The largest of England’s official ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, the Cotswolds are a wonder to behold no matter the time of year. The arrival of summer brings with it the promise of sun, of stunning wildlife and of spending your days among some of the most beautiful scenery that Britain has to offer.
The Cotswolds attract nature lovers from all around the world, intent on enjoying the open skies and rolling landscapes on foot or bicycle. What better way to explore summer in the Cotswolds than by immersing yourself in culturally rich surroundings of the captivating villages and gardens.
For your next cycling holiday, we’ve put together a list of the best Cotswold gardens, from the awe inspiring stately gardens to the intricate delights of more modest homes.
Kiftsgate Court Garden:
Made up of 14 interconnected gardens, each with its own personal characteristics, Kiftsgate garden is delight to behold. These gardens have evolved from three generations of female gardeners, each individually responsible for the intoxicating sights and smells that continue to attract visitors year in and year out.
Famous for the Kiftsgate Rose, these gardens are a must see in the summer. Claiming to be the largest rose in England, the Kiftsgate Rose takes up most of the Rose Border and is a remarkable sight in early July, with cascades of white flowers billowing to the ground.
Mill Dene Garden:
One of the most exciting gardens in the Cotswolds, the Mill Dene Garden was brought to life by a young couple who fell in love with an old stone water mill and each other. With no gardening experience, the Dares set about creating a garden with all the wit, surprise and beauty they could inject. The result is an explosion of personality. Sit and relax by the millpond and quirky grotto, enjoying the wildlife of trout and ducks or visit the spectacular fruit garden with its gooseberry bush in peak ripening season.
Hidcote Manor Garden:
Created by Lawrence Johnston, this world famous Hidcote Manor Garden is best known for its inventive ‘rooms’, separated by archways, hedges and each with its own unique arts and crafts theme. These gardens continue to provoke inspiration in garden design today, with its rare trees, colour contrasts and impeccably manicured lawns. Weave your way through each of the garden rooms from the Kitchen Garden with its pumpkin patch to the tranquility of the Bathing Pool Garden.
A seasonal delight, there are an abundance of highlights to visit this summer. From the roses and herbaceous plants to lilies and lacecap hydrangeas, the summer months are blooming with nature and wildlife to enjoy.
Bourton House Garden:
This award winning garden, surrounding an 18th century manor house, is a must see when visiting the Cotswolds. The rare and exotic plants attract plant lovers from around the world and the summer months are no exception, producing some stunning texture and colour combinations.
In 1983 the Paice family set about turning a piece of neglected land into the perfect garden. The result is one of splendour, with an imaginative topiary walk and knot garden, a sensory parterre, natural spring water features and unique shade house for the novel shade loving plants.