Historic Gardens

The historic gardens in our care are among the finest in the country. From sweeping parkland to pretty parterres, and from showstopping water features to shady woodland walks, these spectacular spaces offer fantastic days out in the places that made horticultural history.


From rolling parkland and stunning vistas to elegant parterres and working kitchen gardens, we look after some of the most magnificent gardens in the country.

  • Audley End House and Gardens

    Wander the tranquil gardens created by Capability Brown, and enjoy stunning views across the Essex countryside.

  • Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

    Explore the medieval castle, the Grecian inspired Hall and acres of impressive gardens.

  • Boscobel House and Royal Oak

    Explore box hedging and plants such as peonies and artemisias characteristic of parterre gardens in the 17th century.

  • Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

    Explore this 15 acre garden connected by tunnels, bridges and pathways, including a fern dell built in the 1860s.

  • Carisbrooke Castle

    Enjoy the charming period planting, water features and orchard, from the ground level and from the battlement walk.

  • Down House

    Visit the site of great scientific discovery at Down House, the home of Charles Darwin.

  • Eltham Palace

    Explore a rare example of a 1930s Arts and Crafts garden during a visit to this stunning Art Deco home.

  • Kenilworth Castle

    Walk in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth I in Kenilworth Castle’s restored 16th-century garden.

  • Kenwood

    Set on the crest of Hampstead Heath, Kenwood's meandering paths lead to 112 acres of glorious parkland.

  • Mount Grace Priory

    Perfect for a relaxing and peaceful day out. Discover the reconstructed monk’s cell and herb plot.

  • Osborne

    Enjoy the glorious terraces and stunning bedding made possible by the mild climate at Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight home.

  • Walmer Castle

    Look out for spring blooms on Walmer’s woodland walk, and vist the tearoom to sample produce from the organic kitchen garden.

  • Witley Court and Gardens

    Discover elaborate parterre gardens and monumental fountains then find your way through enchanting woodland to the unique adventure play area.

  • Wrest Park

    Enjoy over 90 acres of beautiful gardens, including landscapes remodelled by Capability Brown.

Event Highlights

Featuring talks from our expert garden teams, self-led tours of the gardens, plant sales, machinery displays of historical gardening equipment, and more.

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Enjoy our beautiful historic gardens at their blooming best.

8 Iconic Trees

We look after thousands of trees in the gardens and landscapes we care for. Through the trees at our sites, we can tell stories of royal secrets and Christmas celebrations as well as family life and changing fortunes. Get inspired for your next day out by discovering our most iconic trees from historic gardens across the country.

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Gardens Through History - Mount Grace Priory

Join horticulturalist Hazel Gardiner as she explores Mount Grace Priory for the first in our new Gardens Through History video series.

Plan a Visit

Perfect Parterres

Every year our gardeners and volunteers take on the epic work of planting our parterre gardens with unique spring and summer displays. They are a showcase for horticultural skill and taste, and are very labour intensive. 

Read our article to find out more about the definition of a parterre, the history of parterre gardens and the historic sites where you can find them.

Find out more

Gardens through Time

From the Romans to the 20th century, use our timeline to trace the evolution of gardens in England and explore some of the distinctive features that help define each period of garden design.

View our Timeline


Behind the Scenes at our Historic Gardens

Caring for over 400 historic places covers everything from essential building repair works and restoring paintings, to planting historic gardens and keeping them blooming throughout the year. Go behind the scenes to find out more about the work that takes place in our historic gardens courtesy of our expert garden teams.


    Go behind-the-scenes at Walmer Castle’s kitchen garden and discover how an expert team of gardeners, volunteers and kitchen staff grow and prepare delicious seasonal produce all year round.

  • Behind the Scenes at Belsay Hall and Castle

    Go behind the scenes of the stunning 30-acre grade 1-listed gardens at Belsay, to discover how an expert team of gardeners and volunteers are honouring the original designs of Sir Charles Monck today.

  • Meet the Head Gardener: Down House

    Discover how the Garden team keeps Darwin’s science and inventive spirit alive at Down House, the challenges of caring for the different environments, and what makes it such a special place to visit.


  • The English Heritage Podcast

    Join presenter Charles Rowe as we bring the history of our sites to life with news, views and expert interviews across over 100 episodes.

  • Spacious Places

    Here are some of the places where it's easiest to explore history in the open air away from the crowds.

  • Days Out with Dogs

    There are plenty of dog-friendly sites across the whole of England for you to enjoy alongside your furry friends.

  • Shop Home and Garden

    From seeds and planters, to insect houses and bird boxes, find that perfect something for your home and garden on our online shop.

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