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13 gorgeous gardens in the Cotswolds you can visit

Bursting with colour and fragrance, the Cotswolds is home to some of the country’s most glorious gardens. They feature creative designs dating from the Rococo and Arts and Crafts periods to the present day, with a wide variety of plants decorated with statues, water features and follies.

We’ve chosen 13 of our favourite gardens in the Cotswolds which make a great day out, whether you’re looking for inspiration for your own garden or just want to get out into nature. They range from traditional English country gardens to exotic plantings inspired by Italy, India and the Far East. Many have shops and cafés you can enjoy too – and several are dog-friendly.

13 gorgeous gardens in the Cotswolds you can visit
Iford Manor Gardens

Visiting gardens in the Cotswolds

We’ve only listed gardens below which are regularly open to the public. There are others, including Barnsley House, Badminton House and Abbey House Manor, which run occasional garden open days – either independently or as part of the National Open Garden Scheme (see below).

Want to bring your dog? Dogs on short leads are welcome at Batsford Arboretum, Painswick Rococo Garden, Cerney House Gardens and Iford Manor Gardens, but not the other gardens.

Several gardens in the Cotswolds are part of the National Trust or Historic Houses heritage organisations. Members get free entry, so if you’re planning on visiting multiple gardens and stately homes it may be worth joining. Annual adult membership of the National Trust costs £91 or Historic Houses £68. We’ve listed which properties are members of which organisations below:

  • National Trust: Hidcote, Snowshill Manor and Gardens, and Upton House and Gardens.
  • Historic Houses: Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Sezincote, Sudeley Castle and Gardens, Painswick Rococo Garden and The Garden at Miserden.
Flowers at Snowshill Manor and Gardens
Snowshill Manor and Gardens

National Open Garden Scheme

You can also explore some of the private gardens in the Cotswolds which aren’t normally open to the public as part of the National Open Garden Scheme. The scheme lets visitors come and take a look around private gardens on special open days to help raise money for charity.

In 2024 there are 82 gardens open as part of the scheme, including Daylesford House, Stanway House, Westonbirt School and the Lords of the Manor Hotel. There are also days when whole villages like Blockley, Stanton and Wyck Rissington open up their gardens to visitors.

The gardens at the Lords of the Manor Hotel in Upper Slaughter
The Lords of the Manor Hotel

Map of gardens in the Cotswolds

Map of gardens in the Cotswolds
Click on the map to open an interactive Google Maps version


Hidcote is an Arts and Crafts-inspired garden located a few miles north of Chipping Campden. American horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnson created the garden between 1907 to 1938 after his mother bought the attached manor house. He started with a blank canvas and created a stunning 10.5-acre space that’s become one of the best-known and loved gardens in the Cotswolds.

Johnson was a keen plant collector who travelled around the world looking for rare and unusual species. And he used his travels as inspiration for a series of outdoor rooms at Hidcote, which are divided by walls or topiary hedges and each have a separate theme and different plantings.

Hidcote is open daily 10am–5pm from April–October, 11am–4pm daily in March and October, and 11am–4pm at weekends only from November–February. Entry costs £10–£18 adults/£5–£9 children (depending on the time of year), or is free for National Trust members.

Colourful plants at Hidcote, an Arts and Crafts garden in the Cotswolds
The gardens at Hidcote

Kiftsgate Court Gardens

Less than half a mile away from Hidcote is Kiftsgate Court Gardens, which is the work of three generations of female gardeners. It started with Heather Muir in the 1920s, who was a close friend of Hidcote’s Lawrence Johnson. In contrast to the more formal style there, Muir wanted Kiftsgate to have an informal feel and to develop organically, rather than planning it in advance.

Her daughter Diany Binny carried on the work, adding an Italian garden and developing the fragrant Kiftsgate rose. And the garden is now looked after by Heather’s granddaughter Anne Chambers, who has maintained it and added her own touches with a water garden and sculptures.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens are open 12pm–6pm on Sundays to Thursdays from May–August, and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays in April (2pm–6pm) and September (12pm–6pm). Entry costs £11 adults/£3 children, or is free for Historic Houses members.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens in the Cotswolds
Kiftsgate Court Gardens

Snowshill Manor and Gardens

Sixteenth-century Snowshill Manor was restored by Edwardian architect and poet Charles Paget Wade, and it’s now used to display the huge collections of weird and wonderful objects he amassed over his lifetime. As well as restoring the house, Wade also transformed the gardens, creating an Arts and Crafts-style series of outdoor rooms, with accents painted in his signature ‘Wade Blue’.

