Oh Chippenham Park… I never would have guessed that such a beautiful garden was only a short fifteen minute drive away from our home – and what a hidden gem of a place it is! This lovely day back in June began as a surprise ‘date day’ planned by James where he had completely thrown me off the scent to his actual plans by telling me that we were travelling into the Suffolk countryside. I’m terrible with surprises, the anticipation of the unknown makes me feel quite anxious plus I usually end up figuring out his plans (he’s usually a terrible secret keeper), so this was a rare treat for the both of us! And to be honest, as I tend to overthink a lot of things, it was so so lovely to have a day out where I didn’t need to organise a thing.
Now it’s probably old news that I absolutely adore a day trip into the English countryside! Exploring more of this beautiful county we live in, with my favourite person, whilst also taking photos of our adventures, is one of my favourite ways to create special memories. After arriving home from this particular trip I noticed just how little I had actually photographed during the day in comparison to all my other trips. The sentimental part of me felt a little sad at this realisation, but looking back I think that perhaps having not planned this visit myself, my outlook shifted somewhat on how I wanted to spend the day and I perhaps became more focussed on exploring the beautiful gardens and enjoying the day with my love – without the pressure of documenting it. After all, it’s not often I’m treated to a successful surprise day trip aside from special occasions and I was still able to capture some pretty lovely photos.
Located in the Cambridgeshire countryside, in a setting of beautiful lakes, canals and parklands, Chippenham Park is a family owned estate with gardens packed full of lush greenery and glorious blooms.
A gentle summer breeze was filling the air with the fragrance of freshly cut grass and blossoming plants. The walled garden here is quite different to others I’ve seen – where they are home to an abundance of homegrown flowers and vegetables, the walled garden at Chippenham felt wonderfully wild in comparison and was instead overflowing with crisp white flowers and ornamental grasses. It was an expanse of vibrant greenery with views of this beautiful space and Hare Hall from the top of ‘the mound’ being absolutely spectacular!
Old brick walls with the markings of last seasons plants were visible by the decorative dried branches and with fresh new flowers stretching up from the ground, thriving in the sunshine, every detail of this place was enchanting – even down to those quaint ornamental elephants perched above the peeling iron gate.
Reluctantly leaving the walled garden, we passed the long borders overflowing with a colourful display of flowers, where our wanders took us through the ‘acer walk’ and into ‘the wilderness’ section of the estate. It was a beautifully sunny day, so we paused for a moment before continuing our walk around the Grand Canal.
Circling back on our route, we found the wonderful views from the edge of the lake. With lots of trees lining the bank, we picked a shaded spot to relax and admire the view of the lake summerhouse and rose borders across from us. The water glittered magically in the sunshine and was embellished with layers of the loveliest pink and white water lilies I have ever seen.
I adored all the beautiful white flowers on display throughout the entire garden, especially those within the rose garden. After we crossed the bridge over the lake, I headed straight to the rose covered summerhouse and I noticed how I wasn’t the only one who stopped at every rose bush to admire their effortless romantic charm.
Strolling past the main house, we found a beautiful landscaped garden with so many beautiful features. The tall hedging and trees surrounding us created the most tranquil mixture of music whenever the soft summer breeze danced among them. It was amazing to find so much space and peace in an otherwise busy estate, it felt like we had this part of the garden all to ourselves for some time.
I mostly swooned over all the blooming flowers and plant covered archways in the garden, endless inspiration for creating a beautiful English summer garden at home.
We stopped for coffees and cake at the cafe, a converted potting shed no less! It overlooks their lovely kitchen garden where they have the quaintest little glasshouse for me to peek into.
Chippenham Park only opens to the public several times a year, the next date this year falling in October near to my Birthday (cue the superstitious part of me seeing this as a sign of all good things, surely!) so it’s already pencilled into the diary as a date for the two of us. I love the idea that this could become a tradition for us to visit every year, who knows what changes we’ll discover in the gardens and what changes there will be with ‘us’ too.