Beautiful Gardens to Visit near The School House B&B

20th March 2022

We do love this time of year when gardens begin to open up for Spring. There are several beautiful gardens to visit near the Shropshire Hills and Ludlow. Here are three of our favourites, all within easy reach of each other, so you could visit them all on a day trip out from The School House B&B.

Stockton Bury Gardens, near Leominster

Tucked away just off the A49 between Ludlow and Hereford and surrounded by farmland are the stunning Stockton Bury Gardens. Voted in the top 20 gardens in the UK (The Times June 2017), you can really immerse yourself in the four acres of beautifully-planted borders, trees and interesting buildings – including some oast houses, not often seen in these parts.

Dotted around are amusing little figurines and garden ornaments, such as the kissing watering cans and some cast iron toadstools. There’s also a plant sales area and a garden museum, not to mention the excellent Tithe Barn Café with delicious light lunches and afternoon treats.

Stockton Bury is open from April 1st, Wednesdays to Sundays from 11:30 to 5pm. No dogs except assistance dogs.

A montage of pictures from Stockton Bury gardens, showing plants and buildings and two watering cans

Westonbury Mill Water Gardens, near Pembridge

About 20 minutes’ drive from Hergest Croft, Westonbury Mill is a quirky place well worth a visit. You could combine it with a trip to Hergest Croft and Stockton Bury, or it’s just under 40 minutes’ drive from us. Westonbury is fairly compact, but its exuberant displays of lilies and fantastic follies certainly leave a lasting impression.

Near the entrance is the Stone Tower that gushes water through gargoyles’ mouths when the tower becomes full. There’s also an intriguing igloo made of bottles, which casts incredibly colourful beams of light when the sun shines. Centre stage has to be the cuckoo clock tower – sadly this wasn’t working in 2021 when we visited, but repairs were due, and the new owners promise to have it working this year. Needless to say, there’s also a tearoom with excellent cakes and a cracking cuppa.

The gardens are open from 1st April until 30th September 11am to 5pm and dogs are welcome on short leads.

A montage of photos from Westonbury Mill Gardens, showing flowers, a tower, a hut made of bottles and a cuckoo clock.

Hergest Croft Gardens, near Kington

About 15 minutes from Westonbury Mill or half an hour from us, near the Herefordshire town of Kington, are Hergest Croft Gardens. Open at weekends throughout March and then every day from Saturday 26th March (11:30 to 5pm), Hergest Croft has so much variety to offer.

Described as “a garden for all seasons”, there are walks through the estate where you might see bluebells and rhododendrons. Or you can just take a short stroll around the gardens near the house and into the colourful azalea garden or admire the impressive maple trees. The kitchen garden is a peaceful escape and the tearoom is particularly good, even serving a roast on Sundays.

Dogs are allowed on leads and much of the garden is accessible, so there really is something for everyone here.

A montage og photos from Hergest Croft Gardens, showing colourful azalea bushes, blubells in a meadow and a house.

A Garden Day Out

If you’re planning on taking in all three of the above in one day trip, we’d recommend doing them in the order above due to distance and opening times.

If you finish at Hergest Croft you could always take a short diversion on your way back to Chapel Lawn via the Harp Inn at Old Radnor – a pub garden with stunning views and a good pint of Wye Valley ale!

Here's a Google map of the suggested route going clockwise (Stockton Bury Gardens is at HR6 0HB):

Also Worth a Mention

As well as our top three featured gardens there are also beautiful gardens at the National Trust properties of Croft Castle and Berrington Hall - check out our Historic Houses blog for more information. Also near us is Walcot Hall, a private estate where the stunning gardens open up to visitors for the late May Bank Holiday weekend every year.

Keywords: Days Out, Gardens, Springtime, Shropshire Hills