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Published on : Friday, January 22, 2016
You may be on a city break but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some greenery away from the hustle and bustle of city life. As we celebrate the Year of the English Garden in 2016, see where you can discover an oasis of calm in an urban environment.
The Roof Gardens, Kensington, London
Many are unaware as they shop in Kensington High Street in London that just 100 feet above them is a tropical garden, home to four magnificent flamingos. The Roof Gardens are spectacular, split into three lush gardens in total spreading over one and a half acres: the Spanish Garden based on the Alhambra in Granada; Tudor Garden, with sweet-smelling roses, lilies and lavender; and English Woodland. And best of all it’s free to enter . For a tropical garden view like no other, dine in the award-winning Babylon restaurant, overlooking the English Woodland Garden with free-roaming flamingos.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, central England
Located just one and a half miles outside the city of Birmingham is The Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Designed by J.C. Loudon, one of the most successful garden planners of his time, the Gardens opened more than 200 years ago. This garden offers something for everyone from horticulturists and botanists to families and educational groups. Don’t miss the four spectacular glasshouses spanning from tropical rainforest to arid desert climates. Enjoy the lively bird and seasonal butterfly houses and then explore the wildlife trails. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens host a calendar of events throughout the year, including music and the Heritage Open Day.
Mompesson House, Salisbury, Wiltshire, west England
Leave the modern world behind when you visit this elegant 18th-century house and courtyard garden, situated in Salisbury’s historic Cathedral Close. You may even recognise it; Mompesson House was used as Mrs Jennings’ London townhouse in the 1995 award-winning film Sense and Sensibility. Relax in the secluded Queen Anne-style courtyard garden with central lawn, avenue of trees and colourful traditional herbaceous borders.
Roundhay Park, Leeds, Yorkshire, north England
Roundhay Park, located just three miles north of Leeds city centre, is the largest city park in Europe and winner of 2014 Britain in Bloom ‘Best Public Park’. The park dates back to 1872 when the estate was purchased by the City of Leeds and opened by His Royal Highness, Prince Arthur. This is a huge park with more than 700 acres of parkland, lakes and woodland and is free to enter. Here you’ll find a scented garden for the blind, National Plant Collections, Canal, Monet and Alhambra Gardens as well as excellent sports and leisure facilities. Well worth a visit is the award-winning ‘Chelsea Gardens’ and Tropical World, home to many different species of butterfly.