Despite its reputation as a place of wild beauty, The New Forest and its surrounding area is also home to some of the UK’s most fabulous gardens, most of which have long and fascinating opening seasons.
Now is a great time to plan your 2022 garden visits for your New Forest hotel break and here are some of our favourites:
The Montagu Arms
"My favourite part of the hotel is the garden. I love how traditionally English it is. You’ll notice many birds visit the gardens thanks to the hard work of our Head Gardener who has created bird feeders and baths around the grounds to make it a more inviting environment for them. The garden is so peaceful, fragrant and bursting with colour. I often envy our guests who spend their time sitting with it in view from The Terrace Restaurant or even outside with a refreshing drink, a delicious afternoon tea or a book.” says General Manager, Andrew Berridge.
If you're looking for hotels with amazing gardens, take a turn about our Gertrude Jekyll-inspired garden, listen to the pond fountain designed by Giuseppe Lund, play a game of croquet on the upper terrace or take a look at our kitchen garden.
With a Victorian kitchen garden restored to its 1872 layout (including a splendid vine house) a wilderness garden (carpeted with crocus, snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells in the spring), a Victorian flower garden, an Alice in Wonderland topiary walk and a millpond walk, you’ll find plenty to delight you for the day at Palace House, Beaulieu. Best of all, when you’ve finished, you’re just five minutes away from the Montagu Arms Hotel.
There are two great reasons for visiting Furzey Gardens, near Minstead. The first is that this 10-acre woodland garden in Hampshire, first planted in 1922, has year-round displays and is particularly famed for its spring and summer blooms (and its wonderful ‘Fairy Doors’ set into trees and features, for little visitors to find!). The second reason is that Furzey is a social enterprise which supports people with learning disabilities across Hampshire, Wiltshire and Portsmouth, so every visit makes a difference to their lives in a positive way.
Rightly famed for its azalea and rhododendron collections, Exbury is a world-class garden and one of the best gardens in Hampshire. The beauty of the flowers reflected in the ponds will take your breath away. But, then, so will the colours of the autumn leaves. There are 20 miles of pathways to help you explore this garden which is a great favourite with no less a visitor than Her Majesty the Queen, who was pictured enjoying a ride on Exbury’s miniature steam railway. Picnics are encouraged, as are walks down to the timeless Beaulieu river, where you can contemplate this place’s amazing past – as a training base for those taking part in the D-Day Landings during World War II.
A short, 20-mile drive out of the forest, Mottisfont is a National Trust property which offers year-round delights, including frosty winter walks, rich autumn leaves and its piece de resistance – a world-famous, walled rose garden which houses the National Collection of Old Roses which flower in June.
Base yourself at the Montagu Arms Hotel in the New Forest for your gardens odyssey and you’ll be assured of endless comfort, a sense of tradition and food you can’t help talking about. Best of all, at the end of the day, you’ll be able to enjoy our hotel garden. Enjoy al fresco drinks outside by the fountain in the summer, from the conservatory during chillier times, and from the Terrace Restaurant and the Magnolia Lounge during meal times and evenings.