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12 flower-filled day trips from London

Make the most of the warm weather with a trip to one of these picturesque English gardens, woodlands and flower farms

Mottisfont, Hampshire
National Trust Images/Clive Nichols
By Emma Vince |
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We’re lucky to have so many parks and green spaces on our doorstep in London. But if you’ve visited Kew Gardens more times than you can count, and the sellers at Columbia Road flower market know you by name, perhaps it’s time to venture further afield to get your floral kicks. Fortunately, there are plenty of places within day-tripping reach of the capital. From rambling rose gardens and exotic glasshouses to woodland walks and PYO flower farms, these blooming beautiful day trips will bring out the floriculturist in each of us (oh, and they’ll make amazing Instagram fodder too…).

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Day trips from London for flower lovers

11
Down House, Kent

Charles Darwin’s Home, Down House, Kent

English Heritage’s Down House was once home to Charles Darwin – he of all that evolution and natural selection stuff. There’s a lot to see on a day out here. Darwin developed many of his groundbreaking ideas in his own back garden, aka his ‘outdoor laboratory’. Some of Darwin’s most famous theories stemmed from discoveries around the reproduction of plants, and you can even visit his beloved blue glasshouse, now home to orchids and carnivorous plants. Science lovers, this one’s for you.

Getting there: 1hr 20min drive from London, or 16min train from London Bridge to Orpington then R8 bus.

From £13.20 with gift aid. Find out more at english-heritage.org.uk.

12
Green and Gorgeous, Oxfordshire

Green and Gorgeous, Oxfordshire

Fancy buffing up on your floral knowhow in an English country garden setting? Green and Gorgeous flower farm offer growing and floristry courses for everyone, from flower hobbyists to professionals. And because all good days out include good grub, a day masterclass includes tasty food, fresh from the garden. The fields of ‘free-range’ flowers come to life in March, and each season sees in a different bloom, from bright tulips in spring to rich dahlias in autumn. Summer is a great time to visit for fragrant roses, stocks and frilly sweetpeas, as well as a meadow-favourites like cornflowers, poppies and daisies. They’ll never see the inside of a refrigerated lorry, and you won’t find a fresher fistful anywhere else.

Getting here: 1hr 50min drive from London, or 1hr 9min train from London Padding to Goring & Streatley then the 134 bus.

Course prices vary. Find out more at greenandgorgeousflowers.co.uk

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