25 open gardens to visit in Surrey in 2019

Coverwood Lakes

Coverwood Lakes - Credit: Archant

Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Surrey has a wealth of beautiful gardens to visit. Throughout the open garden season you will find an array of stunning choices. We pick out a selection of her favourites

Chinthurst Lodge

Plant enthusiasts Hilary and Michael Goodridge have been welcoming visitors to their one-acre country garden for many years. From the white garden, herbaceous borders, buxus parterre with spires of alliums, the gravel garden, wells and ornamental ponds, a laburnum tunnel and fine trees, to the veg patch of produce mixed with flowers, complete with a fun scarecrow; there is much to enjoy.

Chinthurst Lodge, Wonersh, GU5 0PR | National Garden Scheme (NGS): June 16, 19 | Visitors also welcome by arrangement May to July | Admission £5, children free

Coverwood Lakes

Stroll the 14-acre landscaped woodland with four lakes and bog garden set high in the Surrey Hills. Enjoy the shimmering reflections of massed azaleas and rhododendrons in spring and autumnal blaze in autumn. Allow time to follow the marked trail through the 180-acre working farm with Hereford cattle, sheep and horses. Light refreshments, including home produced Hereford burgers and cake.

Coverwood Lakes, Ewhurst, GU6 7NT | NGS: April 14, 22; May 5, 12; Oct 13 | Visitors by arrangement Jan to Dec | Admission £6, children free

Dunsborough Park

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Six-acre walled garden laid out in the 18th century redesigned by Penelope Hobhouse and Rupert Golby. Home to Baron and Baroness Sweerts de Landas Wyborgh, this is an elegant garden with formal and informal rooms. The framework of box hedging, infilled with stripes of vibrant tulips and muscari is stunning in spring, followed by roses in summer, while in late summer and autumn massed dahlias are the stars.

Dunsborough Park, Ripley, GU23 6AL | NGS: Apr 17, June 8, Sept 8 | Admission £7, children free

The Garth Pleasure Grounds

A visit at bluebell time will only add to the timeless atmosphere of this fascinating and historic property. The origins of The Garth go back to 1729 as a workhouse; followed in 1850 by division into six cottages, before in 1918 it became a single house. Lana and David Sherlock, who moved from London into the Grade II* listed building in 2010 are enthusiastically refurbishing the nine-acre Pleasure Grounds surrounding the house, which include formal sections, woodland, ancient oaks, a spinney, nuttery and borders.

The Garth Pleasure Grounds, Lingfield, RH7 6BJ | NGS: May 5, 12 | Visitors by arrangement May to July | Admission £5, children free

Hampton Court

There are 60 acres of historically important formal gardens at Hampton Court Palace that run down to the River Thames, with floral displays, fountains and a stunning Privy garden based on a 1702 design.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU | Open all year | Palace, Maze and Gardens adults £25, children £12.50, under 5 free


Margaret Arnott and Terry Bartholomew have created a lovely terraced garden bursting with interest throughout the year. Both are enthusiastic gardeners, Margaret with the design and planting, Terry with the meticulous maintenance. Creative ideas abound as the couple create little vignettes within the third-of-an-acre landscape.

Heathside, Cobham, KT11 2QH | NGS: Visits by arrangement July to Aug

High Clandon Estate Vineyard

Vast wildflower meadows blend to the vineyard and then the vistas of the Surrey Hills beyond, while closer to the house garden areas unfold. There’s a small, enclosed potager, a Japanese garden complete with bridge, herbaceous beds and an apiary. An atmospheric Glass Barn is used for exhibitions and tastings of their award-winning sparkling wine. Plus, there are over 150 sculptures in vineyard exhibition.

High Clandon Estate Vineyard, East Clandon, GU4 7RP | NGS: June 2 | Admission £6, children free, home-made teas

Hill Farm

A lovely family garden designed by owner Helen Thomas who recently re-trained as a professional garden designer. She is guided by a sense of place and creating a garden that suits the sloping location, architecture of the house while also benefiting wildlife. Carpets of heather and rhythmical, textural plantings of grasses have been used to great effect. There is also a wildlife pond and woodland walk.

Hill Farm, Westcott, RH4 3JY | NGS: Sept 15 | Admission £5, children free

Kew Gardens

The iconic Royal Botanic Gardens has so much to see over 121 hectares, from the treetop walkway to historic glasshouses, that I’d recommend multiple visits, concentrating on different sections and attractions each time.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, TW9 3AB | Open all year at 9.30am | Online prices £18.15, children £4.50

Loseley Park

Home to the More-Molyneux family for over 500 years this timeless and yet evolving 2.5-acre walled garden stretches out from the atmospheric Elizabethan House and entices return visitors with its fragrant award-winning rose garden with over one thousand bushes, billowing flower gardens, ethereal herb garden, abundant organic potager, and outside the walls, a wildflower meadow. A range of events go on through the year.

Loseley Park, Guildford, GU3 1HS | House, open May – July (Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and Sun) | Grounds, garden, tearoom from May–Sept | Garden only admission £7.50, children £4 | Garden shows from April 26–28 and July 26–28

Macmillan Garden trio

Bardsey, a regular favourite with our Surrey Life list, along with Charton and Trantlebeg, three Haslemere gardens within 200 yards of each other, are opening for a Macmillan Garden Day on Sunday May 12. Enjoy a stroll through billowing borders, productive plots and bog gardens at Bardsey, shrubs and herbaceous planting around a large lawn at Charton, and interesting trees and shrubs in a gently sloping garden at Trantlebeg.

Derby Road, Haslemere, GU27 1BS | May 12 | Admission £10 covers all three gardens, children free | Tickets available at all three gardens | Also open through the NGS on July 6, July 7, and in June and July by arrangement

Moleshill House

Romantic, with a lovely balance between formal and informal planting. Trimmed garlands and topiary adorn containers by the house, while masterful combinations of form and infill abound with an abundant palette of beautiful plants. Each area has owner Penny Snell’s attention to detail; from traditional beehives and eclectic artefacts in the conservatory to a gypsy caravan and textural movement in the gravel garden.

Moleshill House, Cobham, KT11 1BG | NGS: May 27, June 16, Sept 8 | Admission £6.50 combined with Fairmile Lea garden, children free | Visitors by arrangement May to Sept

The Old Rectory

A beautiful Georgian manor house with a quintessential Italianate topiary garden, box parterres, statuary and elegant containers, an ancient moat, woodland and walled kitchen garden, created by owners Trudie and Anthony Procter who are guiding a gradual reclaiming of the four acres.

The Old Rectory, Bletchingley RH1 4QW | NGS: June 9 | Admission £5, children free | Visitors by arrangement Apr to Sept


Beautiful 18th century, 158-acre landscape restored through the Painshill Park Trust. A delightful, tranquil place to stroll.

Painshill, Cobham, KT11 1JE | Open all year | Adults £8, children £4.50, under 5s free

Pratsham Grange

Four acres of formal and informal gardens created by owner Alan Comber with herbaceous borders, clipped form, knot garden, geometric beds, ponds, as well as cutting and vegetable gardens. Massed hydrangeas, fuchsias, and vibrant late season perennials keep colour going right through summer.

Pratsham Grange, Holmbury St Mary, RH5 6LZ | NGS: Aug 18 |Admission £5, children free. Visitors by arrangement June to Aug

RHS Wisley

Flagship of the Royal Horticultural Society, inspiring in any season and one for all the family to enjoy.

RHS Wisley, Woking, GU23 6QB | Open all year, see website for full details | RHS members free, admission £15.95, children £8

69 Salisbury Grove

A rather different garden visiting experience here, with art and craft glass decorations hanging from the trees (and for sale), eclectic arrangements of containers, sculptures, a love of blue, and if you’re lucky, you may even meet the very friendly robin who popped in at my visit.

69 Salisbury Grove, Mytchett GU16 6DA | NGS: Aug 10 | Admission £3, children free | Visitors by arrangement June to Sept

The Savill Garden

35-acre ornamental gardens created in the 1930s by Sir Eric Savill continually evolve to ensure year-round interest.

Savill Garden, Egham, TW20 0UU | Open all year | Admission £10.50, children free


Serenity and elegance pervade the mature, beautifully-manicured, four-acre garden created by Anne Barnes. Perfectly striped lawns are edged in curving densely planted borders, fine shrubs and graceful trees. Formal areas by the house include a striking Buddha head from Cambodia overlooking a rectangular pond, a sunken gravel garden with clipped topiary parterre and paved terraces.

Spurfold, Peaslake, GU5 9SZ | NGS: May 19 Admission £6, children free | Visitors by arrangement May to July

The Therapy Garden

This horticultural and education charity uses gardening to generate a positive change for adults and teenagers living with learning difficulties and mental health challenges. The garden is designed for wheelchair use with wide paths and raised flower and vegetable beds, there are sensory areas and quiet spaces, while providing social and therapeutic horticulture to different groups in the local community.

The Therapy Garden, Normandy, GU3 2DT | NGS: May 5, Sept 1 | Admission £5, children free | Visitors by arrangement April to September

Tilford Cottage

Showcasing exciting sculptural and installation pieces within an abundantly planted garden. Artist Rod Burn has created the scene from a blank canvas since 1992. Wander through a series of garden rooms, including areas of formal box hedging, a hidden herb garden, Japanese and knot garden, as well as informal areas of meadow and riparian planting.

Tilford Cottage, Tilford, GU10 2BX | NGS: Visitors by arrangement Apr to Sept | Admission £6, children free

Titsey Place

Home to the Gresham family since 1534, 15 acres of formal and informal gardens in an idyllic setting, including rose gardens, lakes, woodland walks and the colourful walled kitchen garden, which was restored in 1996.

Titsey Place Gardens, Oxted, RH8 0SD | May 15 to Sept 25, Wed, Sat, Sun | House and garden £8, garden only £5, children £1


Step back in time in this English Heritage Grade II listed garden with a water garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll in 1911 and dappled woodland around the Tudor and William and Mary house with Arts and Crafts additions.

Vann, Hambledon, GU8 4EF | NGS: Apr 14, 15, 16, 17; May 6-12, June 23 | Admission £7, children free

Westways Farm

Six-acre garden surrounded by mature woodlands with carpets of bluebells under colourful rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias and azaleas. Around the Queen Anne house are formal beds prettily planted, extensive lawns and a sunken pond garden.

Westways Farm, Chobham, GU24 8HH | NGS: May 12. Admission £4, children free | Visitors by arrangement Apr to June

Woodbury Cottage

Colour-themed with orchestrated plantings of grasses and perennials, this sloping garden is set out in two parts, divided by a hedged moon gate. Shirley and Bob Stoneley’s aim for “a more structured approach in regard to colour, texture and contour than is found in a truly traditional cottage garden” is beautifully realised and full of inspirational ideas.

Woodbury Cottage, Reigate, RH2 9JJ | NGS: July 6, 7; Sat 8, Sept 7, 8 | Visits also welcome by arrangement July 1 to Oct 31 | Admission £4, children free


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