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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

It doesn’t get much more bucket list than strolling through the private gardens of the UK’s future king. Highgrove House is the private home of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and every spring and summer, the gardens open to the public for guided tours.

Designed and developed over forty years, the organic gardens spread over six different areas, from a colour-filled arboretum – home to acers, magnolia and cherry trees – to the Victorian ‘stumpery’, where tree ferns rise up beside natural wood sculptures, and a wildflower meadow.

Tours are led by the Prince of Wales’ garden guides, who have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Highgrove and all its treasures.

Price from: £29.50
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 14+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Highgrove is two miles south of Tetbury, around two hours’ drive from London. Reaching the gardens by public transport is difficult, requiring two buses from Kemble station.

All visits are guided tours, which must be pre-booked well weeks, if not months, in advance. The tour lasts around two hours. After your tour, have lunch or tea and cake on the terrace of the Orchard Tea Room. All food is made on site using only locally-sourced produce – some of it grown in the gardens.

When to do it

Highgrove Gardens are open from April to October, with tours available on set days. See the website for listings.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Whatley Manor

Malmesbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom (UK)[4.9 miles]

A gorgeously-restored Cotswolds manor house hotel, with an award-winning spa and double Michelin-starred restaurant.

Official star rating:

The Manor House

Castle Combe, Wiltshire, United Kingdom (UK)[14.8 miles]

A romantic country house retreat set in historic Castle Combe, one of England’s most medieval villages.

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Barnsley House

Cirencester, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)[24.1 miles]

A charming 17th-century manor house hotel, with a lovely spa, three restaurants and glorious gardens.

Official star rating:

Thornbury Castle

Thornbury, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)[24.1 miles]

A 1511 Tudor castle, turned luxury hotel, rich in royal history. It’s the authentic castle experience, with everything from suits of armour to panelled rooms with four-poster beds. Children over 8 only.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds, United Kingdom (UK)

One of England’s most beautiful regions – a patchwork landscape of idyllic countryside, postcard-perfect villages and cosy historic boutique hotels.

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Overview >

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Westonbirt Arboretum

Tetbury, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)[3 miles]

The National Arboretum is one of Europe’s most beautiful collections of trees, with over 15,000 different species and a stunning treetop walkway.

Best for ages: 13+ | £11

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

A pathway leading up to a red gazebo in a garden
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Painswick Rococo Garden

Stroud, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)[19 miles]

Dotted with follies, quirky buildings, colourful borders and unusual shrubs and plants, Painswick dates back to 1799, and is the UK’s only complete surviving rococo garden.

Best for ages: 18+ | £10

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exterior of Berkeley Castle, with red stone walls
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Berkeley Castle

Berkeley, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)[20.4 miles]

A spectacular fortress, home to the Berkeley family since the late 12th century, surrounded by a beautiful grounds and deer park, with regular history-themed events.

Best for ages: 18+ | £15

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Exterior view of the beautiful gold stone facade
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Lacock Abbey

Chippenham, Wiltshire, United Kingdom (UK)[23.6 miles]

An elegant, 13th-century house built on the foundations of a former nunnery, Lacock is the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his part in the invention of photography.

Best for ages: 18+ | £15

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