A visit to West Green House Gardens in Hampshire

by Jan

Today we went on our first visit to West Green House Gardens near the village of Hartley Witney in North Hampshire.  Here, a collection of themed gardens surrounds an elegant Georgian manor house and present as one of the prettiest gardens in Hampshire.

Set in 10 acres of land, the grounds are not extensive, but this is ideal if you are visiting with kids.  If you are thinking of a visit to West Green House Gardens, here’s what we discovered.

West Green House, Hampshire

West Green House, Hampshire, UK

West Green House itself is a charming Grade-II listed property. However, the house is not open to the public and it’s the beautiful gardens which attract the visitors. An Australian gardener,  Marylynn Abbott, designed the unique landscape after buying the house in 1993.

Today, the gardens at West Green are managed by the National Trust and admission is free to members.

West Green House Gardens

Red Dragon in Dragon Garden, West Green House, Hampshire, UK

Our visit to West Green House Gardens started in the Dragon Garden, where we soon encountered two red dragons in the beds.  Not exactly what we were expecting in a traditional English Garden.

We skirted the perimeter of the gardens through the edible garden and the quirky Garden of the Five Bridges before entering the famous walled gardens.

Walled Gardens at West Green House, Hampshire, UK

Garden enthusiasts will love the gardens at West Green House Gardens.  Within the walled gardens, you’ll find neat beds and smart box hedges.  There’s a combination of fruit and flowers and the planting shows detail and care to ensure colour throughout the seasons.

In contrast the gardens by the lake are far less formal.  In April hundreds of daffodils and fritillaries provide a carpet of spring colour leading to the water.

Even if you are not a garden expert, you’ll appreciate how gorgeous the gardens are.  One of the highlights is the number of follies and interesting features.  Around every corner was something new to look at, statues, a beehive, topiary, a grotto and even a Doric Temple.  This is great if you are visiting with kids, as there is always something to look at.

Spring flowers at Lakeside, West Green House, Hampshire, UK

It only took us about 30 minutes to go round the first time, but we went back and discovered quite a lot more on the second turn.  As it was so early in the year, not everything was in bloom, but there was still plenty to see.

The water features at the West Green House Gardens are some of the highlights if you’re visiting with children.  In addition to the large lake, we found a small pond with a swan, moorhen, and a family of ducks.  There’s also a Water Garden, with mini fountains shooting water from the ground.

The Nymphaeum

Moongate looking at Nymph, West Green House, Hampshire, UK

My favourite feature at the West Green Gardens was the Moon Gate.  This gave a direct line of vision to the garden’s focal point, the grand Nymphaeum fountain.  Designed by the architect, Quinlan Terry, this impressive fountain led to a grand water staircase.

Above the monument was the inscription from Alexander’s Pope 1711 poem,

A little learning is a dangerous thing.  Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring.”

The café at West Green House Gardens

Cafe at West Green House, Hampshire, UK

Surprisingly one of the favourite options for my children was a visit to the two greenhouses, which are just outside of the entrance.  However, this may be because they were the warmest spot on a very cold day!

At the end of your visit, you can stop at the café for afternoon tea.  However, it was too cold for us to sit outside, so we headed home.

Getting to West Green House Gardens

West Green House Gardens is in Thackhams Lane just outside Hartley Witney.  This is a picturesque village between Basingstoke and Farnborough.  You can get to the gardens on the A30.  The sat nav postcode is RG27 8JB.

The car park is directly in front of West Green House Gardens.  You should book your parking in advance when you make your online booking.  The car park is currently £4.

Admission prices at West Green House Gardens

Admission is free for National Trust members.  However, you do have to pay £1 booking fee and £4pp for the car park.  We booked directly in advance through the West Green House Gardens website, rather than National Trust.

Admission prices for non-members can be found here.

Opening times at West Green House Gardens

The gardens are open from 11:30am until 4pm on Wednesdays to Sundays until November.

Have you been on a visit to West Green House Gardens?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

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