Barnsdale is crowned UK's best garden

Geoff Hamilton's masterpiece tops poll of GN readers to find the country's favourite visitor garden.

Garden News readers voted in their thousands over the summer as we sought to find the Best 100 Gardens in the country. Barnsdale emerged the victor with just a handful more votes than Bangor Castle in Northern Ireland. Click the button below to see the full list of the UK's Best 100 Gardens. 

A delighted Barnsdale owner Nick Hamilton said: “We’re absolutely delighted! It’s great news and so nice that so many people voted for us. Dad had a great passion for inspiring people to try new ideas and that’s what we set out to do to this day.”

Garden News editor Simon Caney (right) presents the award to Nick Hamilton

Garden News editor Simon Caney (right) presents the award to Nick Hamilton

There are 38 different themed gardens to see at Barnsdale, ranging from Japanese to ‘Country Paradise’ and classic cottage gardens to a modern estate layout. Nick said: “The first thing we want is that everyone who visits enjoys themselves. But the gardens are all manageable, size-wise, so everything we do in that respect is achievable to visitors. We want them to think, ‘I can do that!’

“If they go away with at least one new idea to try in their own garden then that is a sign of success.”

It’s fitting that Barnsdale wins the first GN Best 100 Gardens poll as Geoff Hamilton’s first job in garden journalism was with Garden News back in 1970. “He was managing a garden centre and having a tough winter, so he wrote a few pieces and just sent them to Garden News,” said Nick. “Geoff Amos was the deputy editor then and he got them and immediately said, ‘This bloke’s got something.’ The rest is history.”

Elsewhere in our vote, the walled garden at Northern Ireland’s Bangor Castle bagged second spot, with the fascinating Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall in third. Other regional winners were Great Dixter (South East), RHS Harlow Carr (North East), Arley Hall and Gardens (North West), Cawdor Castle (Scotland) and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.



Voting for #Best100Gardens has now closed. 

Voting will re-open next year in March '19, so make sure you come back to vote for your favourite garden then.