There are a range of private gardens from the National Garden Scheme to choose from across the UK, perfect for groups wanting a private tour. Here are five favourites…

Groups opting for a visit to one of the many private gardens available can pre-book their trip so they will be free to explore the property and enjoy sole access as well as meeting the owner or sometimes the head gardener. 

Although not all of the National Garden Scheme’s gardens are able to open at this time, there is still a good number welcoming groups until the end of the gardening season across England and Wales. Plus, they are well worth considering as you plan ahead.

Here are five that we have picked out:

1. Heathercombe, Manaton, Nr Bovey Tracey, Devon

The secluded valley has 30 acres of seasonal displays to see which includes daffodils, extensive bluebells, large displays of rhododendrons and many unusual specimen trees. Less able visitors can make use of its many benches along miles of mainly level sandy paths.

Heathercombe, Devon

Heathercombe in Devon has 30 acres to explore.

2. Goadby Marwood Hall, Leicestershire

A chain of five lakes and several ironstone walled gardens, all interconnected across ten acres, make Goadby Marwood Hall a fantastic spot to take in beautifully landscaped gardens. Be sure to take a stroll along its Lakeside woodland walk for something extra special.

3. 5 Church Street, Ruyton XI Towns, Shropshire

The long village garden is divided into sections affording different styles of planting. Groups can expect to see herbaceous borders with a wide variety of plants, shrubs and trees, giving year-round interest through texture and colour.

 4. Ulting Wick, Maldon, Essex

Groups can expect to see thousands of tulips, herbaceous borders, a pond, mature weeping willows and even a kitchen garden at Ulting Wick. Garden lovers may be interested in this particular garden for its many plants propagated in-house, with lots of unusual plants for sale.

Ulting Wick, Essex, lake

See mature willow trees at Ulting Wick.

5. Sprint Mill, Burneside, Cumbria

Spring Mill is described as an ‘unorthodox’ organically run garden which mixes in the wild and natural alongside provision of owners’ fruit, vegetables and firewood. There are five acres to wander around which include a wooded riverbank with hand-crafted seats. Visitors can also expect to see a historic water mill with original turbine, plus the owner’s art studio and personal museum which includes a collection of old hand tools associated with rural crafts. 

Booking a group trip to a garden

GTOs wanting to book a trip to any of the National Garden Scheme gardens should contact the garden owner directly. Contact details for each owner can be found on the website.

Enquires about availability, parking, admission costs, and any other queries regarding facilities or refreshments (which are available in some gardens), along with payment, can be made directly with the relevant garden owner.

Full details about every garden accepting private group visits can be found at