Visit the Gardens of East Anglia, England
Garden Design's self-guided day trip to three beautiful English gardens
A short drive northeast of London, East Anglia is made up of three coastal counties; Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex; together with inland Cambridgeshire, it is the perfect destination for a day trip, weekend break, or longer stay at any time of year.
Surrounded by countryside, close to the medieval wool towns of Lavenham and Long Melford and the historic market town of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk is an ideal base from which to explore the area. Renowned local garden designer, author, and lecturer Adrian Bloom suggests the following itinerary for an interesting, yet relaxing day out.
Begin the day at Fuller’s Mill Garden, a tranquil waterside and woodland garden in West Stow. Then, head east to his family-owned Bressingham Gardens for lunch and an inspiring afternoon touring several distinct gardens, including the beautiful rolling landscape of the Dell Garden, a tapestry of colorful perennials. You’ll soon see why this has been called “a gardener’s paradise.” Your final stop of the day will be at the Abbey Gardens in Bury St. Edmunds. Step back in time as you walk among the ruins of the medieval abbey and enjoy the peaceful, park-like setting and garden displays.
Should you be looking for a place to stay, Adrian heartily recommends the Angel Hotel, which overlooks the impressive 14th century Abbey Gate, gateway to Abbey Gardens. Alternatively, Bressingham Hall itself can be let out for families or groups.
If you have additional time, be sure to check out the National Garden Scheme for other public and private gardens that may be open when you are in the area.