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20 Surrey gardens to visit: Cherkley Court to Gatton Park

PUBLISHED: 12:58 12 May 2011 | UPDATED: 15:12 20 February 2013

Gatton Park by David Harbison

Gatton Park by David Harbison

The essential guide to garden visiting in the UK, The Good Gardens Guide has been a best-seller for almost 20 years. Here are their picks of Surrey's gardens to visit

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2008


The essential guide to garden visiting in the UK, The Good Gardens Guide has been a best-seller for almost 20 years. Here are their picks of Surrey's gardens to visit


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Cherkley Court


(since closed)

Commissioned to redesign the garden, Simon Johnson was not intimidated by the grandiose 1894 mansion, nor by the wooded valley that commands the view. His sophisticated and restful colour schemes and plantings set off to perfection the house and its long terraces, sloping lawns and secluded, scented spaces. Don't miss Belinda Eade's remarkable shell grotto.



  • Cherkley Court, Reigate Road, Leatherhead, SurreyKT22 8QX; 01372 380980. Open April to September, daily.


Chestnut Lodge

Finally, a five-acre garden of fine trees and shrubs and rare and exotic plants that combines tradition and fun in a most delightful way. Formal pools are framed by a collection of bonsai; flamingoes and water birds enjoy the amenities of a naturalistic pond; and the tropical birds flitting about in spacious aviaries have their own miniature gardens.



  • Chestnut Lodge, Old Common Road, Cobham, SurreyKT11 1BU; 01932 862053. Open for the NGS and for parties by appointment.


Claremont Landscape Garden

A ravishing lesson in the development of the English landscape movement in the 18th century: Vanbrugh, Bridgeman, Kent and 'Capability' Brown all worked here, and the landscaping, carefully contrived vistas, amazing grass amphitheatre and memorable garden buildings survive, restored by the National Trust since 1975 after a long period of neglect.



  • Claremont Landscape Garden, Portsmouth Road, Esher, SurreyKT10 9GJ; 01372 467806. Open every day April to October


Dunsborough Park

This inspiring garden has 18th century bones and a splendid Victorian walled garden and palm house, but most of the overlay is modern. Rupert Golby planted the double herbaceous border, Penelope Hobhouse redesigned one of the walled gardens, and the main part of the water garden is the work of Mykola Khrystenko. Everywhere are statues and ornaments of the highest quality.



  • Dunsborough Park, Ripley, Woking, SurreyGU23 6AL; 01483 225366.


Gatton Park

A 250-acre park landscaped by 'Capability' Brown - including a 28-acre lake - was the majestic backdrop for the grandiose elements added in the late 19th century by the mustard magnate Josiah Colman. His schemes embraced extensive rock and water gardens and a Japanese garden furnished with the requisite adornments, including stone lanterns, a bridge and a tea house.



  • Gatton Park, Reigate, SurreyRH2 0TW; 01737 649068. Open February to October, first Sunday of each month.

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