Visiting Westbury Court Garden
Westbury Court Garden is one of few surviving examples of a 17th-century Dutch water garden in the UK. Step back in time to a place of elegance and calm as you discover feature canals, rare trees, medlar orchards and vegetable plots. The level garden is easy to explore, with places to rest along the way.
Planning your visit
Westbury Court Garden is now closed for the season and will reopen on Wednesday 6 March 2024.
Please note that there is limited free parking, located 300 yards up the main drive. However, other parking is available on the roadside layby and in the village.
The toilets are located at the Tall Pavilion.
True to its original design, some pots are placed in walkways and steps are used to create height and depth to vistas.
The pathways and steps throughout the garden are often narrow and uneven and can become slippery when wet.
Dogs on short leads are welcome in the garden, find out about visiting Westbury with your dog.
One wheelchair available to borrow on request, subject to availability.
Visiting Westbury with as a family
Westbury is a wonderful place to take a stroll, spot nature and explore England's only restored Dutch-style water garden.
- There is a dedicated picnic area over the bridge.
It’s not far away, so why not make some sandwiches and pack your rug?
- Feed the carp that live in the canals.
Buy a bag of fish food from Visitor Welcome on arrival.
- Please note that there is no play area or play facilities located at Westbury.
Children's scooters, balls and bikes are not allowed in the garden.
Trees and plants at Westbury Court Garden
Old, rare and tall trees
Westbury Court Garden has some of the oldest, rarest and tallest trees in the whole of the UK. Look out for the holm oak, reputedly the oldest to be found in the country. The flowering tulip tree is known to be the tallest of its kind and is believed to be over 150 years old.
Black poplar trees
The black poplar trees here are the largest collection in the care of the National Trust. These trees were once valued for their fire-resistant wood, which made them ideal for building materials or areas of high flammability such as a mantelpiece.
The tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) blooms annually during summer. It normally flowers from a vertical stalk between late June and mid-July.
The flower resembles a tulip that grows straight out of the branches; the petals are mainly yellow with bright peach areas. The flowers can grow up to 10cm wide, making them easy to spot in the green canopy.
Apple and pear trees
Some of the fruit varieties in the garden date back as far as Roman times and span through to the Edwardian era. All the trees are tagged with the name and age of the variety to make it easy to spot the older, less common varieties.
This odd-looking fruit is becoming more popular. Medlars are picked when they are hard and green but, strangely, they taste better when you leave them until they’ve almost rotted or 'bletted'.
Explore the rest of the garden
The vegetable garden
The vegetable plots grow vegetables, fruit and herbs that were available in 1700, when they were first laid out. Look out for the colourful purple and white blooms of the cardoons and artichokes in the summer, and rapidly growing green asparagus sprouting in June and July.
These plots are now tended by volunteers and excess produce is sold at the admissions hut.
Summer House and Tall Pavilion
You’ll find the Summer House in the north-east of the garden, adjoining the walled garden. The Tall Pavilion is found in the south of the garden at the end of the long canal. Both of these garden buildings make ideal places to shelter from any showers.
Tip: Take time to look at the maps of the original garden layout design.
There is a wide variety of wildlife to be seen at Westbury Court Garden and the surrounding area.
Bird sightings include kingfishers, woodpeckers, herons and a wide variety of ducks. Head to the gardeners’ office to buy a bag of fish food to feed the carp that live in the canals.
Catch the Bore
The Severn Bore is a natural occurrence when the incoming tide is forced into an ever-decreasing space. This channelling across a narrowing river and a decreasing depth create a surge wave that heads up the River Severn.
If you visit Westbury Court Garden at the right time of year you can wander down to the river and watch the Severn Bore pass through. Look out for people riding or surfing the wave as it makes its way upstream.
Discover more about the history of this rare 17th-century Dutch water garden, including how it fell into decline and when it was brought back to life.
If you’re interested in volunteering at Westbury Court Garden in Gloucestershire, here’s everything you need to know.
Westbury Court Garden is a one pawprint rated place. Discover more about bringing your dog on a visit to Westbury Court Garden, including which areas your four-legged friend can explore, and read our Canine Code.
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