For those who love variety and nature, R. B. Gardens at Kew may be the most pleasant destination in London. There's a Travelodge near the garden with great pre-booking offers, which can be booked via online, usually a few weeks in advance.
Magnificent 19th century botanical gardens on a dense and sloping site, a haven of peace away from the busy streets, full of character and an absolute bargain at the €1.50 fee. Interesting buildings, a pond, and information boards on the way round.
The entrance can be tricky to find as it isn't obvious - through wide entrance gates opposite Rua de Sao Marcal and 100m straight on.
Rua Escola Politecnica, www.jb.vi.pt
Monkton Wyld Court is an environmental education centre that does family activity holidays, B&B and retreats. It's a beautiful place and ideal for anyone wanting a break with a difference. Guests stay in the Victorian Gothic house which has wonderful original features and overlooks the terraced lawns and Dorset countryside. The gardens are abundant with wildlife, we saw a baby deer just yards from us and at dusk sat in the courtyard sipping wine and watching some rare bats fly in and out of the buildings. B&B is reasonable (£26) and it's great for walks to the coast and sight seeing. The place is very relaxed and family-friendly. Our kids loved playing in the gardens and finding all the tree houses and swings. Food is wholesome organic veggie served fresh from the garden. Couldn't recommend it more highly. Beats stuffy old guest houses!
Axminster is nearest staion
01297 560342 to book.
It's hard to find high quality accommodation in a stunning location, but Spinneywood has it all. Panoramic coastal views, a beautifully furnished and well-equipped property and an acre of private garden all to ourselves. We had a lovely holiday. I only wish we'd been able to stay for longer.
A flowery village deep in the heart of Normandy (in the Orne) that has repeatedly won the flowering towns and villages of France competition (similar to Britain in Bloom) and has also won international awards. Gardening policy is based on ecological principals.
This Italianate Palace was actually built at the beginning of the twentieth century even though it looks much, much older!
A really interesting place to visit with its architecture and elaborate detail – and fascinating to try and work out just how they managed to make it look so genuinely 16th century.
The beautifully landscaped gardens compliment the style and offer a nice respite from the bustling city of Miami around.
3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL
An amazing and huge area with a great variety of cactus. Part of it has signals and paths to move around; there is an old dam which is now used by migrating and local birds. There is another wilder area, great views, beautiful birds and these magnificent plants: cactus of all kinds. A beautiful green area in the magnificent town of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
A beautiful Japanese garden which opens to the public for a short period (April - June) and is free. The Japanese Garden is not the only attraction, as Clingendael Park itself is impressive and well worth an afternoon if you're looking for tranquility and nature within the Hague. Child-friendly and a great place for a picnic. Accessible by public transport from Central Station.
Just an hour outside Berlin by car lies a real hidden gem. The Woerlitzer Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is one of the most dazzling examples of landscape gardening in continental Europe. Having been inspired by a trip to England, Prince Leopold III started work on the 122 hectare public garden in 1764. Now it stands – a stunning series of labyrinthine paths, winding rivers and ponds – as an oasis of calm, and a true work of art.
For directions see
Pun Pun is an organic farm, seed-saving operation, and sustainable living and learning centre based about 50km North of Chiang Mai. It offers a variety of workshops and training courses, with in-depth, hands-on experience in organic gardening, earthen house building and community living, as well as sustainability study trips.
This is a really good place for a walk or a relaxing afternoon with a book. And it's not only because of its bookish atmosphere. It's so much more than a university library. The building has a garden on the roof with some exotic plants and a small waterfall as well as many benches where you can sit and read in the sun. From a small balcony in one of the garden's corners, there is a view on the Vistula River and some of its bridges. Since the building is partly made of glass, the roof is a perfect place to watch students as they rush up and down the stairs.
