Spring is the perfect time to explore the beautiful gardens and parks in and around Bath. Here are some that have reopened, or plan to soon, where you can enjoy the greenery, stretch your legs and catch up alfresco with loved ones.
American Museum & Gardens
While the museum remains closed for now, the American Museum’s gardens are open to visitors. Book your ticket to stroll around the old Italianate style manorial pleasure gardens and parkland as well as a replica of George Washington’s garden at Mount Vernon and a Lewis and Clark trail. The museum’s hilltop location also treats you to wonderful views over the Limpley Stoke Valley and River Avon.
The Garden Café is open for takeaway hot drinks, sandwiches, salad boxes and sweet treats, and little legs can let off steam in the fun Children's Garden playground.
The Botanical Gardens at Royal Victoria Park
Dating back to 1887, the Botanical Gardens are a little oasis nearby to the city centre, filling a nine-acre section of Royal Victoria Park. Free to visit, there’s a beautiful woodland garden, herbaceous border, rock garden and pool, aerial walkway and more to explore.
Bath’s Public Parks
Iford Manor Gardens
Set in the Frome River valley, Iford Manor is home to Grade I listed gardens designed by renowned Edwardian landscape designer Harold Peto. Visit for a wander among Italian, Byzantine, ancient Roman and Oriental garden designs accented with statues, columns, terraces and architecture. Capacity is limited, so make sure to book your ticket in advance to guarantee entry.
Iford Manor has exciting plans in store for spring. The new café will serve lunches, afternoon tea and snacks on a large outside seating area with views over the valley and monthly behind-the-scenes garden tours will also be running, as well as audio tours exploring the site’s fascinating past.
Bowood House and Gardens
Based in the Wiltshire countryside, the picturesque grounds at Bowood House include ‘Capability’ Brown parkland, a walled garden, an Italian-inspired terrace garden and an ever-changing herbaceous border. Let the kids loose on the Adventure Playground and grab takeaway treats from the Treehouse Café, both of which are also open now.
Visit between 23rd April and early June and you’ll also be able to enjoy bluebells, azaleas, magnolias and rhododendrons in the beautiful Woodland Gardens, which open just for the flowering season. Bowood House hopes to open on 17th May, subject to guidance.
The Bishop's Palace and Gardens
The Bishop’s Palace was the Medieval home of the Bishop of Bath and Wells for over 800 years – the well pools there inspired the city’s name. Admire them in the 14-acre RHS-partner gardens along with herbaceous borders, a pretty parterre, an arboretum, a Garden of Reflection and a fourteenth-century moat surrounding the palace. It’s a peaceful place to while away a few hours, with the palace itself reopening on 17th May.
You may know it as a designer retail outlet, but Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet also has a stunning garden tucked behind the old stone mill complex. Framed by the Charlton Viaduct, its beautiful mix of formal and informal gardens have featured on BBC shows like Gardeners’ World. If a visit leaves you feeling inspired to get gardening, pop into the Wiggly Shed plant nursery on your way out for plants, tools and garden accessories.
Somerset Lavender Farm
For a relaxing stroll, head to the family-run Somerset Lavender Farm in Faulkland, which will open again on 1st May. Take in the soothing scents of 50,000 lavender plants and visit the shop to pick up your own lavender plants (May is the perfect time to plant them). The café will also be open for takeaway hot drinks and homemade cakes.