Take a Trip to Barnsdale Gardens – With Britain’s largest collection of individually designed gardens, Barnsdale Gardens is teeming with inspiration, and great ideas and makes for a fabulous day out. Ideal for families, gardeners, or non-gardeners, there is lots to see at any time of the year.
Based in Rutland, in the East Midlands Barnsdale Gardens has been enthralling garden fans since 1983, when Geoff Hamilton, the much-loved presenter of BBC Gardeners World, bought a Victorian farmhouse with over 5 acres of land. Barnsdale was Geoff’s ‘great experiment’ in peat-free and chemical-free growing, and so this continues today.
Geoff’s legacy continues with his son, Nick, ensuring that the 38 gardens are kept to the stunning standard for which they are renowned, these include a Cottage Garden, Versailles Garden, Wildlife Garden, the Allotment and many more.
Often described as ‘a theme park for gardeners’, the Gardens are open all year round (only closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
If you are looking for refreshments, book from their range of delicious Afternoon Teas, which includes a Barnsdale, Christmas, and Children’s Christmas Afternoon Tea, which sounds very festive as well as a Takeaway option from the Helenium Tea Room. Using the freshest local produce whenever possible, including produce from their own vegetable garden, your selection will include dainty sandwiches, savouries, and sweet treats. What a delightful way to spend your afternoon.
Alternatively, make a day of it with a Barnsdale Picnic basket served in a wicker basket, complete with a woollen rug (both returnable) to be enjoyed in their designated picnic area.
Private events can be held at the gardens too, there are not many places which are better suited as a venue for a wedding than Barnsdale, which excels in providing a magically romantic setting for that special day.
Running throughout the season, the practical gardening and arts and crafts courses held at Barnstable Gardens are for all abilities. The courses are very popular and coming up soon in October are the opportunities to learn about ‘Vegetables All Year Round‘, and ‘Planting Design‘ and one which caught my eye was the ‘Christmas Wreath Making Workshop’ being held at the beginning of December.