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Explore the garden at Hidcote

Dabbled light through the trees at Hidcote
Early evening light at Hidcote | © James Dobson

Hidcote is a world-famous Arts and Crafts-inspired garden nestled in a North Cotswold hamlet, created by passionate plantsman and talented designer, Major Lawrence Johnston. Covering an area of 10.5 acres the garden takes visitors on a journey through intimate formal areas revealing a different atmosphere or new vista at every turn.

Smaller, more formal garden ‘rooms’ near the house, give way to more natural areas that blend in with the surrounding countryside further away. There is a central axis running from east to west and another north to south, forming corridors off which the garden rooms can be found, each one with its own character and personality.

In 1948 Lawrence Johnston gifted Hidcote, now a Grade I listed garden, to the National Trust, becoming the first garden-only property in the Trust’s care. Using contemporary photographs and accounts to guide our vision, we continue to care for it for future generations to enjoy.

Bathing Pool at Hidcote, Gloucestershire
Our team has worked hard to improve the aesthetic of the Bathing Pool | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

The Bathing Pool

You can hear the gentle burbling of a fountain coming from this garden room long before you see it. Tall box hedges with sculpted topiary yew birds frame the steps down to the Bathing Pool.

Johnston borrowed a book on garden design by Thomas Mawson, entitled The Art and Craft of Garden Making. Mawson recommends that for a fountain ‘where more elaboration is called for, a group of statuary, such as the boy and dolphin… may be introduced’. It would appear that Johnston followed this advice, as in the middle of the vast pool is such a centrepiece.

The pool wasn't just for ornamentation; it was also intended to be a bathing pool, and photographs in the Hidcote archive show that it was used as such by friends and family.

Gazebos at Hidcote, Gloucestershire
The Gazebos have been part of the Hidcote garden since 1915 | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

The Red Borders and Gazebos

A mixture of shrubs, perennials and annuals, the Red Borders are at their peak throughout August and September, when their colour and texture really come into their own. Look out for varieties of dahlia, salvia and geum.

Developed while Johnston was recuperating from an injury he sustained during the First World War, the Gazebos define a crossing point in the garden, and provide an ideal space to take shelter during a rain shower.

The ceiling and cornice in the North Gazebo have retained Johnston’s original hand-painted decoration.

Old Garden from above in late autumn at Hidcote, Gloucestershire

Discover more at Hidcote

Find out when Hidcote is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Visit Winthrop's Cafe and The Barn Kiosk (takeaway only) for a range of light snacks and beverages; or the National Trust shop, plant centre and second-hand bookshop for an array of tempting gifts and souvenirs.

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