‘Right Plant Right Place’ in Beth Chatto’s lovely garden

94 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do

Date of travel

April, 2024

Product name

Beth Chatto's Plants & Gardens

Product country


Product city


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We visited the garden which is not far from Colchester in April on a coach trip with our plant society from Kent; we’d been there before but it was some years ago and since then a new ticket office/entrance and tearoom have been built. There’s also a well stocked nursery and garden shop which, along with the tearoom, can be visited without buying an entrance ticket to see the gardens.

Adult tickets are £13.95 if purchased online in advance or £14.95 if bought on the day. Gardeners’ World 2-for-1 and RHS membership can be used at this garden. In the 7.5 acre Grade II listed garden there are five main areas – the famous gravel garden, a water garden, woodland garden, reservoir garden and a scree garden with its large collection of alpine plants. My memory from our visit several years ago was of Beth Chatto herself giving us a talk on different types of soil and how to grow the right plants in soil that suits them – her famous ‘right plant, right place’ principle. It’s pleasing to see her years of hard work and design still looking good..

After our coach journey from Kent the first thing we did was have coffee in the tearoom which had a good selection of hot and cold drinks, cakes, pastries. As the tearoom is also open to visitors who are not visiting the garden it was very busy and it was difficult to find a seat; it was even worse at lunchtime when we had to sit outside to eat but luckily there was somewhere under cover although it was rather cold. The sandwiches were well filled and the soup was excellent and I thought everything was good value.

We spent a couple of hours exploring the various parts of the well kept garden and thoroughly enjoyed the visit. We left plenty of time to go round the nursery plant area to see if there was anything we couldn’t resist buying and ended up with several unusual plants. 90% of the plants for sale in the nursery are propagated in the adjacent nursery propagation area so if you see a plant you like while going round the garden there is a fair chance there will be some for sale in the nursery. The plants are not cheap but they are unusual and well grown.

There’s Blue Badge parking. Coaches have to make a special booking to restrict numbers. It’s a garden that’s well worth a visit but it might be an idea to check the opening hours online before travelling as I think they vary depending on the time of year.


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