Larmer Tree GardensSalisbury Category Nature & Wildlife, Historic Sites
Set in the outstanding landscape of the Cranborne Chase, between Salisbury and Blandford Forum, these beautifully laid out gardens were created by General Augustus Pitt Rivers in 1880. Originally designed as pleasure grounds for 'public enlightenment and entertainment', the Larmer Tree is an extraordinary example of Victorian extravagence. Recognised by English Heritage as a Garden of National Importance they were the first privately owned gardens to be opened for public enjoyment.
From the magnificent main lawn radiate wide laurel-hedged rides which take you to the tranquil woodland beyond. In spring a wonderful display of Camellias, Rhododendrons and woodland planting is there to be enjoyed. In high summer the hydrangea collection makes a striking display of colour, and towering over the pinds the exceptionally fine Eucryphias make a magnificent sight. The trees and shrubs of the garden, and its woodland beyond, produce a rich tapestry of colour for our autumn visitors. The Larmer Tree contains a wonderful collection of ornate buildings retained in an enchanting and tranquil atmosphere.
The Coffee Grove Cafe and Shop is open Sunday to Thursday 11am - 4.30pm, providing delicious refreshments for coffee, lunch and tea, or why not prebook a picnic? Group visits with a guided informal talk on the history and horticulture of the Larmer Tree, plus cream tea or light lunch, can be easily arranged.
The gardens host many events during the year including open air film nights, Larmer Tree Music Festival and End of the Road Festival and are also available for private hire; therefore on Fridays and Saturdays the gardens are always closed. Please check the website for precise admissions information. [- Visit Wiltshire]