See how years of dedication has turned the Beth Chatto Gardens into a place of wonderment. Take in the contrasting displays of the dry Gravel Garden and the lush Water Garden. Don’t miss the explosion of color in the Woodland Garden during the spring or autumn and prepare to be amazed by the Scree Garden. Shop in the nursery or relax with a hot drink in the tearoom.
The gardens were created in 1960 when the gardening expert and author Beth Chatto set about planting areas of her family’s land that were previously considered unsuitable for gardening. The result is a 7-acre (3-hectare) attraction that proves that beautiful gardens don’t always require perfect soil and weather conditions. Start in the Gravel Garden, where the sculptural forms and subtle colors of the plants beautifully illustrate that keeping a garden is also possible in drier areas. The displays in the Scree Garden show how delicate flowers and plants can even survive on slopes covered in stones. Follow the Long Shady Walk to see which plants thrive in areas with little light. Then, make your way to the four ponds of the Water Garden with its lovely water lilies. It is recommended visiting in spring to enjoy the bluebells, snowdrops and crocuses of the Woodland Garden.
Stop for a homemade cake with a cup of tea in the tearoom overlooking the Gravel Garden. This is also a regular venue for workshops, which are about anything from taking cuttings to creating rockeries. If you find yourself inspired to start planting, shop in the nursery, which has stocks of a few thousand potted plants.
The Beth Chatto Gardens is located about 4 miles (7 kilometers) east of Colchester, close to the Elmstead Market. There is free parking and a bus from the city center can get you there too. The gardens are open daily with a small charge for entry. The Gravel Garden, the tearoom and the nursery are free to enter. Note that the gardens are closed for two weeks around Christmas.
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Situated in Colchester, this guesthouse is within 3 mi (5 km) of University of Essex, Hollytrees Museum, and Colchester Visitor Information Centre. Colchester Natural History Museum and Colchester Castle Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km). Colchester Hythe Station is 27 minutes by foot.
Situated in Colchester, this cottage is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from University of Essex and within 6 mi (10 km) of Beth Chatto Garden and Hollytrees Museum. Colchester Visitor Information Centre and Colchester Natural History Museum are also within 6 mi (10 km). Colchester Wivenhoe Station is 6 minutes by foot.
The room was tidy if not a bit basic, but was very quiet.
Everything about our stay was fabulous. Highly recommend it. We’ll definitely be returning.
Situated in Colchester, this golf cottage is within 6 mi (10 km) of Hollytrees Museum, University of Essex, and Colchester Visitor Information Centre. Colchester Natural History Museum and Colchester Castle Museum are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Bar was very expensive as was breakfast, evening and breakfast staff very friendly and helpful