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Explore the garden at Claremont Landscape Garden

The Belvedere at Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey
The Belvedere at Claremont Landscape Garden | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Discover hidden surprises within this 49-acre historic landscape garden. With its serpentine lake, grass amphitheatre, Belvedere Tower and recently restored North Terrace, there's plenty to see.

Spring in the garden

Swathes of daffodils are the first to signal the new season with cherry blossom, azaleas and rhododendrons soon following suit. R. smithii by the Camellia Terrace looks particularly colourful during spring, with thick twisting stems and bright pink flowers.

Spring is the perfect time to spot regal purple bluebells popping up throughout the garden. Take a stroll along the lake and up past the ha-ha during April to witness this seasonal display at its very best.

Daffodils in spring at Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey
Daffodils in spring at Claremont Landscape Garden | © ©National Trust Images/Chris Davies

Lake and amphitheatre

Two of the most striking highlights, and those that Claremont is best known for, sit at the heart of this landscape garden.

Claremont’s amphitheatre is believed to be the largest of its kind left in Europe. This grass-covered feature is three acres in size and surrounds one half of the lake. It provides excellent views out across the garden and lake from the top.

Sited below the amphitheatre is the serpentine, man-made lake. It's the perfect spot for rest, relaxation, or a family picnic. Row boats are available to hire during the Spring and Summer month. Please ask at the Kiosk when you arrive.

Access to the amphitheatre

Please note that the Grade I listed amphitheatre is closed to the public to protect from wear and tear.

View from top of the grass Amphitheatre at Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey. The Amphitheatre was created around 1722 by Charles Bridgeman.
View from top of the grass Amphitheatre at Claremont Landscape Garden | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Historic highlights

Claremont was a playground for wealthy and influential owners over centuries of changing fashions, and you'll still find plenty of features from the garden's many different faces today:

Camellia Terrace: Once the site of Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold's large, heated glasshouse, the nationally important collection of camellias blooms in a beautiful display between January and May.

Grotto: When formal gardens went out of style in the mid-1700s, the cascade was replaced with these three caves, designed to appear natural and precarious.

Animal statues: Before the island was added, an obelisk and three statues stood at the centre of the lake. Today the obelisk is gone, but the statues of a boar, a peacock and a bear can be found on the path up to the Camellia Terrace.

Ha-ha: Instead of spoiling the view with a fence, landscapers in the 18th century had a novel way of stopping livestock getting into the pleasure grounds: a hidden wall in a ditch known as a ha-ha. Claremont has both a brick-faced ha-ha built by ‘Capability’ Brown and a more naturalistic ha-ha created by William Kent.

Island: In the middle of the lake opposite the amphitheatre is a small, man-made island. The garden team have restored the view of the Belisle pavilion in the centre of the island, from where the Duke of Newcastle enjoyed writing letters.

White benches

The white-painted seats you see today are specially commissioned replicas based on those seen in paintings of the garden from the 1740s by an unknown artist referred to as ‘The master of tumbling chairs' and they provide an artistic and practical contrast to Claremont’s green scenery.

Garden wildlife

Claremont's lake is home to many resident and visiting water birds, including ducks, geese and occasionally swans. If you're lucky you might just glimpse a kingfisher diving into the water. Pick up a bag or two of bird seed from the kiosk and you'll be guaranteed a warm welcome from the waterfowl.

Elsewhere in the garden, look out for rabbits, squirrels and the flash of green ring-tailed parakeets among the trees. Roe deer can also be seen in the woods.

A garden for all weathers

Don’t let wet weather hold you back. The wide, level path around the lake means that all trails and walks are manageable in wet weather. Come welly-ready and waterproofed to make the most of a rainy visit.

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