Gardens and historic houses in Herefordshire. Herefordshire is packed with history and culture, amazing properties and really beautiful gardens. Here is a flavour of those formal and less formal to enjoy in their different seasons.
We couldn’t go much further without featuring the wonderful selection of National Trust properties that the county is lucky to host. And in this, the 300th anniversary of ‘Capability’ Brown’ let’s begin with the historic Berrington Hall near Leominster.
Thomas Harley ancestral links to Herefordshire prompted his purchase of the Berrington estate in 1775, and his plans, as many still do, to retire to the area.
Harley commissioned Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to lay out the park, with its glorious views west towards Wales and the Black Mountains. He also took on Brown’s son-in-law, Henry Holland, to design him a new house in the latest French influenced Neo-classical style.
Having used the finest London craftsmen, the mansion is arguably the most intact house built by Holland left today and includes the staircase hall, which is his most sophisticated experiment in space, light and colour. Holland also designed the arched gateway and former coachman’s home, which is now a charming holiday cottage. The 456 acres of parkland and gardens, including lovely lake are home to a wealth of wildlife and fortunately open to explore. Visit the website here.
Dating back to the Domesday book, Croft Castle has been home to the Croft family for over 1000 years and its 1500 acres of historic woodland, farm and parkland are ploughed deeply with politics, power and pleasure. The walled garden brings lots of surprises like a vineyard, its own church, rare apple orchard and more. Walkers and their four-legged friends will love the expanse of the parkland with its ancient trees, wooded valley and Iron Age hillfort, children will play away in Croft’s natural play area. They say there are 50 things to do at this lovely National Trust venue…we think you’ll find more: Visit the website here
A trip to the Brockhampton Estate at Bringsty just outside Bromyard, will be a real trip back in time. Surrounded by 1,000 acres of farmland and 700 acres of woodland, it is still a working farm and its 14thC timber framed manor and gate house, surrounded by a moat is picture book perfect. With several of its buildings tenanted to artisan makers, you too can create your own cottage industry and pick-your-own fruit in season from the vast orchards, or kick back in the tearoom having enjoyed the exhilarating wildlife and sculpture trail.
Bordered by the River Wye at Swainshill, The Weir Garden, the last of our National Trust locations, sits within unspoilt Herefordshire countryside and for centuries was used as a pleasure ground for fishing, boating and swimming. It is managed in a natural way to create a varied habitat for wildlife. Carpets of spring bulbs give way to beautiful wild flowers in the summer, then the colours change again in the autumn.
Enjoy a gentle meander through the tranquil woodland gardens or stroll into the walled garden and glasshouse. Marvel at the remaining octagonal Roman well or cistern, as well as the largest standing piece of Roman masonry in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, thought to have been part of a villa.
This walled garden in Herefordshire lets visitors see a mix of herbaceous borders and vegetables including onions, beans, beetroots and carrots, all of which are available to buy from reception. Or why not bring a picnic and enjoy it on the deckchairs by the river? Visit the website here.
Quintessentially English and 13th century Broadfield Court’s vast and pretty house, 10 acre vineyard and rose garden, along with 4 acres of heavenly English horticulture, are owned by the James family. Their Bodenham English Wines are the finest to be produced in Herefordshire, if not the UK. Enjoy wine tastings and group tours and talks and a beautiful venue for a wedding, special celebration or corporate event. Visit the website here
Privately owned and one of Herefordshire’s most theatrical locations, Hampton Court Castle and Gardens at Hope-under-Dinmore began life in the 15th century as a country house and went on to be castellated in spectacular style. The stunning 12 acre gardens, billed as one of the most ambitious creations of our time, feature a kitchen garden, walled Victorian garden, an underground tunnel that leads to a waterfall and sunken garden, canals, island pavilions and pleached avenues.
The blooms of the 150 year old wisteria arch walk are so abundant you sometimes have to part them to stroll through. Visit the gardens and orangery café, tour the Castle or hold your wedding or function in these dramatic surroundings. Visit the website here.