There are lots of interesting details to uncover, including the Nychthemeron (a clock painted with astronomical and zodiac symbols), dovecote and sundial. It even features a pond with a model Cornish seaside village called Wolf’s Cove, complete with miniature fishing boats.

Snowshill Manor is open daily from March–October and at weekends only in November. Entry costs £14 adults/£7 children, or is free for National Trust members.

Wolf's Cove model fishing village at Snowshill Gardens
Wolf’s Cove at Snowshill Gardens

Bourton House Garden

Bourton House Garden in Bourton-on-the-Hill is a classic English country garden surrounding a Georgian manor house. In the 1980s, the Paice family bought the house and turned the neglected wilderness around it into an award-winning garden, creating water features from natural springs, building a shade house, adding herbaceous borders, a knot garden and parterre.

Also just across the road is a seven-acre field planted with different species of trees, including the Japanese Cherry, Sugar Maple and Wellingtonia (a printed guide is available to help you identify them). Visitors can also call into the Tithe Barn café for lunch or tea and homemade cakes.

Bourton House Garden is open 10am–5pm on Tuesdays to Fridays from April until the end of October. Entry costs £10 adults/free for children under 16.

Pond at Bourton House Gardens
Bourton House Garden

Batsford Arboretum

Located west of Moreton-in-Marsh, Batsford Arboretum stretches across 60 acres which are filled with thousands of varieties of trees, shrubs and plants. It was created by Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, first Lord Redesdale and grandfather of the infamous Mitford sisters.

Mitford took inspiration from his time in China and Japan, and Batsford is known for its collection of bamboo and Japanese flowering cherry trees, whose pastel pink blossoms dazzle in springtime. But there’s plenty of colour year-round, from snowdrops and bluebells to orchids, buttercups and autumn leaves. You can also take part in seasonal walks, guided tours and workshops.

Batsford Arboretum is open daily from 9.30am–5pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 10am–5pm on Sundays. Entry costs £9 adults/£8.10 concessions/£3.15 children.

Autumn colours at Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds
Autumn at Batsford Arboretum


Located close to both Batsford Arboretum and Bourton House Garden, Sezincote is a real contrast to the traditional English country garden. This Indian-style house and garden was created by Samuel Pepys Cockerell in 1798 and was based on the designs of Mogul palaces of Rajasthan.

Among the plants and flowers you’ll find stone sculptures of elephants and sacred cows, a bronze serpent, inscriptions of Sufi poetry on the Persian garden steps and a temple to the Indian Sun God Surya. There’s also a spectacular central fountain, a curving orangery that’s filled with climbing plants, and a series of spring-fed pools which run down the hillside to the River Evenlode.

Sezincote is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays 11am–5pm from April–October, and 11am–4pm from November to March (excluding December). Entry to the gardens costs £9 adults/£3 children, or is free for Historic Houses members.

Indian style elephant statues at Sezincote House and Gardens
Elephant statues at Sezincote

Upton House and Gardens

In the northeast of the Cotswolds, National Trust Upton House and Gardens was the 1930s country retreat of Lord and Lady Bearsted. Lord Bearsted was heir to the Shell fortune and the couple were renowned philanthropists. Lady Bearsted hired Kitty Lloyd-Jones to work on the gardens, a pioneering female garden designer and one of the first women to get a degree in horticulture.

Kitty transformed the garden into a place of pleasure, with soft planting, a mirror pool, wild garden of cherry trees and an enchanting bog garden around a natural spring. There’s also plenty of space to sit and relax, and the garden is a haven for birds, bees, butterflies and wildlife.

Upton House and Gardens is open 10am–5pm daily (11am–4pm from November to February). Entry costs £14 adults/£7 children, or is free for National Trust members.

Colourful planting
Colourful planting

Sudeley Castle Gardens

Sudeley Castle has a regal history dating back over 1000 years, and is the only private castle in England with a queen buried in its grounds. Surrounding the castle are 10 different gardens, including the Queens’ Garden – named after the four queens who visited the castle. This was once a Tudor vegetable garden, but now has more than 80 varieties of roses on display.

There’s also the Knot Garden with its intricately shaped hedges, the Ruins Garden with the remains of the 15th-century Banqueting Hall, the White Garden next to St Mary’s Church and the romantic Secret Garden, designed by current owner Lady Ashcombe to celebrate her marriage.

Sudeley Castle is normally open daily from April–October. Entry costs £19.50 adults/£8.75 children, or is free for Historic Houses members.

