Abbey House Gardens

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The gardens are reached round the back of Malmesbury Abbey. They have been lovingly created over the last 20 years from a wilderness. The formal gardens in front of the (private) Abbey House have low trimmed box hedges with topiary yews and flower beds full of spring flowering bulbs, to be followed later by roses. There is a knot garden and a wheel shaped herb garden with a fountain in the centre. Later in the spring, there is a laburnum tunnel. Steps lead down to the lower terrace which drops down through the woodland and wild garden to the river with the monastic fish ponds.

The trimmed hedges divide the garden up into compartments making it feel secret. The gardens have obviously been created with love and are well cared for.

There is a small cafe area with tables. According to the website they serve light lunches, cakes and drinks. There was no one around when we visited, and no sign of any food.

Visitors should however be aware that these are the gardens of the naked gardeners. The owners can be found working in the gardens in just knee pads. (It must have been a cold day when we visited as the owner was out in shorts and T shirt.) They also have certain Clothes Optional Days. Check their website for dates before planning a visit.

There is no parking for the gardens, although there is some by the abbey. The formal gardens are accessible by wheelchair although the woodland and wild life gardens have steps to them. Entry is £8 or £7 for seniors which we felt was a bit expensive. There were no concessions for disabled visitors.

There was a notice in the ticket kiosk saying that photos could only be put on the web with the owners permission. I have this.

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