The Courts Garden is a gorgeous National Trust garden hidden in the centre of the little village of Holt in Wiltshire, about 10 miles from Bath. While you can’t look around the house, there is plenty to explore in this beautiful English country garden.
You approach down the pretty tree lined footpath that leads up to the house. It is here that you get your first glimpses of the quirky topiary; by the house it looks almost like snail shells – further into the garden, it looks like Poc-Pocs (one for young fans of ‘In The Night Garden’).
As you round the corner, the lawns open out in front of you, and you get your first glimpses of the various ‘rooms’ of this garden. We always start by heading off to the lily ponds, which are usually full of frogspawn, tadpoles and frogs in spring.
From here, we go and explore the pond in the back corner of the garden – it is quite hidden away and rather reminds me of a tropical rainforest. There is a little footpath that winds its way around the pond and is a great spot for looking for insects.
The footpath then takes you out onto the wilder arboretum at the back of the garden. Here, early spring sees a sea of daffodils, then carpets of wildflowers over the lawns later in the season. It’s nice and shady here from the huge trees, so a good spot to relax on a hot day. It is also an interesting contrast to the more formal areas of the garden.
Further along you’ll start to see the productive parts of the garden; the orchards are a wonderful sight in spring with the blossom and in autumn when the fruit is ripe. Head into the Orchard Room to learn more about the history of the garden (it was once the site of a cloth mill) and its previous owners.
I then like to go wandering off into the formal gardens; these are surrounded by classic English country garden flowerbeds that are an absolute riot of blooms and a haven for wildlife.
The Rose Garden Tearoom is the ideal end to the tour. They do light lunches, snacks and rather epic cakes.
Practical details for the Courts Garden
The Courts Garden website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-courts-garden
Child friendly? Yes, and easy to walk around with a pushchair.
Dog friendly? No dogs except guide dogs.
Accessible? Partly accessible, some steps, grass and uneven paths
Free parking behind the village hall