One of the highlights for me, something that elevates a good day out to a great one, is finding a stately home with a walled garden. There’s something very special about a walled garden – they’re usually planted with vegetables, fruit, herbs… useful things – and I find that both appealing and fascinating. So, without further ado, here is the list of my top 5 walled gardens within a 90-minute drive of London.
Number 1 on my list is Cliveden. Just 30 minutes from London, Cliveden is a gift that keeps on giving and will sustain several visits with something new to explore every time. We spent a few hours there and still didn’t manage to see everything. Gardens give way to more gardens, and every scrap of space is used to its fullest potential. My favourite quirk of this National Trust place however, is its car park. Yes, I love the car park. The high walls are lined with espaliered fruit trees and the beds at their bases are filled with veg. It’s a wonderful example – whether intended or not – of how we could easily fit permaculture principles into modern life. Cliveden takes a space that is often neglected or left to grow wild, and puts it to work.