Skip to content

Secret gardens to explore

Visitors by flowering Rhododendron at Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales
Visitors by flowering Rhododendron at Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Follow a twisting path, open the gate and step through the door. Find out which of the gardens we care for have their own 'secret' gardens hidden within them. Seek out a bear's hut, discover interesting statues and walk along re-discovered paths as you explore.

Bishop's Gate Gardens at Downhill Demesne, County Londonderry
Created in the 18th century for the ‘Earl Bishop’ Frederick Hervey, Downhill’s ‘secret garden’ has only been unearthed in recent years. The semi-woodland glade is a perfect hideaway for curious explorers – its mini walled garden feels like a new world.Step into a new world at Downhill Demesne
Blickling Estate, Norfolk
You're going to have to look hard to find the secret garden among Blickling's 55 acres. 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 summer house.Search for secrets at Blickling
Bodnant Garden, Conwy
Bodnant's remote setting was used for the filming of The Secret Garden (2020), so if you're looking for secret gardens to visit, Bodnant may just be the ideal place for you.Visit Bodnant Garden
Croft Castle, Herefordshire
Be enchanted by the walled garden and working vineyard at Croft Castle. Follow the sweeping border and look out for bees at work, and you’ll find accessible paths and dogs welcome too. In the walled garden look for the 1914 'J.Weeks and Co' glasshouse and vegetable, fruit and salad borders.Explore the garden at Croft Castle
Rose garden at Nymans, West Sussex
Rose garden at Nymans, West Sussex | © National Trust Images/Laurence Perry
Killerton, Devon
The garden at Killerton is full of hidden features. There’s a secret rock garden, a bear's hut that once contained a real bear cub and an old ice house. Discover secret paths that lead to historic ruins, clamber over fallen veteran trees and test your den building skills in a secluded den building site called Park Wood.Go for an adventure at Killerton
Mottistone, Isle of Wight
Mottistone Gardens has a feeling of intimacy from the moment you wander through its old stone archway. Winding paths take you to Oak Corner at the top of the garden with a weeping lime tree whose branches droop to the ground and pruned archways that children can walk right into. It’s the hiding place for one of Mottistone’s flowerpot characters too – there are nine for children to find.Discover Mottistone's magic
Nymans, West Sussex
With its walled gardens, hidden statues and romantic flowers, Nymans is just how you would imagine a secret garden to look. Children love to search for Nymans’ giant redwood tree, play hide and seek in the topiary and test their balancing skills on the wooden stepping stones. Have your own secret garden adventure when you visit.Explore garden treasures at Nymans
Visitors in the garden at Mottistone, Isle of Wight
Visitors in the garden at Mottistone, Isle of Wight | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
Overbeck's Garden, Devon
The secret garden at Overbeck's Garden has a parterre that 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 Garden is full of twists, turns and unexpected views - it's a fabulous place to explore.Twists and turns at Overbeck's Garden
Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
Sissinghurst is a garden of secrets, with hidden spaces and clever design that encourages you to explore further. Garden rooms open onto one another through gaps in hedges and doorways in old stone walls. See if you can find fountains, statues, urns and ponds hidden amongst the plants and trees.Secrets in the garden at Sissinghurst
Speke Hall, Liverpool
This garden is a hidden oasis in the north-west corner of Speke Hall's grounds. It's accessed via an enticing narrow tunnel at one end and a winding path at the other. The gentle stream running through it makes the secret garden a haven for some of Speke's wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for birds and frogs in particular. One of the highlights is a rare Wollemi pine or 'dinosaur tree', which was previously thought to be extinct.Visit Speke's secret garden
Stowe, Buckinghamshire
The Lamport Garden at Stowe had been untouched for almost 200 years until it was reopened in 2013. It’s more like an overgrown woodland or a wilderness than a garden, with huge gnarled trees, mossy areas, cascades and rock pools. Enter through an old wooden door in a wall and imagine you’ve walked into a fairy tale.A fairy-tale garden at Stowe
Wallington, Northumberland
The walled garden at Wallington is hidden at the edge of the woods, behind Neptune’s Gate. This unexpected gem often surprises visitors. Surrounded by a high wall, it's a very unusual size and shape for a walled garden. You can't see it all in one go and it seems to unfold as you walk through it.Explore Wallington's walled garden
Colourful flower borders spill out over a path leading to a statue and door in a brick wall

Explore gardens and parklands

We care for more than 200 gardens and parks. From kitchen gardens full of fruit and veg to historic parkland, there’s something for everyone.

You might also be interested in

Aerial view of the maze at Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall
Article
Article

Explore mysterious mazes 

Can you find the middle of one of the mazes and labyrinths we care for and your way out again? Here’s our pick of the best for you to start exploring.

View through the Apostle garden to the dovecote at Lytes Cary Manor, Somerset
Article
Article

Arts and Crafts gardens to visit 

The Arts and Crafts movement also influenced garden design, often using the idea of garden 'rooms' to bring the home outdoors. Discover the Arts and Crafts gardens in our care.

The falls at Aberdulais Tin Works,  Neath Port Talbot, South Wales
Article
Article

Top waterfalls to visit 

Be invigorated by the power of nature, when you visit one of the stunning waterfalls at places we care for.

The view across the lake towards the bridge from the Grotto at Stourhead, Wiltshire
Activity
Activity

Top places to explore caves 

Discover some of the top places to visit with caves, from rugged countryside sites to the gardens of country houses.