Great Dixter, Rye, Sussex
Fans of the great gardening writer Christopher Lloyd will know his home here as a place of pilgrimage. It was designed in partnership with the architect Lutyens, 100 years ago, whose stone and tile framework gives each “room” of the garden its own dynamic. A fanfare of flowers, foliage and fragrance, Great Dixter reflects Lloyd’s natural exuberance and aversion to bare ground. This romantic garden remains a source of inspiration for many. Stay at the George Inn, an 18th century former coaching inn four miles from Robertsbridge, from £99. Refuel at the on-site Loggia Café.
The garden is open until October 30, £13; greatdixter.co.uk
The Newt, Somerset
With an unexpected feature around every corner, these gardens are a favorite, albeit expensive, family outing. Discover interactive paths on walkways suspended in the trees, colorful garden rooms, a “Beezantium” and a reimagined Roman temple taken from the archaeological archives and excavated from the rubble. Visit the Garden Café or book a picnic basket. Stay locally at Newt or Farmyard from £290.
Hall requires a guest pass for the year, £68; thenewtinsomerset.com
Iford Manor, near Bath
This secret gem of an Italian garden combines grand architecture and design with a classical sensibility. The creation of Edwardian landscape architect Harold Peto, it features stone terraces flanked by Doric columns with fountains, statues and gazebos. Friday night lunches, teas and dinners at the excellent Café are hosted by Iford’s owner, William Cartwright-Hignett. Rowley Cottage, converted from medieval stables, sleeps six (three night minimum stay from £375).
The garden is open until October, £7.50; ifordmanor.com
Nearly a century old, this famous garden is the creative vision of three generations of women. Renowned for its special old rose, this most elegant English garden undergoes subtle mood swings as it moves through White Sunk Gardens, Water Gardens, Orchard and Bluebell Wood. Three atmospheric lodges sleep four to 14, costing from £190 a night with a three-night minimum stay.
Garden open until October, £9.50; kiftsgate.co.uk
Somerleyton Hall, Suffolk
The famous labyrinth of this estate, as well as the vast grounds, made a great impression on WG Sebald, who wrote of its otherworldly charms in The Rings of Saturn. Since his visit much has changed and the grand facade is now recognizable to some as a royal palace at The crown. The estate’s Fritton Lake Clubhouse offers meals and accommodation from £180 pp or from £1,030 for three nights in lakeside cabins.
The garden is open until November, £8.45; somerleyton.co.uk
Haddon Hall, Derbyshire
This early Renaissance stack, with age-old stone terraces and balustrades, is a medieval treasure. More recently, Arne Maynard has reinvigorated the plantation. A formal knot garden, framed by topiaries, acts as a canvas for Elizabethan plants, traditionally grown as tinctures and tinctures. Open views on a medieval park. Stay at HH’s pub, the Peacock at Rowsley, from £150 B&B. Restaurant in the 17th century stables.
The garden is open through October, £23.90; haddonhall.co.uk
Lamorran, St Mawes, Cornwall
Its sheltered cove and mild microclimate protect this intimate and lush subtropical garden from frost. Trails meander down the steep, terraced slope through dense forests of palms, ferns, azaleas and rhododendrons, offering a sense of exploration, with sudden and exhilarating revelations of the sea across the peninsula of Roseland. Refuel at La Terrazza or at the beautiful Tresanton Hotel and Restaurant next door. On site, Lamorran Lodge sleeps four from £750 per week.
The garden is open until October, £11; lamorrangarden.co.uk
Ballyrobert Gardens, Ballyclare, County Antrim
This is an inspiring family garden and nursery. Informal planting is particularly vibrant in the fall and there is a pleasing balance of cultivated areas and wild, forested areas across 16 acres. A fairy tree, a tree with holes and a Celtic spiral have the garden firmly rooted in the landscape of the magical valleys. Stay nearby at Ballylagan Organic Farm; £109 per night, in a four bedroom farmhouse or detached cottage.
The garden is open through October, £5.99; ballyrobertgardens.com
Dyffryn Fernant, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire
Christina Shand’s naturalistic planting works in harmony with the surroundings to create one of the most beautiful and ethereal home gardens in Wales. The six acres are nestled in the rugged Pembrokeshire landscape of rocks, moorland and marshland. On site, Y Bwthyn Bach, a secluded garden cottage covered in crimson vine, is the perfect off-the-grid hideaway, sleeping three people, from £252 in low season for three nights.
The gardens are open until October 31, £7; dyffrynfernant.co.uk
Alladale Nature Reserve, The Highlands
This is the original rewilding project in Scotland; 1 million trees planted over the past decade, red squirrels and endangered feral cats have been successfully reintroduced. While the experience here is about reconnecting with the wild, the new aquaponic garden providing vegetables, fruit and fish is a glimpse into sustainable self-sufficiency. With 23,000 acres of wilderness to explore, Alladale is not for day trippers. There are four apartments, a bunk house and the UK’s furthest lodge, Deanich, to rent for up to 18 people from £2,750 for the week.