High Beeches Gardens
High Beeches Gardens
Landscaped woodland and water gardens covering 27 acres, with a popular wildflower meadow.
The highlight at High Beeches is a collection of rare and exotic trees and shrubs from around the world, many of them over a century old. Most of these rare plants were collected by plant hunters like Ernest Wilson, and many are of great historical importance.

Also at High Beeches are extensive wildflower meadows and the national collection of Stewartia. Though the gardens will definitely appeal to the avid botanist, you don't have to be an expert to appreciate the carpets of bluebells in Spring, the wonderful Autumn colours or luxurious Summer scents. If you do want to learn more about the unusual plants at High Beeches there is a full plant list available at the entrance.

The gardens are laid out surrounding the ruins of High Beeches House, which was destroyed during WWII when it suffered a direct hit by a German bomb. The 27 acres of gardens around the house survived relatively unscathed, however. The woodland gardens date to the early 20th century and are an extremely well-preserved example of garden from this era.

Even earlier are the Wildflower Meadows, which date to at least 1848. They have not been cultivated for at least 80 years, and even animal grazing ceased in 1980. Every year the meadow is harrowed using heavy horses, so that wildflowers can seed successfully. The meadow has been declared a Site of Nature Conservation Importance.