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Wisteria arch in Sexby Garden, Peckham Rye Park
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13 blooming beautiful places to see wisteria across the UK

Indulge your wisteria hysteria this spring at these purple-tinged parks, gardens, palaces and stately homes

Rosie Hewitson
Lucy Lovell
Written by
Rosie Hewitson
Contributor
Lucy Lovell
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Shedding your woolly jumper and cracking out the shorts isn’t the only sign that spring is in the air. Flowers begin to do their thing too, filling every nook and cranny with bright, cheery petals.

From hosts of golden daffodils and carpets of vibrant bluebells, the United Kingdom is a total dream for flower-lovers, who can get their fill of flirty buds in parks and gardens around the country. Among the most loved is wisteria, whose purple blooms last throughout May and into early June.

From lilac-flowering Japanese wisteria that hugs rustic wooden bridges in Surrey, to romantic archways of cascading flowers lovingly maintained by volunteers in London, these are the best places in the UK to indulge your wisteria hysteria.

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Where to see wisteria across the UK

Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire
Nigel McCall

Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire

The 10-acre gardens of this grade II-listed medieval mansion were painstakingly restored at the turn of the century, and are now regarded as some of the finest in Wales, with dozens of styles on display from formal and woodland to exotic and modern. The Sunken Garden’s thirty metre-long wisteria arbour is inspired by Japan’s famous Kawachi Fuji Garden and features Japanese wisteria with long racemes of blue blossoms.

Marwood Hill Garden, Devon
Rob Dougall

Marwood Hill Garden, Devon

The gorgeous wisteria arbour at this 20-acre private garden in Devon features twelve different varieties of the plant in deep purples, lilacs, blues and pinks. They're all artfully trained around a wooden pergola, and come spring, they create an enveloping tunnel of fragrant blossoms. The folksy hangout also hosts open-air theatre throughout the year; the verdant backdrop is perfect for a spot of Shakespeare. 

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Greys Court, Oxfordshire
Photograph: Shutterstock

Greys Court, Oxfordshire

This magnificent wisteria archway in the gardens of this Oxfordshire Tudor estate has long been one of its main attractions. Visitors eagerly await ‘wisteria watch’ updates on the estate’s social media accounts before flocking to the gardens in late spring to see the 130-year-old specimen in full bloom, when its bright blue flowers and heady scent fill the walled garden.

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Along with vibrant beds of bluebells nestled within the Serpentine Wood, the grounds of this National Trust-owned English country house are filled with wisteria. Perch on one of the deckchairs scattered around the Abbey’s Central Yard and admire the vibrant white and lilac wisteria blossoms that line its walls and archways.

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Peckham Rye Park, London
Photograph: Shutterstock

Peckham Rye Park, London

The serene collection of gardens nestled within Peckham Rye Park remain something of a local secret, despite the crowds of Londoners that descend on the adjacent Common on a sunny weekend. Head to the Sexby Garden in late spring to stroll through magnificent corridors of delicate lilac wisteria blossom, dripping from the garden’s wooden pergola.

The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland
Alnwick Garden

The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

Adjacent to the town’s famous castle, The Alnwick Garden is best known for its huge Cherry Orchard and fragrant Rose Garden, but it’s also a great place to find wisteria. Fans of the captivating climber should head to the Ornamental Garden, where it can be seen creeping across the archways over the garden’s gates. Check out the garden's handy calendar of what's in bloom to help plan your visit. 

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Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
Photograph: Shutterstock

Hampton Court Palace, Surrey

As well as boasting the world’s longest grapevine within its impressive gardens, this historic royal palace is home to a breathtaking wisteria tunnel, where several different colours of blossom can be found dangling from an expansive archway. Another impressive Chinese specimen, planted in around 1840, completely covers one of the palace’s walls.

Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

The gardens at this English Heritage-owned country estate showcase three centuries of landscape design, and are a highlight of the Grade I-listed estate. In full bloom the enormous wisterias that sprawl across the walls of the Italian Garden and Pear Orchard are truly awe-inspiring. Pick up a book from the hidden second-hand bookshop in the Bothy and read a few chapters under the fragrant petals. Bliss. 

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RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey
Photograph: Shutterstock

RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey

Wisteria is one of the signature plants at the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship gardens in Surrey, with several varieties found around the 240-acre site. Lilac-flowering Japanese wisteria adorns the rustic bridge across the ponds in The Rock Garden, while the new Wisteria Walk planted in 2018 features white and royal purple varieties that will be trained into each other as they grow, producing a stunning tunnel of multicoloured blossoms.

Eastcote House Gardens, London
Photograph: Shutterstock

Eastcote House Gardens, London

This tranquil 9-acre green space has stood at the heart of Eastcote for over 500 years. Lovingly maintained by a group of local volunteers, it boasts a tunneled walkway abundant with purple wisteria blossoms alongside golden laburnum. While you're there, spot Speckled Wood butterflies in the 11-acre meadow and say hi to the frogs and ladybirds in the bug hotel.

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Broughton House Gardens, Dumfries and Galloway

The garden of this National Trust-owned Edwardian house on Scotland’s Galloway coast is a Japan-inspired labyrinth of stepping stones and wisteria-covered pathways. Its coffee shop is draped in a vibrant cloak of purplish-blue Japanese wisteria blossoms in the late spring, and the garden also boasts fantastic views over the port of Kirkcudbright.

Christ's College, Cambridge
Photograph: Shutterstock

Christ's College, Cambridge

Impressive blue and purple blossoms adorn several of Cambridge’s historic colleges come springtime, with notable specimens found climbing up the walls of the Master’s Lodge at Jesus College and twined around the fences outside Sidney Sussex College. Yet none is quite as magnificent as the Chinese wisteria covering the south-facing wall in Christ’s College’s first court, which is thought to be around 200 years old.

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Iford Manor, Wiltshire
William Cartwright-Hignett

Iford Manor, Wiltshire

Set within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the last hill of the Cotswolds, the peaceful Grade I-listed gardens of Iford Manor are filled with Chinese wisteria. A specimen covering the front of the house is rumoured to be one of the oldest wisterias in the UK, and its fragrant scent in full bloom is unsurpassed. For the full wisteria experience, book a stay in the manor's converted medieval stables, which now take the form of a handsome 3-bedroom cottage.

Waterperry Gardens, Oxford

Just a 30-minute drive from Oxford, Waterperry Gardens is a perfectly-preened oasis and the ideal spot to cop a load of wisteria. Make a beeline for the formal garden, which is home to a long, whimsical tunnel festooned with the elegant flowers. Conveniently, anyone on ‘wisteria watch’ can check their socials for updates on when it’s reaching peak bloom.

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Nymans, West Sussex

The sweet scent of wisteria fills the air at Nymans, where the elegant shrubs are dotted throughout the gardens – including one that’s over one hundred years old. Elsewhere in the grounds of the medieval-style manor house, eagle-eyed visitors can spot snake's head fritillary – an exquisite wildflower native to the UK, with a delicate chequerboard patterning. 

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