Here at Billy Goat we know the hard work that goes into maintaining estates and vast areas of land. This month, we want to celebrate that work and highlight some of the best sites in the country.
The National Trust owns and looks after 618,000 acres of land across the UK – no mean feat! The reason it does this? To preserve the countryside whilst bringing pleasure to the public.
With a long summer hopefully ahead of us you may be looking for some fun days out in the great outdoors so here we recommend our favourite National Trust gardens that you can explore this summer – either for a break to relax or perhaps for inspiration!
Dyffryn, Vale of Glamorgan – a Grade I listed site with formal lawns, an extensive arboretum that is home to trees from all over the world, and smaller garden rooms for visitors to relax in. It also has a fantastic array of cacti and orchids that are well worth a visit!
Hidcote, Gloucestershire – A series of outdoor rooms, each with its own character. Highlights include a maze and the secret gardens. The gardens at Hidcote are deliberately designed with the formal style relaxing the further away from the house you go!
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire – A World Heritage Site with break-taking views and stunning ornamental lakes. Visit the Cistercian Abbey, the elegant Georgian water garden and the medieval deer park.
Nymans, West Sussex – Nymans hosts a historic plant collection and a series of very unusual plantings. It has extensive, yet intimate, gardens set around a wonderful house and ruins. Discover hidden corners through stone archways, tree-lined avenues among lush green countryside.
Biddulph Grange, Staffordshire – Take a tour of the world at Biddulph! The gardens are all themed around a different country from Italian landscaping to Egyptian tunnels and a stunning Chinese watchtower, as well as the Himalayan Glen.
Ickworth, Suffolk – “A Georgian Italianate palace in an idyllic English landscape”. Ickworth occupies miles of park and woodland, among the grounds are an 18th Century walled gardens and a magical summer house.
Claremont, Surrey – Claremont is an oasis of trees and shrubs. It has always been somewhere to escape everyday life and enjoy the simple pleasures with family and friends. Its Thatched Cottage and Belvedere Tower provide entertainment with the opportunity to climb the tower for stunning views across the surrounding countryside.
Sizergh, Cumbria – Located in a beautiful spot on the edge of the Lake District, Sizergh sits in a natural setting and boasts stunning kitchen gardens and an orchard. It has a medieval house that stands at the gateway to the Lake District. Its beautiful garden includes a pond, lake and a natural collection of hardy ferns.
Mount Stewart, County Down – A neo-classical house and perhaps one of the National Trust’s most unusual gardens. It has formal displays, shamrock gardens, and a Lily Wood. The formal areas have a distinctive Mediterranean feel, resembling an Italian villa landscape and the wooded areas support a range of plants from all over the world.