The Best Public Wildflower Gardens in the UK
This week's blog is a handy guide to some of the best public wildflower gardens that you can visit this summer. We've tried to cover as much of the UK as possible so hopefully there will be one not too far away from you. Many of these gardens we have visited ourselves and some have been recommended by family and good friends of Just Bee. There are many places that we won't be able to cover here, so please feel free to offer your own suggestions in the comments below!
RHS Garden Wisely (Woking, Surrey)
Wisely is without a doubt one of the most incredible gardens we've ever visited. It's a large 240 acre area that's divided into several themed garden spaces. Highlights for wildflower seekers would be the Wildlife Garden and the Hilltop area which are both full of incredible wildflowers and pollinator friendly plants and flowers. Another highlight is the Back to Nature garden which is designed for families and children to 'play, discover and relax in' and will certainly be inspirational for any young person with little green fingers! Wisely is home to one of the largest plant collections in the world and it's worth making the time to spend a whole day there as there is so much to see and enjoy. There are several wonderful cafes and restaurants on site too selling freshly made seasonal dishes and bakery treats as well as a large garden centre selling everything you can imagine (and probably can't!)
A family ticket for 2 Adults and 2 Children is under £50 and visitors in receipt of Universal or Pension Credit can visit for just £1!
For current information and to book in advance visit the RHS Garden Wisely website.
National Botanic Garden of Wales (Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire)
For a wonderful day out in South Wales we would recommend this lovely and diverse botanic garden. Dedicated to the research and conservation of biodiversity and sustainability, there are many garden areas to see and explore. Unsurprisingly, one of the highlights for us is the amazing Bee Garden that is home to half a million honey bees and the highly enjoyable and educational 'pollinator trail'. Also on our must see list is Cae Trawscoed, a traditionally managed hay meadow so rich in wildflowers that it is just a pure delight to wander through.
We recommend a whole day to experience everything on offer here, the cafe in the stable block offering hot meals and snacks also comes highly recommended.
Family tickets are under £50, while carers and under 2's are free.
For current information visit the National Botanic Garden of Wales website.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan (near St Austell, Cornwall)
My family and I visited Heligan while holidaying in Cornwall and it was the genuine highlight of our week. The Estate and gardens had so much to explore, it felt like it could have gone on forever. Woodland walks that were absolutely delightful and wildflower meadows that were breathtaking and beautiful. Spread over 200 acres we would encourage everyone to wear good shoes/boots and fully explore the whole area over a day. Following a path with no idea where it's going is part of the fun. Heligan is also home to a rare breeds park and many other animals that kids will adore. The Black Honeybee observation hive is also a fascinating must-see for any budding beekeepers!
Family Admission for 1 Adult and up to 3 children is £45, 2 Adults and up to 3 children is £58. Children under 5 are free. We think the overall experience is worth every penny. If you would like to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan more than once in a week you can also upgrade your day admission tickets to a weekly pass for no extra charge, which is perfect because once you are captured by its beauty you really won't want to leave!
For more information visit The Lost Gardens of Heligan website.
Clumber Park (Worksop, Nottinghamshire)
Clumber Park is a magical National Trust site that covers 3,800 acres of parkland, gardens and woodland. Add to that the 83 acre serpentine lake and there's a lot to see and explore! There are many suggested trails and walks you can follow or you can just wander around as free as a bird taking in the wonderful plants, wildflowers and wildlife. One of the best things about Clumber Park is that it's a dog friendly National Trust site, so if you are looking for somewhere to wander with your four legged friend at your side then Clumber Park is highly recommended. They even have a dog friendly cafe called Central Bark!
Admission is only £5 for adults and family tickets start at £7.50. Less than 60 miles from Manchester or Leeds and even closer to Sheffield, it's the perfect place to visit from the North West or the Midlands.
Start to plan your trip by visiting the Clumber Park National Trust website.
Pitmuies Gardens (Guthrie, Scotland)
Believed to date back to the 18th Century, the gardens at Pitmuies were one of the first gardens to open to the public through Scotland’s Gardens Scheme in 1931. While there may be larger and more well known gardens in Scotland, we feel Pitmuies Gardens offer something quite unique and wonderful. As well as the two main gardens, the field at the front of the house known as 'policy field' is a lovely grass meadow full of grasses and wildflowers. If you follow the driveway down beyond the house you'll find yourself at the Black Loch, where if you are lucky you might see some fantastic wildlife too! The woodland garden in early spring is the place to see thousands of beautiful snowdrops, they are a real sight to behold! Pitmuies Gardens are very peaceful and picnicking is welcome, and benches are located throughout the gardens and walks. There are also some tables by the black loch, which is a great place to enjoy your lunch.
Admission is only £5 for Adults and accompanied children are completely free. Pitmuies is privately owned, so please respect the owners privacy and property at all times. There is a toilet in the Kitchen Garden but you will not find toilets or bins around the gardens, so plan well and make sure you take any rubbish away with you. You will be asked to kindly keep to the paths through the gardens and children will need be supervised accordingly. Depending on your child's personality and age they may prefer to go somewhere else where they can run around free, so these gardens may not be suitable for everyone. Pitmuies Gardens are however the perfect place to have romantic afternoon stroll with your spouse or partner!
Find more information at the Pitmuies Gardens website.
We hope you will be able to visit one of these gardens this summer, let us know where you have been below and other places you would recommend! Remember, you could always start your own wildflower garden meadow with our bee-saving seeds (still) free with every order at Just Bee Honey!