Our top winter gardens

Blow away the cobwebs and enjoy a refreshing walk in a frosty garden. From tree-lined walkways to spectacular landscapes that seem to look their best with a sprinkle of Jack Frost, we’ve tons of great places to explore during the cold winter months. See things from a new perspective and make your winter warmer afterwards seem all the more delicious. Here’s our top ten gardens to enjoy this winter:

The south front of Stowe, Buckinghamshire, in the snow
Discover Stowe's open spaces, wooded valleys and ornamental lakes National Trust Images / Rupert Truman

Stowe, Buckinghamshire 

Experience the beauty of walking in a frosty landscape that includes wide open spaces, wooded valleys, and ornamental lakes. With spectacular views, hidden corners and over 40 temples and monuments, Stowe is the perfect spot for a winter’s walk. You can see the temples and monuments in all their beauty with a ‘Seasons at Stowe’ postcard walk, which can be picked up from reception.

A little girl sitting on a stone seat at Rowallane Garden, County Down
Explore the different areas of Rowallane Garden National Trust Images / John Millar

Rowallane Garden, County Down 

Feel inspired by this enchanting garden's dazzling array of exotic species from the four corners of the globe. Discover the walled garden, the electric blue bandstand in the Pleasure Grounds and enjoy a tranquil walk around the famous Rock Garden Wood.

A young family looking out across a lake at Stourhead, in the winter
Take a winter walk around Stourhead's grounds National Trust Images / David Levenson

Stourhead, Wiltshire 

Discover the magnificent Stourhead estate set around a huge lake, scattered with classical and gothic buildings. Visit the circular temple dedicated to Apollo, find peace and quiet in a mystical grotto or explore the woods and gardens on foot. (House opening hours limited). Stay at the entrance to the gardens in our holiday cottage, 89 Church Lawn.

The house at Mottisfont, Hampshire, in the winter
Our newest winter garden sits in the grounds of the Mottisfont estate National Trust Images / John Miller

Mottisfont, Hampshire 

Our newest winter garden sits in the grounds of the Mottisfont estate, inspired by the watery surroundings of the tranquil River Test. Highlights include a 3-dimensional outdoor plant sculpture for visitors to wander through, and the central feature of ground cover representing a river, breaking into rivulets as it flows around groups of closely-clipped box plants, shaped to resemble rocks in the stream.

A winter view of Fountains Hall, built between 1598 and 1611 with stones from the ruins of Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire
A winter view of Fountains Hall, North Yorkshire National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire 

Explore the extensive ruins of the Cistercian abbey and discover the elegant temples, neo-classical statues, canals and moon shaped ponds of the Royal Water Garden. A World Heritage Site, the breathtaking views will capture your imagination in the wintertime. Enjoy the gardens for longer in one of our 11 holiday cottages on the estate, from apartments in Fountains Hall to a large house in the deer park.

A robin in the Winter Garden at Dunham Massey, Cheshire
Robin National Trust Images / Jonathan Buckley

Dunham Massey, Cheshire 

Enjoy the seven acre winter garden - the largest of its kind in the UK. With over 700 different plant species and a further 1,600 shrubs, there’s plenty of colour and scent to enjoy in this garden.

Cycle hire at Clumber Park
Cycle hire facilities at Clumber Park National Trust Images / David Levenson

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire 

There are over 3,000 acres of green open space to enjoy at Clumber. Why not wrap up warm and discover more on your bike (there’s over 20 miles of cycle routes). Or take things a bit easier with a stroll down the longest lime tree avenue in Europe. (Cycle hire weekends only)

The Winter Walk in February at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire
Anglesey Abbey's winter garden has some 150 species of plants National Trust Images / Rod Edwards

Anglesey Abbey, Garden and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire 

Measure up next to Corinthian columns in the Temple Lawn or walk the atmospheric Emperors’ Walk and spot the statuary spying on you. But don’t forget the winter garden, with some 150 species of plants it’s an oasis of colour and scent and one of the very best winter gardens in the country.

An ornamental urn in the garden in winter at Killerton, Devon
Find beautiful Coade stone vases in Killerton's gardens this winter National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

Killerton, Devon 

Discover a green oasis just eight miles from Exeter, making it the perfect pitstop en route to and from Cornwall. Take a stroll and enjoy far-reaching views towards Dartmoor and Haldon Hill or discover the ice house and rustic summerhouse known as the ‘Bear's Hut’. Why not extend your stay and enjoy a holiday in Killerton Park Cottage?

A little girl in hat and gloves hugging a tree at Bodnant Garden, Conwy
Bodnant's colours and scents will brighten up even the coldest winter’s day National Trust Images / Paul Harris

Bodnant Garden, Conwy 

Bodnant’s winter garden is now over a year old, with its winter colours and scents to brighten up even the coldest winter’s day. See the stark shapes, crisp patterns and enjoy the fresh cold air for that perfect post-Christmas walk in this world-famous garden.