Gardens and parks in Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire

Sunny, frosty days bring welcome brightness to appreciate the peace and beauty of gardens and parks as winter takes hold.

It's a tranquil, meditative experience to wander through the muted colours of the sleeping flower beds at Cliveden or Greys Court. You can also refresh yourself with long parkland strolls at Stowe, Hughenden and Basildon Park.

Hughenden during snow

Hughenden 

Thanks to its high elevation, if there's any frost or sprinkling of snow in the offing, Hughenden will benefit. The manor looks so cosy, reassuringly red and all hunkered down amongst its protection of coniferous trees. The West Bank garden is also at its best in January and February when the sweet box and winter flowering shrubs make for a pretty and fragrant stroll in the crisp air.

The Palladian Bridge at Stowe covered in snow.

Stowe 

Almost as soon as Christmas is done at Stowe, it's Stowedrop season. There are swathes of the delicate white flowers carpeting the Elysian Fields, Lamport Garden and Sleeping Wood. There's a special route you can follow to see the best of them, along with the winter aconites and hellebores. It's such a hopeful sign that spring is on its way.

Cliveden's Long Garden in the frosty winter

Cliveden 

Once the hedges and topiary have been clipped, it's satisfying to see their clean lines and sharp, stark silhouettes on a winter walk at Cliveden. The Long Garden and parterre are best for this. Cliveden is also great for wonderful long views over the river Thames as the vistas open up after the leaf fall.

Frost and winter sunshine in the kitchen garden at Greys Court

Greys Court

The walled garden at Greys Court is a perfect little paradise whatever the weather. It was Lady Brunner's 'haven of tranquility' and the ancient walls mean it's sheltered from the worst of any wind or rain. The wisteria walk is a cavelike tangle of vines, the ballerina hoops are delicately twined with sleeping stems and the snowdrops soon start peeping through.

Winter at Basildon Park

Basildon Park 

There are four way-marked parkland walks to choose from at Basildon Park. From half a mile to 3 miles, the routes can take you around the estate through the woodland and frosty fields, with fantastic views of the mansion through the bare trees. See if you can spot the first snowdrops of the season in January.

The garden at Waddesdon

Waddesdon 

Waddesdon's statues get all wrapped up for winter, so don't be surprised to see ghostly shapes emerging from the mist. This winter, Waddesdon is extending its winter lights through to the end of January. It's an exhilarating walk under the tree canopy lit with dramatic colour and playful installations. It's worth a visit, but you'll need to book via the Waddesdon website.

The south front of Canons Ashby sprinkled with frost in the winter sun.

Canons Ashby 

Winter is a great time to visit Canons Ashby. With bare leaves, fewer flowering plants and a quieter garden, you're able to appreciate the clean crisp lines of the formal 18th century garden and topiary. The bedding shapes are sharply cut and there are distant views over the countryside.

Spring gardens in Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire

Summer gardens in Oxfordshire, Bucks and Berks

Winter gardens in Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire

Winter gardens in Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire