Gardeners' delight

Sykes Cottages

A self-catering cottage is the perfect base for a break spent exploring UK gardens and horticultural shows. Find out more about a selection of the 3,500 properties available from Sykes Cottages, below.

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When you’re planning a break in the UK, finding a gorgeous garden or a horticultural show to visit is likely to be high on your agenda. And when you choose to stay in a holiday cottage, you’re able to explore the local area with all the flexibility and convenience you’d expect from a home away from home.

If you’re staying in the Lake District, there are lots of beautiful gardens, including the National Trust property at Sizergh, just outside Kendal. The 1,600-acre garden and grounds have something for everyone, whatever gardening styles you enjoy. The magnificent limestone rock garden, with its wild landscape, is the largest at any National Trust property and contrasts with some of the more formal areas. In the kitchen garden, native wildflowers soften the imposing medieval house, which is still lived in today. If you visit in autumn, why not join one of the organised walks or simply head out into the estate and follow one of the maps – it’s the perfect time to enjoy the colourful seasonal foliage. There are many Lake District cottages near to gardens, so visit the Sykes Cottages website to find your perfect holiday accommodation today.

Although perhaps not as famous as its Chelsea counterpart, the Southport Flower Show on 15-18 August is an ideal day trip if you’re staying in North Wales. The five-day show features a vast range of plants and gardening products, plus show gardens and the opportunity to meet growers. It’s sure to leave you buzzing with ideas for your own garden. The show will also keep the whole family occupied, with a variety of other events, such as cookery presentations, book signings and even medieval jousting.

If you’re staying in Yorkshire, Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster offers a Victorian collection of grand gardens in miniature. There is an emphasis on seasonal colour at this English Heritage property, so whether you visit at the height of summer or with Christmas just around the corner, the displays will not disappoint. There are interesting events throughout the year, including guided tours with the head gardener, when you can pick up gardening tips along the way, and the Enchanted Garden, when the gardens are illuminated at night to show off their beauty in a new way.

Travelling to another part of the country is a great excuse to visit gardens and events not on your doorstep. The different climates and soil types across the UK mean that even a short drive from home can expose you to radically different gardens. A self-catering cottage is the perfect base to explore the great outdoors - just kick off your wellies after a bracing day and relax in front of a cosy fire.

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