Gardens to Visit in Hampshire & The Isle of White

Hampshire gardens are unrivaled for their National Plant Collections, including the Rothschild collection of azaleas at Exbury, the old-fashioned English roses at Mottisfont Abbey and the rare trees of Sir Harold Hillier's arboretum.

Apple Court

Undulata Mediovariegata © Seasonal Gardening

A series of garden rooms, including a white garden, Japanese garden, grass garden and woodland walks. Year-round colour begins with magnolias, daphne, hellebores and spring bulbs. The Hosta Walk is at its best April, followed by roses and Hemerocallis. Then from August onwards billowing grasses take centre stage.

Facilities: parking, plant nursery
Open: May to September
Address: Hordle, Lymington SO41 0HU
Tel: 07388562749

Exbury Gardens

Exbury Gardens in Spring (ASP)

This iconic 200 acre garden has one of the best displays of ericaceous plants in Europe with massed azaleas, magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons. The whole site is pageant of colour from early spring to summer. Host to the famous Rothschild collection of azaleas.

Facilities: parking, shop, restaurant
Open: March to November
Address: Exbury, Southampton SO45 1AZ
Tel:023 8089 1203

Gilbert White's House

Spring Crocus © Seasonal Gardening

The restored period gardens of Gilbert White, an 18th-c natural historian. Explore over 30 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland that reflect Gilbert's writings. Features a wide range of plants of the period.

Facilities: shop, tea rooms
Open: all year (closed Xmas)
Address: High Street, Selborne, Hants GU34 3JH
Tel: 01420 511275

Highclere Castle

Long Border © Seasonal Gardening

Most visitors come to see the impressive sandstone mansion built for the 4th Earl of Carnarvon - the set of the TV series Downton Abbey. However the castle's landscaped parkland and informal gardens are well worth a tour, with richly planted borders and many mature and interesting trees. Extensive native woodland and a wildflower meadows lie to the south of the property.

Facilities: parking, cafe, gift shop
Open: Easter to September
Address: Highclere Park, Newbury, RG20 9RN
Tel: 01635 253210

Hillier Arboretum

Painted Lady Butterfly by Irene Wirsing (CC0)

The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens have one of the finest collections of trees and shrubs in Britain. Excellent all year round colour and interest, with over 40,000 plants, in 11,000 different varieties. A haven for butterflies due to the wide range of native plants and wild flowers. The winter show includes 150 varieties of dogwood, flowering Hazel, viburnum and mahonia, plus spectacular autumn leaves and berries.

Facilities: parking, restaurant
Open: all year (closed Xmas)
Address: Ampfield, Romsey SO51 0QA
Tel: 01794 369318

Longstock Park

White Water Lilies (ASP)

Water garden founded by John Lewis, of the John Lewis partnership. A labyrinth of pools and waterways crossed by low bridges, provide a tranquil water filled oasis. Wide and diverse collection of Mature trees and shrubs, bog plants and marginals. The water lilies are at their best from late spring into summer.

Owned and managed by Waitrose.

Open: April to September (1st & 3rd Sunday)
Address: Longstock, Stockbridge SO20 6EH
Tel: 01264 810904

Mottisfont Abbey

Rosa Mons. Tillier © Seasonal Gardening

Grounds of a former 12th-c Augustinian priory. Experience over thirty acres of sweeping lawns and magnificent trees, all set in a tranquil location beside the River Test. The walled garden hosts one of the country's largest collection of old-fashioned roses.

Facilities: parking, restaurant, picnic area, shop
Open: March to October
Address: Mottisfont SO51 0LP
Tel: 01794 340757 - Run by National Trust

Osborne House

Victorian Borders © Seasonal Gardening

Extensive grounds landscaped by Prince Albert, which make full use of the natural surroundings. Contains nearly every kind of native tree plus several exotic species. The splendid italianate terraces and formal Gardens were restored by English Heritage. Features include a children's play area, Miniature Fort, Summer House, Museum and Queen Victoria's Swiss Cottage.

Facilities: parking, refreshments, picnic area
Open: April to October
Address: York Ave, East Cowes PO32 6JX
Tel: 0370 333 1181 - Run by English Heritage

West Green House

Rill and Water Feature © David Anstiss (CC2)

Charming English country house with a delightful water garden, fanciful topiary, Chinese pagodas and other neoclassical follies. Considered to be one of the top gardens to visit in England. The main feature is an 18th-c walled garden with formal parterres planted in soft hues. Music and opera performances in summer.

Facilities: parking, restaurant, picnic area, shop
Open: March to September
Address: Hartley Wintney RG27 8JB
Tel: 01252 844611

Ventnor Botanic Garden

© Seasonal Gardening

Sub-tropical paradise garden filled with exotic blooms from around the world, which thrive in the protected microclimate, often flowering right through to November. The Physics garden has herbs presented in accordance with their usage, from culinary, perfumery and medicinal applications. Don't miss the bird avery and ornamental lake.

Facilities: gift shop, visitor centre, plant sales
Open: all year
Address: Undercliff Drive, I.O.W. PO38 1UL
Tel: 01983 855397

The Vyne

© National Trust/Arnhel de Serra

A fine Tudor house surrounded by beautiful lawns, herbaceous borders and two large lakes. The landscape has changed very little since the estate was first created in the 16th-c. The woodland and a wetland areas are rich in native waterfowl and other wildlife. Several picturesque woodland and parkland waymarked trails criss-cross the grounds.

Facilities: parking, restaurant, picnic area, shop
Open:February to October
Address: Basingstoke RG24 9HL
Tel: 01256 883858 - Run by National Trust

Due to the wide variations in opening times, and seasonal changes, we are only able to state the core months in which these gardens are open. For details of the actual days and times of opening, please visit the garden's website using the link provided or call them using the telephone number listed.

Gardens by Area