Parks and gardens near Ascot
Berkshire is a beautiful county that’s bursting with British charm and quintessential English gardens. While it can be tempting to spend all your time in Windsor Great Park and the horse-racing capital of Ascot, there’s plenty more to discover within an hour’s drive of the hotel. From noble estates with magnificent parks to botanical gardens filled with rare plants, uncover the best green spaces in the area with this two-day itinerary.
Start the day with a 30-minute drive to RHS Garden Wisley.
RHS Garden Wisley
Owned by the Royal Horticultural Society, this garden is one of the most captivating in the English countryside. It’s home to an incredible plant collection, with several areas to explore including alpine meadows, model gardens, woodlands, green houses filled with exotic plants, and much more.
Then, take a 15-minute drive to Claremont Landscape Garden.
Claremont Landscape Garden
A serene oasis in Surrey, Claremont Landscape Garden combines history with natural beauty. The 18th century garden, which was once part of a renowned estate, features a grassy amphitheatre, landscaped lawns, a lake and the historic Belvedere Tower – climb to the top for the unbelievable views stretching as far as Windsor Castle, with the cityscape of London on the horizon.
Next, take a 30-minute drive to Richmond Park.
Richmond Park is more than your average city park. The 2,360-acre National Nature Reserve is the largest Royal Park in London. It’s full of sports opportunities, such as cycling, horse riding and fishing, but it’s best known for its wildlife, in particular its resident herd of red and fallow deer.
Seek out Petersham Nurseries, just outside Richmond Park.
Petersham Nurseries is an award-winning garden centre that’s unlike any you’ll have seen before. Discover a fascinating collection of plants and artisanal tools in the Nursery and Garden Shop, peruse gifts and antiques in the homewares shop, or enjoy a seasonal lunch from the kitchen garden and homemade cakes in the onsite teahouse.
The final stop of the day is a 40-minute drive away.
The Savill Garden
An ornamental garden on the cusp of Windsor Great Park, The Savill Garden is a 35-acre area that features a series of beautiful interconnecting gardens, each of which offers its own theme. From the Spring Wood and the Summer Gardens, to the New Zealand Garden and The Glades, there’s plenty to discover. Last entry is at 3.30pm in winter and 5pm over the summer months.
To get back to the hotel, it’s a short 15-minute drive through or around Windsor Great Park.
Begin day two with a short walk to Windsor Great Park.
Windsor Great Park
With 4,800 acres of land, Windsor Great Park is one of the largest parks in the southeast of England. Take a hike through rolling countryside and ancient woodland and discover rare wildlife and striking horticulture. Stop by the Virginia Water lake to discover its famous cascading waterfall, or seek out The Long Walk and Deer Park, where around 500 Red Deer roam, for impressive views of Windsor Castle.
Next, take a 20-minute drive to Waltham Place.
The Berkshire manor of Waltham Place is home to more than just a beautiful house; it also has a wonderful garden that’s considered a local secret. Open to visitors during the warmer months of the year, it’s an organic garden featuring rich woodlands, a lake and several ornamental gardens. There’s also a biodynamic farm and a shop and tearoom selling farm produce.
Then, take a 40-minute drive to Basildon Park.
Created in the 1800s and restored in the 1950s, Basildon Park is a national treasure, protected by the National Trust. The garden, which borders a stately Georgian manor, is as stunning as the house it accompanies. A highlight among the 400-acres of parkland is the Rose Garden, planted by Lady Iliffe, which is full of historic species of roses and peonies. Visit while the flowers are blooming in spring and summer.
The penultimate stop is a 10-minute drive away.
Dating back over 400 years, the estate surrounding Englefield House is one of the oldest stately gardens in the area. While it has been upgraded with stone staircases, fountains and themed gardens, much of the original planting remains. Stroll through the landscaped grounds and treat your senses to the scent of fragrant flowers such as rhododendron, azalea, camellia and magnolia. The gardens are open to visitors every Monday.
To reach West Green House Gardens, take a 30-minute drive.
West Green House Gardens
Open to visitors from March until the end of October, West Green House Garden, features an intriguing series of gardens surrounding a pretty manor. Among the distinctive spaces is a beautiful fountain, a magnificent walled garden covered in wisteria, an apple tree orchard, a water garden and the Garden of Five Bridges – a name that speaks for itself.
End the day with a 35-minute drive back to the hotel.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.