The Most Beautiful Country House Gardens in the U.K.

Eight outdoor spaces have been shortlisted for 2019’s Historic Houses Garden of the Year award

Members of the public can vote for their favorite garden by visiting from early 2019. The winner of the 2019 award, sponsored by Christie's auction house, will be announced at the Historic Houses AGM in November 2019.

Belvoir Castle

The gardens of Belvoir Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland, have seen many changes over the centuries, as each Duchess has left her mark on the land that surrounds the Grade I-listed Leicestershire building. Today, Caius Gabriel Cibber's Winter statue presides over the Rose Garden, the Duchess Garden holds a multitude of unusual trees and shrubs in the acid-rich soil of its four-acre valley, while magnificent magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias fill the Japanese Woodland.

Belvoir Castle is open to the public on selected days throughout 2019.

Forde Abbey

The gardens of the former Cistercian monastery in Dorset have been developed by various inhabitants since 1141, initially by monks farming the land to grow seasonal fruits and vegetables. The only monastic structure that remains is the Great Pond, today joined by three lower ponds and the highest powered pump in England, alongside topiary-lined vistas, colorful herbaceous borders, an arboretum, a rock garden and an expansive walled garden.

Forde Abbey will re-open to the public on April 2, 2019.

Newby Hall

Lying beside the River Ure near Ripon in North Yorkshire, Newby Hall is an 18th-century country house with gardens that were developed from the 1920s onwards. Across 25 acres, rare shrubs and plants fill the charming landscape. The estate's double herbaceous border—one of the country's longest, at 172 cm in length—marks the pathway to the river, with Delphinium cultivars and Campanula lactiflora sitting alongside giant Scottish thistle.


Newby Hall and Gardens will re-open to the public on March 30, 2019.

Cambo House

Home to the Erskine family since the 1670s, Cambo House sits in north-east Fife, 10 kilometers southeast of St. Andrews. The Georgian walled garden was opened to the public in October 2017 and is now filled with rose arches, orchard trees, shrubs and vegetables. Covering the 70 acres of woodland is a proliferation of beautiful snowdrops, available to buy 'in the green' from the Cambo Estate.

Cambo House is open to visitors and available for events.

Cholmondeley Castle Gardens

The gardens that surround Leicestershire's Cholmondeley Castle are the life's work of Lady Lavinia Cholmondeley, who transformed the space following her arrival at the estate in the 1940s. Fine collections of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias enjoy the acidic sandy soil, and fresh developments are under way: 250 new roses were planted in the spring of 2017 and the planting of the new Lavinia Walk borders began in early 2018.

Cholmondeley Castle Gardens will re-open to the public on April 7, 2019.

Great Dixter

The Sussex family home of the gardener and writer Christopher Lloyd was merely a couple of mixed orchards and a scattering of tress until the Lloyd family arrived in 1910. From the front meadow, peppered with wild daffodils and snakeshead fritillaries, to the Peacock Garden, containing 18 topiary birds, indigo blue English iris and hedges of Michaelmas Daisy, the space is now a varied and colorful landscape.

Great Dixter House and Gardens will re-open to the public in April 2019.

Kiftsgate Court

Famed for the highly scented Kiftsgate rose, the gardens of Kiftsgate Court in Gloucestershire are the result of three generations of women: Heather Muir, Diany Binny and Anne Chambers. Visit the Wild Garden, Orchard, Mound and Avenue to discover newly planted Heritage apples, medlars, quince and pears in the orchard, as well as Camassia and the tulip Jan Reus.


Kiftsgate Gardens will re-open to the public for three days a week from April 2019.

Plas Cadnant

These secret gardens on the Isle of Anglesey offer a series of unusually landscaped spaces over 10 acres, including a garden with curving walls, a hidden valley with three waterfalls and an upper woodland garden with the remains of a 19th-century folly.

Plas Cadnant will re-open to the public on February 3, 2019.

*This story originally appeared on

*Minor edits have been made by the editors

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Ellen Peirson-Hagger
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