At the turn of the century garden designer Lawrence Johnston took hold of a lot of land around an Elizabethan manor and turned it into something very special – namely a collection of garden 'rooms', each with their own feel, design, colour scheme or other peculiarity. The result is breathtaking, particularly in spring and summer, when the famous hot borders will inspire all visitors to grow crocosmia and dahlia, when the waterlilies rival Giverny and the when the hedges are impeccable. Even those not interested in gardening will be blown away, not just by the gardens but by the variety too – there are trees to climb, an outdoor 'theatre' in which kids can take to the stage, and a more bucolic area with stunning views across the countryside. Don't forget to pay a visit to the ubiquitous National Trust plant shop and tea room. The only pity is that the beautiful house isn't also open for viewing, but the garden is more than enough to hold anyone's attention. Delightful.
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