Secret gardens

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What could be more exciting than discovering a secret garden - a mini world to play in and explore?

*The walled garden, at Wallington in Northumberland, is hidden at the edge of the woods, behind Neptune’s Gate. This unexpected gem often surprises visitors. It’s surrounded by a high wall, but is a very unusual size and shape for a walled garden. It seems to unfold as you walk through it. You cannot see it in one view, so discover different areas as you walk along.

* The Lamport Garden at Stowe, in Buckinghamshire, had been left alone for almost 200 years, until it was re-opened in 2013.

‘It’s more like an overgrown woodland or a wilderness, with huge gnarled trees, mossy areas, cascades and rock pools. You enter the garden through an old wooden door in a wall and you could easily imagine you’ve walked into a fairy tale.’
- Barry Smith, head gardener

* Can you find the bunty house (Wendy house) that’s hidden in the gardens at Castle Drogo, in Devon?

* The secret garden in Overbeck’s, Devon, has a parterre which looks a bit like a maze. You can view this from above because the secret garden is built on terraces. The whole garden at Overbeck’s is full of twists, turns and unexpected views. Children can explore with our garden photo trail. Pick yours up from reception.

* Killerton gardens, in Devon, are full of hidden features. There’s a secret rock garden, a bear hut that once contained a real bear cub and an old ice house.

Blickling Estate, in Norfolk, has 55 acres of gardens so you're going to have to hunt hard to find the secret garden. We'll give you some clues though - it's in the wilderness area and is surrounded, on three sides, by a beech hedge. You'll know you've found the right spot when you see the little trellised summer house.


More ideas for family days out
Uncover more top-secret places for curious children.