This is a mainly formal garden of around 5 hectares, incorporating 17th-, 19th- and 20th-century features.
Kiftsgate Court is a 20th-century plant and shrub garden of around 2 hectares with outstanding borders. The gardens surround a late-19th-century house.
Days out in Gloucestershire
Besides a wealth of fantastic countryside to discover, Gloucestershire has plenty of picturesque villages, gorgeous market towns, including Cheltenham, Cirencester, Stroud, Berkeley, and Tewkesbury, and the fabulous city of Gloucester to enjoy. With each offering a whole range of attractions, activities, and days out, you’re spoilt for choice!
With a captivating history and as Gloucestershire’s only city and county town, Gloucester is home to plenty of landmarks, including the famous Cathedral. At almost 1,000 years old, the spectacular architecture, vaulted ceilings, and stained-glass windows are still a wonderful sight.
The Museum of Gloucester is an essential visit if you’re looking for a full background to the city’s history, including its Roman origins, while the Gloucester Docks lets you explore the city’s maritime trading heritage. Beatrix Potter’s House of The Tailor of Gloucester is a wonderful museum and shop, as well as being the inspiration for the story.
Outside the city, Cheltenham features some impressive architecture, particularly the Montpellier district; head to the Promenade to see the impressive Neptune Fountain. For things to do in Stroud, the Museum in the Park is a Grade II listed building inside Stratford Park and its collections give a fascinating account of Stroud’s history. You won’t want to miss the hustle and bustle of the Shambles indoor and outdoor markets for a spot of bargain hunting.
Among the lovely regency architecture and Cotswold stone buildings that make Cirencester so special, the Corinium Museum features significant artefacts and mosaics from the area’s rich Roman history – a truly engaging attraction for any age. Cirencester Amphitheatre has the remains of one of Britain’s largest Roman arenas, once seating up to 8,000 people.
Gloucestershire gives you the chance to enjoy plenty of breathtaking scenery and idyllic landscapes. Together with the Royal Forest of Dean and the Severn Vale – both areas of historical significance and a haven for wildlife – the county is perhaps best known for the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Explore this beautiful area along some many walking routes, cycle trails, and bridleways to really experience Gloucestershire’s great outdoors.
Topography, geology, and climate
As a gloriously rural county, Gloucestershire has natural beauty in abundance with an incredible mix of woodland, hills, valleys, and historic, protected countryside. All these features come together to give Gloucestershire its unique range of diverse landscapes, land qualities, and fertile soil types.
With the eastern side of Gloucestershire almost entirely made up of the Cotswolds AONB, its underlying limestone rock provides a free-draining, shallow, lime-rich soil with a loamy texture. As the west of the county is split by the River Severn, this gives distinct soil changes on either side. To the west is largely a mix of acidic clay, loam, and base-rich loam soils. To the east, lime-rich loam and clay soils give slow drainage, but high fertility levels.
The weather in Gloucestershire can vary due to its mix of low and higher ground, but overall it enjoys a mild and temperate climate. High summer temperatures can reach an average of around 22ºC (71ºF), while winter lows can drop to an average of just under 2ºC (35ºF). You may want to bring your wellies, as Gloucestershire’s annual rainfall can be consistently heavy, with an average of around 800mm (31”) across the year.
Gloucestershire’s parks and gardens
To rival the county’s wonderful landscapes, Gloucestershire features a wide range of beautiful gardens, parks, and arboretum to enjoy. If you’re a keen gardener or horticulturalist, the county doesn’t disappoint. Each offers an informative and relaxed, fun day out, with plenty to enjoy for the whole family.
- North and East Gloucestershire
Set in the Cotswold Hills, Sudeley Castle & Gardens near Winchcombe has a collection of 10 award-winning gardens covering the castle’s 14-acre grounds. There’s plenty to enjoy here with ever-changing colour through the seasons including the Knot garden, with its intricate box hedges, the Secret garden with its vibrant display of tulips, the White garden, and Sudeley’s highlight, the Queen’s garden, which features more than 80 varieties of rose.
In Moreton-in-Marsh, there are two wonderful venues to explore. Firstly, Bourton House Garden has beautifully designed, inspirational gardens that feature beautiful tender perennials in wide borders and terraces, sitting perfectly with the rural surroundings. There’s also a knot garden, parterre, and topiary walk to enjoy. A real feast for the senses in any season, but particularly magnificent in late summer.
Dubbed ‘India in the Cotswolds’, Sezincote House Gardens provides a totally different, but equally impressive collection. Designed by landscape architect Humphry Repton, the renaissance-styled garden has Indian paradise garden influences. Together with the magnificent curving orangery and Indian-style pavilion, expect to see a wide range of rare plants and features in the Water garden, together with a fine collection of specimen trees.
- South and West Gloucestershire
Near Westbury-on-Severn, Westbury Court Garden is a uniquely designed Dutch-style water garden. Featuring a magnificent 450-ft long, Yew tree-bordered canal as its centrepiece, a worthwhile visit to this National Trust property also includes beautiful borders, a Walled garden, 17th-century veg plots, and a Dutch-style pavilion with views over the gardens.
Though just a short distance from Gloucester city centre, Barnwood Arboretum & Park in Barnwood is a peaceful, natural haven accessed by a footbridge. With a range of mature trees, the grassland is left to provide a natural habitat for a variety of birds, insects, and small animals with pathways leading you around a tree trail. A great place to explore, but look out for the grazing cattle and sheep.
In Rodmarton, near Tetbury, Arts & Crafts-style Rodmarton Manor features an 8-acre garden with a series of beautiful garden rooms. Expertly designed with pathways to maximise the glorious surroundings, the broad variety of planting schemes provide plenty of interest, colour, and texture all year round in wide herbaceous borders, rockeries, and a large kitchen garden.
Cerney House Gardens, near Cirencester, is a secluded, atmospheric, and quite lovely garden. In the grounds of this family home, you’ll discover a wonderful selection of herbaceous borders, filled with perennial favourites and surrounded by a selection of roses and climbers. Divided into four sections, the 3.5-acre Walled garden is alive with colourful borders and fine, flowering displays throughout the year.