We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Unkempt and disappointing”
Review of Barnsdale Gardens

Barnsdale Gardens
Ranked #8 of 22 things to do in Oakham
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Like many others I have wanted to visit Barnsdale for years - along with a group of 17 keen gardeners. Their brochure leads one to believe that this is a much loved and cared for series of gardens but walking around, it is possible to believe that nothing has been done in any of them for the past 10 years. Shoddy pruning and training of climbers and shrubs and a lack of attention to the wide range of herbaceous perennials makes one wonder if anyone gardens here. Having seen the award winning display of Barnsdale plants at horticultural shows, the nursery is a further disappointment with plants and paths badly in need of a weed. The Tea Room was staffed by five young women who had to be requested to clear and clean the tables so that our group could sit somewhere with their food. A disappointing experience and one of the few occasions when I, as tour manager, have been charged for entry.

2  Thank BayGarden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (642)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"geoff hamilton"
in 121 reviews
"own garden"
in 49 reviews
"gardeners world"
in 49 reviews
"individual gardens"
in 35 reviews
"tea room"
in 48 reviews
"afternoon tea"
in 35 reviews
in 39 reviews
"gardens are lovely"
in 7 reviews
"for sale"
in 22 reviews
"full bloom"
in 7 reviews
"plenty of seats"
in 9 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 34 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 15 reviews
"nice cafe"
in 7 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 15 reviews
"on arrival"
in 11 reviews
"sunny day"
in 9 reviews

583 - 587 of 643 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

Travelled 200 miles to see Barnsdale Gardens, despite one or two negative reviews.
Absolutely loved it.
For us, much better than all these stately gardens, much, much better.
Very real and full of ideas, nearly wore my camera out..
If it was closer I'd be back there again tomorrow and the day after.
Good job Geoff. Hope you're getting it sorted up there.

2  Thank mike d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We have waited for years to visit here and it didn't dissapoint at all. Everything was just as we expected, they have done a terrific job of keeping the standards and traditions alive.
Great food, especially the cakes

1  Thank Martin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

The gardens are mostly of sizes that suit modern houses. There are ideas that you can take away and use in your own garden. Also, they are not manicured they are there weeds and all. Take plenty of pictures of what you like then over a great coffee and snack, or lunch, think about what plants you want out of the shop and plant centre. I think that all of the plants are bred from plants in the gardens, so some you may not find elsewhere!

You will probably want to come back to look again. Try another time of year because they seem different every month. Some of the plants lack name tags (just like my garden) but often Nick Hamilton of one of the gardeners can help you with names.

1  Thank meltonpieman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Smashing place to visit, beautiful if slightly worn gardens lots of great ideas. The entrance fee is very good value. We went on a nice warm sunny day all the flowers were beautiful and there was lots of scent on the air. the staff are very knowledgeable and really helpful. we really enjoyed being able to wander around freely. the seating in the garden is great it really allows you to appreciate the gardena when you can sit and linger for a short while in them. the nursery is good, the plants are nicely looked after and not overpriced. It is a really great tribute to Geoffrey Hamilton who was one of our favourite presenters on Gardeners world.

1  Thank eurotravellerPreston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Barnsdale Gardens also viewed


Been to Barnsdale Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing