY GARDEN - flckr - traceyp3031RHS Garden Wisley - Surrey
The Royal Horticultural Society's flagship garden, Wisley is a mecca for green fingered folk. Over 200 acres of garden goodness await those taking UK holidays and London city breaks. If you like your gardens on the classic side, then dive into Wisley's rose gardens, or take inspiration from its demonstration gardens to see what you could do on your own turf. With a lush fruit orchard, borders brimming with colour, a glorious glasshouse, a rugged rock garden and even a canal, Wisley ticks all your gardening boxes. In season, the rhododendrons and azaleas on Battleston Hill are a sight to behold. Rent one of the London apartments on bookcottages.com and take a day trip to RHS Garden Wisley - before you leave, check out what's looking good on www.rhs.org.uk/Gardens/Wisley. Holiday homes in Surrey.


National Wildflower Centre - Knowsley, Liverpool
If you prefer your gardens a bit less manicured, then head up north to Liverpool's National Wildflower Centre. You won't find acres of neatly mown lawns, but you will discover an eco-friendly haven of tranquillity that oozes with natural beauty. If you're taking a self-catering UK holiday in a Liverpool apartment, take time out to visit this urban oasis. See nature at its best; a flourishing and thriving habitat for wildlife, courtyard areas and a demonstration space filled with seasonal displays all await. You'll come away bursting with ideas and enthusiasm, ready to preserve the natural environment in your own back garden. While you're there, it would be rude not to sample the home-made treats served up in the cafe. If you're heading north on your UK holidays, then take a peek at www.nwc.org.uk and go wild! Cottages near Liverpool.


WATER LILIES TRIO - flckr - aplartBennetts Water Gardens - Weymouth, Dorset
Take a break from the beach on your Dorset holiday. Enjoy a day out at Bennetts Water Gardens and marvel at the stunning collection of water lilies. Odds are you won't be able to resist a taking a photo or two, and the garden's Monet-style Japanese bridge adds to an already truly picturesque setting. If you can tear yourself away from the lilies, there are eight acres of pond- and lakeland to explore. Wetland plants take centre stage, but keep an eye out for the wildlife that calls this spot of Dorset home.  It'd be a shame not to make a day of it - pack a picnic and find your own little spot of heaven among the woodland paths that crisscross the gardens. If you're renting one of the self-catering Dorset cottages on our site, be sure to pay a visit to www.waterlily.co.uk for the lowdown. Take a break in some of our Dorset holiday cottages.


Lost Gardens of Heligan - flckr - gordonplantLost Gardens of Heligan - Pentewan, Cornwall
Done the Eden Project? Then why not lose yourself in the Lost Gardens of Heligan if you're taking your UK holidays in Cornwall. The restoration of these 200+ acres of garden was a real labour of love. The gardens were neglected after World War I and weren't brought back to life until the 1990s. Rent one of our self-catering cottages in Cornwall and nowadays you'll find Europe's only pineapple pit, a series of lakes and even Heligan's own 'Jungle' of sub-tropical tree ferns. There's a rather impressive collection of rhododendrons and camellias in the romantic Pleasure Grounds. Not to mention an Italian garden and fruit and vegetable gardens, where over 200 varieties of produce are grown! In fact, pay a visit to the Heligan tearoom and you can sample these home-grown delights for yourself. Familiarise yourself with the gardens on www.heligan.com to ensure you don't get lost! Holiday cottages in Cornwall.

 

 

POSTED BY: RACHAEL
AT 12:06

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