The Knot Garden at Sudeley Castle
The Knot Garden at Sudeley

Painswick Rococo Garden

Tucked away in a secluded valley on the edge of Painswick, Painswick Rococo Garden is the last surviving Rococo garden in the country. It dates back to the 1740s and was built as an ornamental pleasure garden for wealthy landowner Benjamin Hyett, with winding paths, follies, ponds and viewpoints designed to amuse and delight the guests at his garden parties.

When fashions moved on, the garden was left abandoned and overgrown. But it was carefully restored in the 1980s, with the help of a 1748 painting by a local artist which showed how it would’ve looked at the time. Now you can follow the woodland walk, explore the maze and kitchen garden, and admire the Cotswold views. It’s also a great place to see snowdrops in spring.

Painswick Rococo Garden is open from mid January–December (days and times vary each month). Entry costs £11.60 adults/£5.40 children, or is free for Historic Houses members.

Daffodils in Painswick Rococo Garden in spring
Painswick Rococo Garden in spring

The Garden at Miserden

The 17th-century walled garden at Miserden has a timeless feel, with a deer park as a backdrop and views out across the Golden Valley. Highlights of the garden include a topiary yew walk created by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who also designed a wing of the house, an ancient mulberry tree planted in 1620, and an unusual sycamore tree that has grown right through a Cotswold stone wall.

You can also see the longest mixed borders in private ownership, with over 90 metres of roses, clematis, delphiniums, shrubs and herbaceous plants. And there’s a café in an Edwardian glasshouse, local gifts for sale in the Potting Shed Shop, and regular art and craft workshops.

The Garden at Miserden is open on Wednesdays to Sundays 10am–5pm from April to September. Entry costs £12 adults/free for children under 16, and is free for Historic Houses members.

The Garden at Miserden
The long borders at Miserden (photo © The Garden at Miserden)

Cerney House Gardens

Cerney House Gardens are a romantic, secluded spot located just north of Cirencester. The late owner, Lady Angus, fell in love with Cerney House’s original Victorian kitchen garden, and spent years restoring it with the help of her daughter Barbara. An icehouse was uncovered and a herb garden added, and now the kitchen garden supplies fresh produce to family and friends.

The rest of the garden has also grown organically, with trailing roses, a nature trail, wildflower bank and woodland. It’s particularly pretty in spring when you can see snowdrops, daffodils, tulips and bluebells blooming. And there are self-service refreshments in the bothy tea shop.

Cerney House Gardens are open daily 10am–7pm. Entry costs £6 adults/£1 children.

Snowdrops at Cerney House Gardens in spring
Snowdrops at Cerney House Gardens

Highgrove Gardens

Highgrove House near Tetbury is the much-loved country retreat of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Since the King bought the estate in 1980, he’s transformed the gardens, making them as sustainable as possible by using organic materials, recycling and conserving water. And visitors can take a look around the gardens on one of their small group tours, led by an expert guide.

There’s a series of different interlinked gardens, including a cottage garden, wildflower meadow, stumpery, thyme walk and kitchen garden. And they’re dotted with sculptures, water features and topiary (though note you’re not allowed to take photos on the tour). There’s also a garden shop and the Orchard Room, where you can treat yourself to a Champagne afternoon tea.

Highgrove Garden Tours run on selected dates between April and September and need to be booked in advance. Tours cost £34.50 per person (children under nine not permitted).

The Highgrove Garden shop
The Highgrove Garden shop

Iford Manor Gardens

Take a trip to Italy without leaving the Cotswolds at the romantic Grade I-listed Iford Manor Gardens, east of Bradford on Avon. The gardens were designed by Edwardian landscape architect Harold Peto in the early 20th century. He travelled across the world designing gardens for the aristocracy, and took inspiration from Italian, Byzantine, Roman and Oriental designs.

Iford Manor’s current owners, the Cartwright-Hignett family, have carried on his legacy, restoring and extending the garden, which features terraces, a loggia, columns, statues and water features among its plants and flowers. There’s also the award-winning Iford Manor Kitchen restaurant, which does a great Sunday lunch, and the garden hosts summer concerts and a jazz festival.

Iford Manor is open 11am–4pm on Wednesdays to Sundays from April–October. Entry costs £10 adults/£9 concessions (children under 10 not permitted), with discounts if you book online.

The Italian-inspired Iford Manor Gardens in the Cotswolds
Iford Manor Gardens

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13 gorgeous gardens in the Cotswolds which are open to visitors, from traditional English country gardens to exotic designs taking inspiration from Italy, India and the Far East | Cotswold garden guide | Places to visit in the Cotswolds | Cotswold gardens

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