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


Turn a visit to one of our gardens into a short break

Top picks

Butterflies on vibrant 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.
People admiring the flowers at Audley End House and Gardens

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.

River flowing through gardens

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.

Cressing Temple

Cressing Temple’s Walled Garden is a faithfully reconstructed Tudor pleasure garden, one of few to be found nationally. The site also boasts a Cullen Garden, planted to encourage insect and bird life, and a Jubilee Orchard, abundant with mature trees


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 0345 603 7624

Hadleigh Park

Benfleet 01702 551072


Featured rural hideways

Wakes Hall Lodges

AA 5 Star Self-catering £765-£1293 pupw sleeps 2-5, Colchester