With the government advice now allowing us to spend unlimited amounts of time outdoors, and also meet in groups of six outdoors provided that social distancing is observed between those from different households, we've been on the hunt for new places and spaces to explore.
For months we've had to settle for our local park, or just a walk around the neighbourhood, but now that we can travel, more of the UK's most beautiful gardens and parkland has become accessible.
In light of this guidance, many Visit Heritage properties and organisations are making plans to gradually re-open outdoor spaces throughout June, once again giving the public access to historic homes, mazes and perfectly manicured rose gardens (bliss).
A handful of gardens are already open, for example Rousham Gardens in Oxfordshire, which is one of the few gardens of this age to have escaped alteration, with many features which delighted eighteenth century visitors to Rousham still in situ.
When you visit Rousham you will find it uncommercial and unspoilt with no tea room and no shop. Bring a picnic, wear comfortable shoes and it is yours for the day.
Beaulieu's serene grounds and gardens are also open for exploring via the network of footpaths that criss-cross the attraction. The gardens were originally the grounds of ancient Beaulieu Abbey and later Palace House. They are now carefully managed by Beaulieu's green-fingered team. Discover a Victorian kitchen garden, spot intricate tree carvings and enjoy views of the Beaulieu River, just 90-minutes from London.
If you fancy feeling a little regal for the day, then Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, with 1,000 acres of parkland to explore, is a haven of peace and tranquility with extensive woodland walks, temples, lakes and fountains. The monumental landscape offers breathtaking views at every turn, taking in the countryside of the Howardian Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The following seven historic gardens are also open right now for you to visit:
- Minterne Gardens, Dorset
- Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
- Kentwell Hall Gardens, Suffolk
- Raby Castle, Durham
- Little Malvern Court, Worcestershire
- Newby Hall, North Yorkshire
- Hever Castle, Kent
These are just a small selection of the gardens which have now reopened, but for the full list of properties and gardens reopening check out the Hudson's Guide 2020.
We can't wait to start making the most of all the magical spots the UK has to offer again.
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