United Kingdom: A Traveler’s Guide to Quaint English Gardens

Longleat House, Warminster
Source: Geograph

The UK has always been a mixture of rural, rustic and fairy tale locations. Today the old and the modern is scattered across the country in picturesque and unique forms. Many unusual places exist to amuse visitors and fill their minds with new sights and experiences. When dealing with such a diverse nation, exploring travel guides, websites, blogs, and forums is wise to find out what’s available and when it’s best to make the trip.

The capital is a go-to destination. If spectacular entertainment is what you’re looking for, this is the place to be. From the Festival of the Dead in October to RuPaul’s DragCon in January, London knows how to thrill. But it’s also famous for its greenery, like Regent’s and Battersea Park. Gardens, (and often mazes) and what they represent, are utilized to garner traffic across all platforms. From tourism, to film and gaming, the motif of the quaint English garden is now being sought to be digitalized.

From classics like the Secret Garden, Alice in Wonderland and Labyrinth, these little pockets of natural fantasy are sought out by those wanting to immerse themselves in a very real magical world. Then in gaming, with mobile titles like Gardenscapes and Lily’s Garden that have the flowers and trees sprouting from our own pockets. Even in the not-so-distant world of iGaming, when browsing sites like casino Bonus Finder UK, it reveals slots like Garden of Riches and Emporer’s Garden that attract players with this same mythical aesthetic. And so the appeal continues into the real green world; and for good reason.

Longleat Hedge Maze, Wiltshire

16,000 English yews make up the maze consisting of 8920 feet of pathway. It was added in 1975 to the 8,000-acre property the Marquesses of Bath have called home since the 16th century. Many warn of the many dead ends that aim to frustrate the smartest of adventurers but, after all, this is the longest hedge maze in the world. It also features six beautiful raised bridges and an observation tower at the center that acts as the finish line. Aristocratic gardens, landscapes, and mansions are always unique experiences that open your eyes to a culture’s eccentricities so, if weather permits, they should always be a go-to destination for those wanting to immerse themselves into a country’s natural world.

Shell Grotto, Kent

The UK is full of magical and mysterious places, but it’s discoveries like this grotto that stand out. Tourists and historians alike have tried to explain the underground collection of labyrinth-like passages covered in over 4.6 million shells. While follies displaying exotic shell collections was common among 18th century traveling nobility, this one was found under farmlands, only houses local shells, and not a hint of evidence as to who built it, why or when. Margate’s Shell Grotto mystery riddle is a must-see for history buffs, as well as those interested in intricate mosaic designs. See the structure’s fascinating details for yourself and come up with your own ideas as to its origin.

Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Dumfries, Scotland

“Universe Cascade” (CC BY 2.0) by yellow book

The home of Charles Jencks, cultural theorist and landscape architect, is also a 30-acre exhibit of 40 areas that combine nature with art. Hills, lakes, and groves have been sculpted into spirals and squares or embellished with surreal bridges, walkways, and buildings. As its name suggests, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation celebrates every aspect of “nature.” Expect your brain and senses to be stimulated to the outmost, but only if you visit when this private garden is actually open to the public, usually the first Sunday of May. That’s one chance per year to stroll through a truly unique garden.
The UK is rich in both natural and man-made wonders, mysterious ruins and so much more. Tailor your search to your heart’s desires and prepare for a vacation that stirs and refreshes the spirit.


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