There’s something nerdy (and kind of adorable) about England’s centuries-old fascination with—and subsequent mastery of—gardening. “It’s certainly true to say that we love plants,” admits Mike Calnan, the Head of Gardens at the National Trust, which maintains over 300 historically significant houses and gardens throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
American horticulture enthusiasts are catching on, with many making it a primary reason for traveling to the U.K. In fact, gardens have become so popular that 2016 was officially declared the Year of the English Garden. If you’re wondering exactly where to go to experience the country’s brightest flower borders, most eye-catching topiary, and stateliest 18th-century gardens, then you’re in luck. Read on for our top picks.