About the garden
Marquess of Lansdowne
A separate attraction on the Bowood Estate, the Woodland Gardens are only open for six weeks of the year during the flowering season (April to early June). Covering more than 30 acres, there are just over two miles of paths intersecting the Woodland Gardens with an oasis of azaleas, bluebells, magnolias and rhododendrons.
The Woodland Gardens surround the family mausoleum, one of Robert Adam’s finest classical buildings which was commissioned in 1761 by the widow of the first Earl of Shelburne. Recently, the Woodland Gardens were the subject of one of the most exciting and significant horticultural finds – more than 30 original hardy hybrids, which were thought to be extinct. The plants date back to when the garden was first planted by the third Marquis of Lansdowne in 1854. The present Marquis’s great grandfather substantially expanded the gardens on his return from India where he had been Viceroy.
Within the Woodland Gardens is The Jubilee Garden, a four-acre section of planting originally laid out around 1854 by the third Marquess of Lansdowne. Maintaining this family tradition, the new addition to the Rhododendron Walks has involved a 12-year labour of love for the present Marquis, who started planting in the wood in 2006.
Each week a particular route is dedicated as the Walk of the Week.
Parking is located just outside the entrance to the Woodland Gardens with a catering hut offering hot drinks and homemade cakes.