Whenever we see a book that features the best places in the UK to visit, based on a certain theme, we first check to see if our favourites are included. It’s a simple sense-checking device that most of us do to make sure we can trust that the author has covered all bases before we’re ready to take on board the places we’ve not visited.
Tania Pascoe, in her book Wild Garden Weekends, has ticked most of the relevant boxes on our favourites list (see below), and has presented hundreds more we’ve never even heard of. The book is a run through of gardens and meadows that are accessible to the public, including wild open land, posh country piles, quirky garden cafés and urban retreats. It also lists accommodation options for outdoor types to use as a base from which to to roam, or with their own impressive gardens to explore.
Like all the best guide books it’s rammed with information, all easily accessible, with enough knowledge to give you a thorough briefing on each location. Unlike many guide books, the amount of locations that include a photo is hugely impressive, adding visual inspiration to the fact gathering appeal.
For anyone with an interest in gardens and meadows this is the perfect companion to a UK based holiday and the ideal resource for choosing a weekend retreat.
Five of our favourite Wild Garden weekends (with apologies for our south west bias)
In places, this garden resembles an exotic jungle as it slopes down towards the tranquility of the Helford river.
Burrow Hill cider orchard, Somerset
Our home county is chock full of cider orchards, and this place is one of the most famous. Try not to get too distracted by the cider – it’s a beautiful part of the world.
The Ethicuran Restaurant, Near Bristol
Take a stroll through the stunning walled garden, grab a seat at the restaurant with a view of the local landscape, and eat some impressive home grown meals. Then finish it all of with one of their wild cocktails.
Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire
Few areas are as naturally stunning as the Pembrokeshire coastline, and for a mix of breathtaking sea views, wild meadows and nature spotting, few locations can match Strumble Head.
Sizergh Castle, Cumbria
This National Trust property is noted for its ferns and has plenty of features to keep the kids amused.
Note: the publishers sent us a copy of this book for review and we deemed it good enough to warrant space on the site