Be inspired by the glorious gardens of Essex

Step back in time at historic gems like Bridge End and Easton Lodge, lovingly restored to their former glory. Drink in the vistas at Audley End with its ‘Capability’ Brown vision of temples and lakes. Reflect awhile at Beth Chatto’s water garden with its huge gunnera towering above a hundred shades of emerald. Breathe in the heady scents at RHS Hyde Hall and get carried away to distant shores. Bring a picnic and enjoy the views. Why not take a few hours out to wander round some of our county’s most picturesque plots, or plan a whole day out at one of its larger estates? Gardens aren’t just great for gardening enthusiasts but for the whole family too!

The driest county in Britain, our gently rolling landscapes speckled with picturesque villages have inspired many gardeners through the centuries to work their magic.

Browse all our gardens

 

Picture of a little blond girl showing her hands full of soil from digging in the garden.
Giving a helping hand at RHS Garden Hyde Hall.

Top picks

Picture of a mum and her little daughter kneeling down and looking at flowers.
With sweeping panoramas, big open skies and far reaching views, this garden provides somewhere to watch the changing seasons and get close to nature. Children can also enjoy the fabulous Higgledy Hyde play tower with its covered lookout.
A formal landscaped garden with red, organge and pink coloured flowers around a water fountain.

The gardens at Audley End House are nothing short of spectacular. Originally adapted from a medieval Benedictine monastery, the house and gardens are set in a tranquil landscape with stunning views across the unspoilt Essex countryside.

Beautifully landscaped garden around a pond with a boat in it.

Beth Chatto is one of the most influential gardeners in Britain, who is perhaps best known for her pioneering, ecological approach to gardening, which was developed in the 1960s, yet is so relevant to gardeners today.

More gardens that inspire

Informal part of the garden with Greek columns and garden urns.

Every turn takes in a new work of art at these intriguing gardens designed by Harlow’s architect Sir Frederick Gibberd, where woodland glades, pools and allees provide settings for some 50 sculptures, ceramic pots, quirky structures and items of architectural salvage.

Flower beds from the Millenium garden.

Choose from a range of trails at this 200-acre estate, set around a formal lake. With an 18th -century walled garden, exotic trees, play area and leafy woodland walks, it’s a beautiful place to witness the changing seasons.

Formal part of the garden with mazes and flower beds.

Tucked away in the back streets of pretty Saffron Walden, this lovingly restored Grade II gem consists of seven interlinked gardens laid out in the nineteenth century, and features a formal knot garden, kitchen garden and a popular hedge maze.

Japanese style planting with rich red colours and a plant pot in the foreground.

This beautifully-designed 20-acre garden is a true plantsman’s paradise, brimming with unusual trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Japanese, seaside, water, gravel, woodland – there are gardens here on every theme.

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Featured Country Parks

Danbury Country Park

Chelmsford 01245 437769

 
 
 
Hadleigh Park

Benfleet 01702 551072

 
 
 
High Woods Country Park

Colchester 01206 853588

 
 

Featured Nature Reserves

RSPB South Essex Marshes

Basildon 01268 498616

 
 
 
RSPB Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve

Purfleet 01708 899840

Free family ticket to Rainham Marshes
 
 
 
RSPB Wallasea Island

Rochford 01268 498616

 
 

Featured rural hideways

Park Hall Country House

Essex Tourism Awards £65-£90 pppnb, Clacton-on-Sea

 
 
Greenlands Farm

Essex Tourism & Hospitality Awards £40 pppnb, Colchester

 
 
Wakes Hall Lodges

AA 5 Star Self-catering £708-£1196 pupw sleeps 2-5, Colchester