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4 must-visit gardens in Lincolnshire
The busier life gets, the more we all need to make time for peace, tranquility and fresh air. Luckily, you don’t have to look far to find it. Lincolnshire is a treasure trove of greenery just waiting to welcome you in.
Whether you’re a keen gardener looking for the best floral displays, or a nature lover in need of somewhere to relax and recharge, there are plenty of must-visit gardens in Lincolnshire to add to your itinerary.
Doddington Hall Gardens
Located just a few miles from the heart of Lincoln, Doddington Hall and Gardens is a classic English country estate that boasts everything from a 16th century family hall, nature trails and cycle tracks, a farm shop and restaurant – and of course, 5 acres of beautiful gardens.
What makes this one of the must-visit gardens in Lincolnshire is the West Garden’s stunning array of formal parterre beds, showing off Crown Imperials, Bearded Irises, Edwardian Daffodils and a Handkerchief Tree. But that’s not all. Doddington also has a topiary garden framing the hall’s East Front, a Wild Garden bursting with snowdrops, lilies and narcissus, and a walled Kitchen Garden supplying seasonal produce to the farm shop.
In case you need more reason to visit, Doddington Hall is also a great opportunity to explore an Elizabethan estate in all its glory. Inside the hall you’ll find everything from tapestries and paintings, to furniture and ceramics, to the M. C. Tsen Collection of military uniforms and weaponry.
Entry for adults starts from £8.50 for the gardens or £13 for the gardens and hall, and season tickets are available. The gardens are open from February through October and the hall from April through September, and they host regular events like guided nature and mindfulness walks, open air opera and theatre, and wine tasting in the restaurant.
Grimsthorpe Castle Gardens
Head down to Bourne in the southern end of Lincolnshire and you’ll find Grimsthorpe Castle Park and Gardens. The sprawling country house – which dates back to the 13th century – is already reason enough to visit, but the 3,000-acre estate also encompasses one of the must-visit gardens in Lincolnshire.
Framed by meticulously maintained box hedges, the garden features an inspired blend of trees, shrubs, and flowers as well as topiary animals. The park beyond the formal gardens also offers up an opportunity to explore the countryside on foot or by bike, taking in the stunning lake as well as wildlife like deer, buzzards, red kites and geese.
Grimsthorpe Castle is owned by the Willoughby de Eresby family, and the gardens are open to the public from April to October. Admission fees start from £9 for adults, and guided tours of the castle are also available.
Gunby Hall Gardens
On the southern tip of the Lincolnshire Wolds is Gunby Hall Gardens. With 8 acres of walled Victorian gardens set amid 1,500 acres of countryside, this National Trust estate near Spilsby has plenty to get lost in and explore.
What makes Gunby Hall such a highlight for garden lovers is its variety. For formal gardens, the Sundial Lawn and Yellow Border offers beds of honeysuckle and a herbaceous border alongside an ornamental sundial, arched gateway and a pergola. The kitchen garden – with its lines of apple, pear, plum and fig trees – opens a window into the working life of Gunby Hall, while the wildflower walk on the East Lawn adds an eruption of colour in March and April especially.
Gunby’s gardens are also known for their collection of roses, boasting dozens of unique varieties. Each year they celebrate this variety with Rose Day, which sets trade stalls, crafts and picnics among the sea of roses. In 2023, Gunby’s Rose Day takes place on 29th May.
Gunby Hall and Gardens are open from February, and admission starts from £9 for adults.
Belton House Gardens
Gunby Hall isn’t the only example of excellent National Trust gardens in Lincolnshire. Located just outside of Grantham, Belton House houses a variety of formal gardens in the heart of 1,300 acres of woodland estate.
The highlights at Belton are the Italian and Dutch gardens. The Dutch Garden offers up a tranquil walk along topiary-lined gravel paths and blooming parterres. Meanwhile, the Italian Garden partners vibrant herbaceous borders with topiary and an ornamental fountain. Its Crataegus prunifolia trees provide a riot of red and orange in autumn, and its borders of Bishop of Llandaff and Bishop of York dahlias stay in bloom until late October.
Overlooking the Italian Garden is Belton’s cast-iron Orangery. Designed and built in the early 1800s, the Orangery houses Californian and Kentia Palms, a pool surrounded by Pelargoniums, and a wide variety of exotic plants and foliage.
Admission to Belton’s house and gardens costs £16 for adults. As well as the range of gardens, Belton’s estate includes acres of ancient deer park, woodlands and ponds to explore, as well as a second-hand bookshop, cafe and ice cream parlour.
At the end of the day…
With so many must-visit gardens in Lincolnshire, it’s impossible to take in them all in one day. But at the end of the day, you don’t have to head all the way home.
Located just outside of Lincoln, Washingborough Hall makes for the perfect base to explore Lincolnshire’s wealth of stunning gardens. Our 18th-century manor house has everything you need to rest up in true luxury, whether you’re looking for a sumptuous single room or a four-poster bed in all its Georgian glory.
While you’re here, why not join us for dinner or Sunday lunch? With locally sourced ingredients, an extensive handpicked wine list, and a dining room that looks out over Washingborough’s lawn, there’s no better way to refill the tank.