Houghton Lodge Gardens near Stockbridge, often referred to as ‘the jewel of the Test Valley’, has been named as a 'Hidden Gem' by Visit England. This prestigious recognition is part of the Visitor Attraction Accolades for 2022-2023, which honours exceptional visitor experiences across England.
Situated on the banks of the romantic River Test, Houghton Lodge Gardens has been the cherished home of the Busk family for over a century. The Grade II* listed “Cottage Orné” is surrounded by mature trees, vast espalier fruit trees, and lawns that gracefully sweep down to the river's edge. The gardens offer a serene blend of history, architecture, and nature, making it a sought-after destination for corporate events, romantic weddings, and tranquil getaways.
Sophie Busk, owner of Houghton Lodge Gardens, expressed her joy, saying, "We are delighted to be announced as a Hidden Gem by Visit England. This accolade is a testament to the dedication, passion, and hard work of our team. We've always believed in the magic of Houghton, and it's heartening to see our efforts recognised on such a prestigious platform."
This year Houghton Lodge Gardens has celebrated the 230th anniversary of Houghton Lodge with a series of events including the official opening of the Oriental Garden by Charlie Dimmock; Bridgerton Bliss, A Regency Afternoon of Tea, Tunes and Twirls; Music on the Test and most recently, Apple Day. Not forgetting, the 52-foot-long espaliered pear tree which was officially recognised as the world's longest tree.
In a recent press release by Visit England, Andrew Stokes, Visit England Director, commented on the accolades, "These accolades are a testament to the outstanding experiences and customer service that attractions in England give visitors."
Houghton Lodge Gardens, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and commitment to providing an unparalleled visitor experience, truly embodies this sentiment.
The gardens close for the winter season at the end of October and over the next few weeks visitors are invited to enjoy the autumnal colours of the changing season. The gardens will re-open in spring 2024.
As tourism continues to play a pivotal role in England's economy, attractions like Houghton Lodge Gardens not only enhance the visitor experience but also contribute significantly to local economies.
For more information about Houghton Lodge Gardens visit www.houghtonlodge.co.uk