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“A wonderful morning” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Barnsdale Gardens

Barnsdale Gardens
The Avenue | Exton, Oakham LE15 8AH, England
(01572) 813 200
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Ranked #4 of 17 Attractions in Oakham
Type: Gardens, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: Created by Geoff Hamilton over 13 years for BBC2's Gardeners' World television programme, Barnsdale is home to Britain's largest collection of individually designed gardens. Open throughout the year it provides not just a beautiful and enjoyable visit but also somewhere from which to discover a wealth of new ideas for your own garden from any one of the realistically sized 38 gardens waiting to be explored. Plant nursery and delicious tea room also on site.
Ajax, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A wonderful morning”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

We spent a wonderful morning walking around the gardens. The leaves were just beginning to change and the colour was beautiful---only to get better in the next couple of weeks. Enjoyed time in the Tea Room and had a very welcoming and warm experience from everyone who worked there. HIghly recommended!

Visited October 2012
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203 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Peace, scenic and such an inspiration”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

Great gardens, well 38 gardens evidently, covering much of Geoff Hamilton's time on TV- what an inspiration he was. Takes two hours if you're into gardening lots to see and ideas to improve your patch at home. I agree it looks like it could do with more staff to keep it in top shape and is getting shabby. Go on a sunny day (common as this is the East Midlands) and find a nice seat in the sun to relax. Easy to get to without a car too from Oakham Stamford and Peterbro via hourly bus 9 (Centrebus) it drops you at Barnsdale Hotel and from there its 10 min walk. Ask the driver where to catch it back from though as no sign. Only downer was the cafe - terrible food sadly. Soup and sandwich was canned soup (in a classy bowl confirming it was not just any canned soup but Knorr!! )and very basic sarnie, very dissapointing as there is so much produce growing in the gardens, and the local area is famous for food but clearly they cant be bothered, would avoid it next time, but the gardens are fab, free for RHS Members too.

Visited October 2012
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“These gardens need revitalising”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

Like some other reviewers I'm a big fan of the late (and inspirational) Geoff Hamilton. So I was delighted when the youngest daughter suggested we visit Barnsdale for the day. A gloriously golden September, motoring through the mellow Leics and Rutland villages, with the promise of such a lovely garden awaiting us. So, on arrival, we decided to have lunch first. Hmm, 45 mins later my daughter enquired as to where our food was. And was told, quite firmly "We sent it out". Well, not to us, you didn't. Perhaps someone else was enjoying our lunch? Another 10 minutes later an older lady came over, full of apology and told us that our order had been mislaid and she would attend to the matter immediately. Which she did and out food eventually arrived. So all was well in the end and the mistake had been apologised for, rectified and even compensated with a free cup of tea.

So, on to the gardens. Yes, they are somewhat disappointing. No doubt that they must have once been lovely, but like a fading film star, they've now had their best moments.None of the plants are labelled and weeds abound in every area. If it hadn't been for the soft fragrances of some of the flowers, the buzzy bees and the gentle sunshine, we would have been round them in about half an hour as there's not much to linger over. I had to restrain myself from not bending down to rip out some of the many weeds that engulf each display.

We purchased some fresh veg from the gift shop which was a nice thing to take home. The staff were, on the whole, pleasant and friendly. Prices are reasonable but this venue DOES need a makeover. Perhaps a BBC gardening project is in the offing?

Visited September 2012
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Cape Town, South Africa
Top Contributor
197 reviews 197 reviews
80 attraction reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
“Barnsdale Gardens - Smell the Roses!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

We visited Barnsdale Gardens and the 39 varied gardens set in 8 Acres are lovely. With many benches set all over for those who have time to sit and enjoy the ambience, it is a pleasant and peaceful time. The gardens do look as if they need some more care - many plants have gone to seed and some tidying up could be done - however, the area is huge and some of the gardens are so cute, one can picture the cottage or house. For me, the smell of roses which pervades the gardens was the best!

Perhaps more care could be taken but still worth the visit for a tourist who would like to view many English type gardens.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Sept not a good time to visit”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

What a shame to see the garden in this un kept state, many plants that could be cut back are left to go to seed making the gardens look shabby and scruffy.
Dead heading wouldn't go a miss.
There wasn't a gardener working that we could see.

They still charge full price which is unfair considering if you could take a look before you paid you would be more than likely just get back in the car and go home.

Come on Barnsdale keep up the good work that you do in spring and summer. If not you will loose your regular visiters.
Only last week I visited Coton gardens in Northamptonshire and they were neat, tidy and full of colour such a contrast to my visit today at Barnsdale.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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