Five best gardens to visit this autumn

As our gardens put on one last show of magnificent colour before winter, we’ve rounded up the best public gardens to enjoy this show in all its glory…

Bodnant Gardens, nr Colwyn Bay, North Wales

©National Trust Images Arnhel de Serra

©National Trust Images Arnhel de Serra

With expansive lawns and intimate corners, grand ponds and impressive terraces, a steep wooded valley and stream plus awe-inspiring plant collections, there are continually changing glorious displays of colour at this 80-acre National Trust garden. Created by five generations of one family, Bodnant also has spectacular views across Snowdonia. And on Tuesdays until 29 October you can take part in a free Walk with a Gardener event to learn more about their huge variety of plants and pick up ideas for your own garden.

Painshill, Cobham, Surrey

Ruined Abbey reflection with trees

Be amazed by the beautiful autumn colour at Painshill in Cobham, Surrey, an elegant 18th century, 158-acre landscaped garden that includes a ruined abbey, mystical follies and a lake. It also boasts the John Bartram Heritage Collection of North American trees and shrubs – including maples, American oaks and American viburnums – which are stunning at this time of year. What’s more, you can get in for free every Wednesday in November!

Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire


These gardens are home to the country’s largest private collection of trees and shrubs, which put on a magnificent show this time of year, changing from green to a kaleidoscope of golds, yellows, oranges and scarlets. You can even check their website for an indicator of what the leaf colour is at any time. The ever-changing colours make it a perfect time to take a walk around the 56-acre estate followed by refreshments in the Garden Terrace Café.

Wollaton Park, Nottingham

Picture copyright: Gerry Molumby

Picture copyright: Gerry Molumb

This 500-acre deer park surrounds the beautiful Victorian mansion Wollaton Hall and boasts immaculately kept formal gardens that provide the perfect spot to relax and admire the leaves turning. And if the heavens should open on your visit, nip into the Camellia House, the oldest cast iron glasshouse in Europe. Wollaton Hall itself is open on occasions for tours and other events. Entry to the park is free, but there is a charge for parking.

Stourhead, Wiltshire


Enjoy enchanting lakeside walks past classical temples and mystical grottoes among the magnificent autumnal scenery that is so famous it’s regularly featured on Radio 4! When the garden first opened in the1740s, one magazine described it as ‘a living work of art’, and today head gardener Alan Power ensures that the National Trust gardens still live up to the claim with its rare and exotic trees. And during November you can see inside the gardens’ grand mansion and enjoy a roaring log fire, board games while admiring the family portraits. For other gardens in the area, see

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