Cliveden National Trust, Taplow
See the seasons unfold at Cliveden – 376 acres of knockout formal gardens, woodland and riverside walks, dotted with sculptures and temples, near Taplow. Dogs are welcome on leads.
Twit twoo! No matter what the season, the grounds of Cliveden are always showing some leg from the carpets of daffodils, bluebells and blossom trees to the colourful blooms in the formal beds and the ancient woodland trees. There’s always something new to see and a joyous amount of wafting to enjoy. Cliveden is grand, sprawling with 376 acres of landscaped gardens, wild woods and tranquil river walks to explore.
The South Terrace delivers the money shot of the iconic South Parterre garden with its 16 flower beds, packed with 60,000 bulbs and plants each year. Walk down the floral aisle of the Long Garden, enjoy the tranquility of the Japanese Water Garden, the Rose Garden, and go in search of the famous Fountain of Love and the many garden sculptures, temples and pavillions.
Cliveden House is now a luxury hotel, but you can still explore the Victorian three-storey mansion built for the Duke of Buckinghamshire’s mistress, owned by the Astor family, visited by royalty and home of one of the most famous political scandals in British history – the Profumo Affair. Tours of the house, it’s antiques and art collection are available from now until 8 December 2022 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11am to 12.30pm.
Away from the formality of the Cliveden House is the mid-19th century ornamental Round Garden orchard – a series of arches, forming tunnels off blossom in spring. The white blossom of the pears comes out first in March, followed by the apples, with white flowers and pink centres. The woods are also a wonderland of cowslips, snowy wood anemones and dog violets. I love the perfection of the gardens, but it’s the unbuttoned wilder parts that deliver the magic here.
Kids and big kids will love the maze, you can take hire a boat and take a peaceful trip down the Thames, picnic under the trees, head for the storytelling den and more. Well behaved dogs are also welcome on a lead.
Cliveden National Trust, Cliveden Road, Taplow, Berkshire SL1 8NS
Monday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Tuesday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Wednesday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Thursday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Friday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Sunday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
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