Gardens and romance go hand-in-hand, and there are some absolutely beautiful options if you're looking to spend some quality time outside with a loved one. Whether its for a romantic stroll, a garden picnic or just a lovely sit on a bench with your favourite person, the list below are some of the best gardens in the world for romance, picked by garden writer Anna Pavord.


Most romantic gardens to visit


Humphry Repton, the great 18th-century landscaper, worked at Endsleigh and in the valley to the west of the house you catch the essence of his genius. Water charges under paths, tips down rock faces and meanders obediently along leats. ‘Of all picturesque subjects there is none so interesting as Water in rapid motion,’ he wrote. Endsleigh has a quality that is increasingly difficult to find in a garden: romance and a strong spirit of place.

Hotel Endsleigh
Milton Abbot, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0PQ


When you cross the stone bridge over the river to Dundonnell in Scotland, you arrive in a different world. First are the trees – huge limes, beech and sweet chestnuts, as well as sycamore and ash. Then the house, superbly strong, white-harled, standing in a meadow of long grass. Then the walled garden, three acres of inspired beauty arranged around a monumental yew, thought to be at least 2,000 years old. Thrilling. Astonishing.
Open for charity (Scotlands Gardens)

Dundonnell House
Dundonnell, Little Loch Broom, Wester Ross IV23 2QW


Bolfracks tells you immediately that it is a much-loved garden, beautifully looked after and impervious, quite rightly, to fashion. It has a quiet peace and self confidence, the planting still singing of the 1950s: cherries, acers, berberis, good species rhododendrons. The twig house makes a romantic hideaway.

Aberfeldy, Perthshire PH15 2EX


Gresgarth Hall
© Jason Ingram

“I’m getting more Italian as I get older,” says designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd about her own garden at Gresgarth where a geometric arrangement of steps and terraces leads down to meet the lake on the southwest front of the house. The design may be formal but the planting is rich, lush and passionate.

Gresgarth Hall
Caton, Lancashire LA2 9NB

La Foce

Villa la Foce
© Francesco Lorenzetti/Getty

For more than a decade in the first half of the 20th century, the brilliant architect-designer Cecil Pinsent worked with Iris Origo on her garden at La Foce in Italy’s Val d’Orcia. Were they in love? “He was. And I was,” said Iris Origo. “But not at the same time.” Around the villa, a series of intimate gardens are enclosed by yew hedges and walls of gorgeous travertine stone. At a higher level, a pergola swathed in wisteria gives staggering views out over the vale.

La Foce
Strada della Victoria 61, 53042 Chianciano Terme, Siena, Italy.


France's Marqueyssac garden on the Dordogne
France's Marqueyssac garden on the Dordogne © Copyrights by Sigfrid López/Getty Images

Marqueyssac overlooks the Dordogne, one of a clutch of battlemented châteaux that glare at each other from their respective peaks. The garden was created by Julien de Cervel, who adored Italy and made this place as close to his Italian dream as he could manage. The result, more than 150 years on, is spectacular: molten box topiary under tall cypresses and umbrella pines.

More like this

Les Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac
24220 Vezac, Dordogne, France
Tel +33 5 53 31 36 36

Miserden Park

When I let myself into the garden at Miserden, it was so still, so enclosed in its own bubble of tranquillity, I thought I might have tripped into a golden afternoon of the Edwardian era. Generous herbaceous borders run down either side of a central lawn: echinops, plume poppy, inula, stately spires of delphinium. A pergola of roses and a wide yew hedge shield a kitchen garden. Timeless. Gorgeous.

Miserden Park
Miserden, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL6 7JA
Tel 01285 821303

Plas Brondanw

Plas Brondanw
© Richard Bloom

Architect Clough Williams-Ellis lived at Plas Brondanw in Wales for more than 70 years, gradually surrounding himself with architectural topiary and allées of box and yew, curling flights of steps, fountains, and the best vista in Britain, ending in the peaks of Snowdonia. For him, the place became a passion “an obsession if you like,” and romance still lingers in this wonderful place. Discover more with our feature on Plas Brondanw.

Plas Brondanw
Llanfrothen, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd LL48 6SW
Tel 01766 772772


To British eyes, the extraordinary garden at Lotusland in Santa Barbara, California, is like a giant film set for the Disney film Fantasia with weird but wonderful cacti, superb succulents, rare cycads, flowering aloes and a forest of dragon trees. The only thing more extraordinary than the garden itself, with its Moorish rills and lotus pools, is its creator, the self-styled Madame Ganna Walska (1887–1984), who spent the fortunes of six husbands making this place. Not to be missed.

Directions to garden given when booking a visit.
Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation (offices only) is at 695 Ashley Road, Santa Barbara, California 93108, USA.
Tel +1 805 969 9990


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Anna is a contributing editor of Gardens Illustrated and her books include The Tulip, The Naming of Names and Landskipping. She was awarde the Gold Veitch medal from the RHS in 2001.