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“Lovely gardens”

Abbey House Gardens
Ranked #2 of 10 things to do in Malmesbury
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 29 May 2014

These gardens are well worth a visit. They are very well looked after and there are many different plants to enjoy. Besides the formal garden there is a wild, wooded area by the river where we saw lovely rhododendrons. There are plenty of seats to sit on and enjoy the views. There is a cafe too although we didn't try it out.

1  Thank Suzanne148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"formal gardens"
in 26 reviews
"herb garden"
in 12 reviews
"stepping stones"
in 9 reviews
"the long stay car park"
in 7 reviews
"flower beds"
in 8 reviews
"hidden corners"
in 3 reviews
"water features"
in 8 reviews
"front of the house"
in 4 reviews
"herbaceous borders"
in 5 reviews
"wild area"
in 3 reviews
"interesting sculptures"
in 3 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 18 reviews
"open to the public"
in 6 reviews
"full bloom"
in 6 reviews
"spring flowers"
in 4 reviews
"different areas"
in 4 reviews
"bell inn"
in 3 reviews
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191 - 195 of 275 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2014

We found it hard to find, driving round and round the town until finally stopping and asking a local, who with a knowing smile, pointed us in the right direction, the entrance is down a little side street not very well marked. My partner dropped me off at the entrance as I am not as fit as I should be, and he drove down to the long term parking and climbed the 60 steps up to the entrance, so I was left with the picnic bags.

We went on the 'clothing optional' day which was very busy indeed, with lots of people as nature intented (mainly men). I did smile going to the loo for a change the queue for the mens loo was about 20ft long and I could walk straight in to the ladies, YAY! now they know how we feel at every other event having to wait!

There were a few people fully dressed, some were obviously surprised as you could see the look on their faces, most people were naked. There were a few families, a few couples and mainl single guys attending. I also saw several wheelchairs and they have a wheelchair route available although the lower gardens at the back of the house would be a challenge I imagine, I did not even try it.

The gardens are absolutely amazing, the prettiest gardens I have ever seen, the beautiful wisteria just took my breath away! There are laburnum walkways and raised gardens, lots of water features and garden ornaments. The scents were intoxicating, an assault on all your senses with the array of colours and smells - amazing place, will go again, with or without clothes, the place is wonderful and I hope the garden is open to the public as it will be a shame if we lose such an enjoyable treasure!

3  Thank mariamerton10x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014

My husband and I visited Abby House Gardens in early May although the Tulips were no longer showing their glory I thought everything in the gardens were so beautifully planned out. All the flowers and vegetation were labeled so you knew what you were looking at. So vast the gardens were and with the Wisteria draped on the Abby itself - stunning. The back of the gardens were even more stunning. Mostly green but so many paths, small bridges over a stream, a waterfall - absolutely breathtaking. Trails are a bit steep in a few areas but worth the trek down. I have not stopped talking about these gardens. Not to be missed - yes we did see the clothing optional gentlemen - but hey, made for a hood story on my end!!!!

Thank Lori M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014


We have been meaning to visit Abbey House Gardens for years and having just visited mid-May I only wish we had made the effort years earlier - it has gone into our top 10!

The gardens are what can best be described as a little 'quirky' - they are not the regimented formality of many institutional gardens.They have clearly been designed with love and care and you are initially led through many different 'rooms' always looking ahead for the next 'delight'. They vary from the more formal areas to the lakes at the bottom of the hill.There are beautifully maintained shrubs,hedging,and grassed areas. At the time of our visit the bulbs were over. However, you could see the herbaceous borders ready to burst forth in colour and the massive display of roses ready and waiting!

Perhaps it was the thought of the 'naked gardeners' that made us wary of visiting before however the reality is a little more tasteful.Yes, Ian Pollard, who was gardening when we visited had a lot fewer clothes than a National Trust gardener however he was perfectly decent! He was also friendly and clearly loves and is (rightly) proud of his creation.

Sadly,the same day as our visit we later read that the gardens are to be sold for family reasons.Visit while you can - there is no guarantee any new owner will keep them open to the public.


PS While the gardens are delightful the catering is best described as 'dire' (instant coffee,crisps,limited cakes and sandwiches) - best walk a few hundred yards to nearby cafés and pubs in the town.

1  Thank BOBOK777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 May 2014

They have said that they have planted 20,000 tulips. Well what happens when the tulips are all dead? There are not many other flowers to speak of. I would say that more than 85% of the flowers were dead. We went in 4th of May and that is not winter so you would expect more flowers but you will be very disappointed if you go now. I would say avoid. I paid £16.00 for me and my wife and feel utterly ripped off.

This garden is kept by amateurs and I think they have become either tired or have given up any effort to keep this garden how it should look or indeed how they advertise it.

It is such a shame. This should be much better. The cafe is a let down, the toilets were dirty. I would suggest if you want to see a nice garden this is not the one. Save your money. Avoid.

3  Thank mappyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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