Gardens by the sea

Admire tropical plants, take in the fresh air and catch enticing glimpses of the sea at one of our coastal gardens. The clifftop locations, unique climates, winding pathways and unusual plants make these gardens magical places to be.

The southern edge of the Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire

Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire 

Colby’s hidden wooded valley stretches out to the sea overlooking Carmarthen Bay. Spring brings carpets of bluebells, crocuses, and daffodils, followed by swathes of camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Summer sees hydrangeas and wildflowers, whereas autumn is just as marvellous with fiery red acers, dogwoods and sweet-gum.

The view of the Mewstone from the top of Coleton Fishacre garden

Coleton Fishacre, Devon 

Framed by coastal cliffs, the garden at Coleton Fishacre is full of rugged charm. Take a refreshing walk along paths that weave through glades and past tranquil ponds and catch glimpses of the sea. The garden’s sheltered location and unusual micro climate means that colourful exotic plants can flourish.

Bright pink flowers line a curving path at Glendurgan in Cornwall

Glendurgan, Cornwall 

There are three valleys of Glendurgan to lose yourself in. Big leaves and exotic flowers thrive in the jungle-like lower valley and sun-loving plants enjoy the upper banks. Wandering through the garden leads down to the unspoilt hamlet of Durgan on the Helford River; a place to watch birds and boats, skim stones and build sand-castles.

The Gertrude Jekyll Garden near Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland

Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland 

Overlooked by a 16th-century castle with uninterrupted views of the sea, the garden at Lindisfarne would not be out of place in a fairy tale. Designed by renowned garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, this magical walled garden, has been painted with flowers, carefully chosen to create both a colourful and harmonious experience. Candy-pink lavatera flowers, crimson hollyhock and chrysanthemums crowd the geometric layout of paths and beds. The scent of sweet pea plants lingers on the sea air.

Summer flowers and plants in the gardens at Mottistone, Isle of Wight

Mottistone, Isle of Wight 

This sheltered valley garden, surrounding an Elizabethan manor house on the Isle of Wight’s east coast, is a firework of colour. Look out for sub-tropical plants such as tulip and mulberry trees, and a little olive grove. You’ll find exotic-looking red spider flowers and fragrant five-foot ginger lilies interspersed with feathery African grasses. The stars of the show are Mottistone’s double herbaceous borders, packed with African daisies in pale pinks, purples and creams leading to vibrant reds, oranges and blues.

Mount Stewart house overlooking the Italian Garden

Mount Stewart, County Down 

Mount Stewart is one of the most unusual gardens in our care due to its tapestry-like design. In early summer the formal displays of scented rhododendrons in the Italian, Spanish, Mairi and Shamrock Gardens are magnificent, as is the bright carpet of bluebells in the demesne. Due to the mild micro-climate, summer also brings in fresh new growth of ferns, with a large collection of sub-tropical ferns. Our gardeners have been working hard to restore the rose garden.

The garden at Overbecks

Overbeck's, Salcombe 

Nestled in the cliffs overlooking the aquamarine waters of the estuary at Salcombe, the garden surrounding the seaside home of scientist and inventor Otto Overbeck, is magical place to escape to. Take in a refreshing lungful of sea air and feel the wind in your hair as you look out over the estuary. The garden itself is a subtropical paradise with towering palm trees and exotic and rare plants providing pops of colour.

Plas Newydd gardens from above, Anglesey

Plas Newydd House and Gardens 

Set on the shores of the Menai Strait with views of Snowdonia, the vast gardens surrounding Plas Newydd House are breathtaking. Wander over to the Italianate Terrace, which during the warmer months is alight with flame-coloured plants such as canna, ligularia, rudbeckia and dahlia. Find exotic flowers in sheltered walled gardens and walk through mysterious woodland areas home to towering Chilean beeches and aromatic eucalypts. Sit in an enchanting treehouse and listen to the birds singing.