It's by the Vistula River within a walking distance from the Old Town in Warsaw. Dobra 68/70, 00-312 Warszawa
This is more compact than the amazing main botanical garden in Powsin (just outside of Warsaw, and well worth a visit, too!). Located near the centre of town, it has lots of interesting nooks and crannies to investigate, and is beautifully laid out in most places. Great for an afternoon stroll away from the crowds in Lazienki Park next door. The greenhouses are open to the public in the summer, and are well worth visiting, too.
If you are walking south from the town along Al. Ujazdowski, it is on your left-hand side, just before the first entrance to Lazienki Park.
This National Trust site has a manor house, with attached farm and gardens which can all be visited. The farm is especially popular with kids - petting areas, a playground with toy tractors, feeding time (hear the pigs oink and squeal as the food approaches) and all the usual farm animals are there - horses, cows, sheep, pigs, poultry, goats, with a few guinea pigs and rabbits thrown in. There are cafes and a restaurant too.
8km southwest of Cambridge, www.wimpole.org
Found at the northern edge of the
city, this community first sprung up around the King's College campus of the university of Aberdeen around the 15th century. Take a walk along cobbled streets and walk back into time.
Also in the vicinity is Seaton Park which has a fantastic formal garden and also brilliant walks along the banks of the river Don where seals are commonly seen. You may also spot deer who can often be seen grazing.
As a former Rio de Janeiro resident (from 1983 to 1992) I suggest one of the most beautiful and also peaceful and quiet places in Rio: JardimBotânico (the Botanical Garden). From the garden you have a magnificent view from the Tijuca’sNational Park Atlantic Forest and The Christ (CristoRedentor) with His open arms blessing such a wonderful city. It is a place where you spend hours admiring local and international plant species.
JardimBotanicoalso invites us to have some meditation: it’s great!
A wonderful place to be considered when visiting Rio: it's worth it!
Botanical park near the airport. For only two euro, you can stroll around its various environments and admire all the amazing plants. A tropical hothouse includes an aquarium and iguanas. Worth a visit anytime for a budget urban nature fix and terrific for passing a couple of relaxing hours prior to check-in.
405 Promenade des Anglais
+33 (0)4 92 29 77 00
opposite Nice Cote d'Azur airport
Directions to one of Paris’s best-kept secrets: Take the Metro's Line 5 and get off at Laumière. Climb up Rue Laumière until you reach the main entrance of the most beautiful Parisian garden: Les Buttes de Chaumont.
Climb up the hill around the lake, up to the view point. Now the real secret: if you happen to be there on August 30th at about 8.20pm, you'll see the sun setting right behind the Sacre Coeur and the Montmartre hill, now that's a view that will stay with you for a while.
Paris' constant drone of traffic noise can be wearying for the footsore tourist, but if you are near to the Opera Bastille you can make an instant escape by walking up a few steps on to the Promenade Plantee.
This little heaven away from the roar of the big city is actually a reclaimed elevated railway line, 4.5km long and planted with thousands of gorgeous flowers and shrubs. Instant relaxation guaranteed, instant slowing down of pulse, and another - somewhat secret - addition to this wonderful city's delights.
If you are tired of traipsing around the Louvre and Quai d'Orsay head for the Rodin museum and garden.
Have a good look around the main house museum then head out to the lovely gardens. At the very bottom you will find some shaded sun loungers where you can catch your breath and even be sketched by the life drawing class that goes there most afternoons.
Deep deep into the Bois De Boulogne, so deep in fact that when you ask a taxi driver to take you there, he does not know what you are talking about, is a secret garden.
A garden exclusively inhabited by flowers and plants depicted from the heights of British literature. For here is the Jardin de Shakespeare. A fenced-off and beautiful garden, in which you will find only plants mentioned in Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. Shouldn't this garden be in somewhere in Regent's Park? Well no, because it's in Paris and more.
During the summer month on the natural stage at the end of the garden, companies come to perform repertories from The Complete Works in French and in English with French subtitles. Maybe we should do the same for Alexandre Dumas in Regent's Park?!
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