Gardens & Horticulture
The most famous garden attraction in Rutland. Situated near Exton, it attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to enjoy the magnificent gardens which were built by Britain’s best loved gardener, the late Geoff Hamilton, star of the BBC’s Gardener’s World.
38 individual gardens are waiting for you to explore and admire the abundance of natural beauty all built on peat-free, organic principles. Following an accessible walk around the gardens, spend some time in the nursery where many of the specimens on display in the gardens can be purchased and taken home with you. There is also a lovely tearoom so you don't have to look far for refreshment and there’s also a superbly stocked gift shop featuring a range of exclusive Barnsdale Gardens souvenirs, gardening and nature themed gifts.
The beauty of the gardens lends a romantic backdrop and Barnsdale Gardens are delighted to offer their magical setting for your wedding or special event. With ceremonies being held in the Paradise Garden, complete with charming pagoda, sheltered conservatory and pretty water feature, you can imagine how spectacular your wedding photographs will look!
The gardens are open all year round, only closing on 24th and 25th December, and are now managed by Geoff’s son Nick. Pre-booking is not essential unless arriving as a coach group.
Throughout the year a range of educational short courses are held at Barnsdale Gardens including watercolour painting, growing under shade and how to grow organically.
Visit Barnsdale Gardens' website and find out more about forthcoming events | 01572 813200.
Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue
The fascinating yet tranquil Yew Tree Avenue at Clipsham is over 200 years old and consists of over 150 clipped Yew Trees. This amazing collection of topiary has provided a delightful place to stroll since the late 19th century with trees shaped to depict birds and animals.
Some of the more unusual topiaries included a man on the moon and a range of animal characters. The topiary was begun in 1870 by the Clipsham Estate Head Forester and soon became a tradition which continued through the years.
Once better known as being the carriage drive to Clipsham Hall, The Avenue, which is free to visiting wanderers, is now a pleasant place to sit and perhaps enjoy a picnic in the summer.
The historic Wing Maze is thought to be one of the last remaining turf mazes in England, dating back to Medieval times and is, therefore, an important local feature in Rutland. It measures around 14 meters in diameter and consists of one single grass path which winds its way around and back on itself before ending its journey in the centre of the maze.
It’s a matter of controversy as to the exact use of, or meaning of, the Maze but some believe that wrongdoers would be forced around the Maze on their hands and knees and made to repent for their misdeeds. The Leicester and Rutland Directory of 1846 has another explanation for its use, though, claiming it as “an ancient maze, in which the rustics run at the parish feast.”
Oakham and Uppingham are actively involved in the Britain in Bloom awards and both towns are a sea of colour, particularly in the Summer months, tended carefully by dedicated volunteers.
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In 2014, as we celebrate our 40th year in business, we are opening our most ambitious project yet – a retail plant centre called ‘Garden Inspirations’. We hope it will offer just that; focusing on a wide range of plants and core elements of gardening
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Originally created by Geoff Hamilton for the Gardeners' World TV show, Barnsdale is home to 39 pocket-sized, themed garden ‘rooms’, built in his trademark, practical style, and full of inspiration for garden-lovers of all ages.
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating228 reviews
Gates Garden Centre has been in our family for more than half a century. Since then it has become an unmissable attraction - one that is loved by people of all ages.
Located just 4 miles from the delightful market town of Oakham, and on the...
The yews that line this impressive avenue were once part of the carriage drive to Clipsham Hall.
Specialist growers of herbs, wild flowers, cottage garden plants and scented-leaf Pelargoniums.
Ancient turf maze.