Here’s the perfect way to knock back some fresh air and say hello to spring – and it’s all for a good cause.
From now until September, you can visit hundreds of gardens to raise life-saving cash – including some never seen before.
Not only will you get your daily dose of green space, but many are a whole day out in themselves: with mazes, woodland walks, treasure hunts and cream teas.
Prepare for a few surprises. Here are just a few things you can see and do:
1. Hang out with an alpaca
The alpaca: how can an animal be this cute and funny? When you’ve had your fill of all the fluff and buckteeth, you can go and explore these 20 acres of garden.
2. Play croquet like you’re lord of the manor
What could be more civilised than a game of croquet, surrounded by fantastic valley views? Just bring some racquets and equipment – and then figure out the rules.
3. See India in the Cotswolds
Thought the Cotswolds were just full of chocolate-box cottages? Think again. Sezincote is an extraordinary Indian house, which inspired the Brighton Pavilion.
4. Dance the ceilidh on a sheep farm
Let the sun power your dance moves at this midsummer celebration. There’s still time to practise that tricky ‘flying Scotsman’ manoeuvre. After that, roll out the picnic and enjoy this rural spot.
5. Take tea in a Mongolian yurt
Lean back and relax in this Mongolian yurt, on a 2½-acre plot with an organic kitchen garden, orchard, goat paddock and ‘earth’ labyrinth. Make mine a milk with no sugar, please.
6. Channel your inner ‘artiste’
Remember that gorgeous view forever by painting a picture and taking it home. All the materials you need will be there at the garden, supplied by the Society for All Artists.
7. Take your new profile pic – with doves
Beat this for a garden walk: a pathway flanked by giant topiary doves, leading up to a dovecote (a small building for birds). And there are plenty of other surprises in this eight-acre garden…
8. Swim outside… Don’t worry, it’s heated
You could spend the whole day at this Victorian walled garden. There’s a tennis court, cricket lawn and boules – and, for an extra £3.50, you can even take a dip in this heated pool.
9. Make like Monet at a lily pond
Like a bit of history with your garden? This green space surrounds a 15th-century farmhouse – and includes some wonderful water lilies in the original moat. Prepare your best ‘poetic’ and thoughtful face, now.
10. Then find the subtropics… in Fareham
Sometimes the smaller gardens are the most surprising. Who would have thought you’d find rare, lush flora and fernery – from Australia and New Zealand – in this backyard in suburbia?
Find out more
- There are open gardens across England and Wales, and more will open over the following weeks. Find a garden near you – and start planning your fun day out.
- Remember: your entry fee or donation goes towards the British Red Cross and all our UK and overseas work to help vulnerable people.
- Take part in some of other amazing events – from zip wires and hill climbs to more leisurely jazz lunches.