Five Surprising Staffordshire Gardens
2016 is a big year for gardens in Staffordshire.
Weston Park and The Trentham Estate are helping to mark #CB300 – the year-long national festival celebrating 300 years since the birth of Capability Brown, who landscaped much of the parkland at both sites.
It’s 30 years since the National Garden Festival in Stoke-on-Trent, a six-month pageant which transformed 180 acres of industrial land and attracted more than two million visitors.
And if that were not enough, it’s also #YOTEG, VisitEngland’s Year of the English Garden!
We have many beautiful gardens in Staffordshire – here are five you might not know about, which are well worth a visit:
Dorothy Clive Garden
The Dorothy Clive Garden is situated in Staffordshire and close to the borders of Shropshire and Cheshire, only 3 miles from the village of Woore.
Initially created by Colonel Harry Clive for his ailing wife Dorothy, the garden started life in a dis-used gravel quarry and now boasts a 12 acre hillside garden including waterfall, pond and scree, laburnum arch, Royal Botanic Glasshouse, winter garden, edible woodland, late summer tropical borders and colourful rhododendrons filled quarry.
The garden welcomes families and hosts many educational and fun events throughout the open season including a chilli festival, open-air theatre, mini beast adventure and wildlife trails.
Biddulph Grange Garden
Previously home to a farm and a hospital, Biddulph Grange Garden is an idyllic sanctuary in the Staffordshire Moorlands, which has been maintained by the National Trust since 1991.
Originally created by James Bateman for his collection of exotic plants in the 1800s, each visit is a global journey through Italianate terraces, Himalayan glens, and more, with surprises like sphinxes, a sacred cow and even a Great Wall of China!
A Grade II listed building in the village of Ingestre near Stafford, Ingestre Hall dates back to 1770 and sits in 27 acres of parkland landscaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, Britain’s most celebrated gardener.
The grounds are not usually open to the public, but as part of a series of events to celebrate his work, the Friends of Ingestre Orangery are providing rare opportunities later in the year to walk the grounds and tour the historic hall.
A 900-acre estate bordering Cannock Chase, The Shugborough Estate is well-known for the magnificent hall, which was formerly home to photographer Patrick Lichfield, and the restored working environments like the dairy, kitchens and farm.
The gardens themselves are Grade I listed, with glorious daffodil and bluebell displays in spring, lavender framed terraces in summer, and lush green parkland and historic woodlands to explore all year round.
There are also wonderful neo-classical arches, a striking Chinese House, and the Shepherd’s Monument, which bears a code said to reveal the location of the Holy Grail!
Alton Towers Resort
Alton Towers Resort was a visitor attraction long before the first rollercoasters were built.
People travelled from miles around for the annual fetes in the gardens, which were created by the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury in the 19th Century and are now Grade I listed.
Features include a Stonehenge, a pagoda fountain and many more monuments and follies, alongside beautiful azaleas and rhododendrons which provide unexpected peace and tranquillity just yards away from the thrilling rides.
We have created a new Staffordshire Garden Trail featuring 20 glorious gardens for you to visit, with great special offers including 2 for 1 admission into Trentham Gardens, Weston Park and the Dorothy Clive Garden.
Or why not stay in Staffordshire and explore a few of these horticultural havens at the same time? Our new Garden Trail package includes an overnight stay and admission to two great gardens.