The Gardens at Great Fosters

"It is a far cry from the predictable blandness of most hotel gardens"  Country Life, December 2016

Great Fosters is set amongst 50 acres of formal gardens and parkland.  Originally designed by W H Romaine Walker and Gilbert Jenkins they are amongst the finest Arts and Crafts gardens in Europe. 

Framed on three sides by a Saxon moat, the formal gardens of Great Fosters are both extensive and exceptional. Designed to reflect the intricate beauty of a Persian rug, the knot garden is embellished with fragrant beds of flowers and herbs bordered by manicured hedges and topiary. At the heart of it all is the Drake sundial, which historians suggest may have been donated by Sir Francis Drake and is believed to date back to 1585. 

Under the leadership of Kim Wilkie, the last few years have seen the grounds extended, restored and enhanced, to create the stunning gardens you see today.  Spectacular topiary and statuary sit within a knot garden is encompassed within a Saxon moat.  A fountain plays beside an enchanting wisteria draped wooden Japanese bridge and a beautiful rose garden with arches and pergolas encircle a sunken lily pond.  A lake, four ‘secret’ gardens and a majestic grassed amphitheatre at the end of the lime avenue complete one of England’s most outstanding Arts and Crafts movement gardens.

In 2013 an apiary, a large glasshouse and kitchen garden, which supply the hotel with fresh produce were created.

Needless to say, Great Fosters has become a celebrated pilgrimage for horticultural enthusiasts from across the world.  

Our gardening team is always delighted to welcome any enthusiasts who may wish to learn more about our gardens and the estate by working alongside them on a voluntary basis.    

Map of the Estate

See a map of the estate here.