Five best English Heritage gardens to visit this summer

David Knockton / 09 July 2014

Learn more about the five best English Heritage gardens to visit this summer and the latest membership offers available.

Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden

Kenilworth Castle is situated conveniently between Royal Leamington Spa and Coventry in Warwickshire. Kenilworth is one of the biggest historic attractions to be found in the West Midlands and dates back to 1575, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

The original purpose of the castle garden was functional, containing eight large square knot gardens of aromatic plants and culinary herbs. The marble fountain, sculptures and aviary are the centre design pieces inspired by the gardens of the Italian Renaissance.

It has only been a few years since the Elizabethan Garden was faithfully recreated to its fragrant best, with perfumed perennials and colourful blooms ensuring a highly satisfying summer's day visit.

Audley End House

Audley End House is situated just off the M11 in Saffron Walden, Essex, equidistant between Stansted Airport and Cambridge.

Built in the early 17th century as a country house this English Heritage managed property is regarded as one of the finest Jacobean houses in England. The wholly organic gardens are a prime example of a working Victorian kitchen with glasshouses, potting shed and the basic accommodation available to the gardeners working on the estate at the time all restored to make a fascinating summer visit to Audley End House.

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

Belsay Hall is a twenty-five-minute drive north of Newcastle upon Tyne in Northumberland.

A 19th-century country mansion in managed decay, the gardens are the real reason to visit. The naturalistic Quarry Garden is full of tropical treats and the Rhododendron Garden bursts with both rare and exotic plants as Belsay Hall thrives in the summer sunshine.

Walmer Castle and Gardens

Walmer Castle is a coastal artillery fortress built by Henry VIII and situated just south of Deal Castle in Kent.

The 10-acre gardens are magnificent, and include a woodland walk perfect for bird and wild flower spotting with an easy cycle path along the cost to Deal Castle. Walmer Castle also has a working kitchen garden, where the produce is used in its own tea room.

Eltham Palace and Gardens

Eltham Palace is a few minutes’ walk down from Eltham Railway Station in South East London.

A 1930s Art Deco house built on the remains of a medieval great hall, Eltham Palace is better known for its splendid meadows and ornamental gardens, perfect for a summer picnic.

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