In Local Adventures

Beth Chatto Gardens

Follow the little brown sign doesn’t sound quite a appealing as follow the yellow brick road, but the rewards can be just as sweet. In our next chapter of our Local Adventures series, we did just this. We drive past the sign almost every day as it’s on our way to work, yet neither of us have ever found our way to The Beth Chatto Gardens.


The gardens are beautiful but also useful and educational. It’s a great place to gain some inspiration for your own garden. If like us, you don’t actually have a garden (yet!), you can aspire to have one like this in the future. Not to mention all the Instagram worthy spots all over the garden. The nursery is actually really great too as all the plants are organised into best suited planting area which makes pairing plants a doddle. Even for a novice. As well as the adorable and plump Milly who circulates these parts! Oh and did we mention they have cake?


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Beth Chatto first coined the phrase “right plant, right place” the seemingly straight forward concept transformed the gardening industry. She is a celebrated and well respected gardener across the profession because of this founding principle. Her original garden, in Essex, demonstrates this wonderfully simple practice. The garden is appropriately divided and planted up to this concept and so it is an excellent resource for aspiring gardeners, like us!

Work first began on the garden in 1960. Chatto took on an overgrown wasteland and set work to transform the space. The gardens are proof that no matter what conditions you have with the right plant in the right place you too can achieve an outdoor space to be proud of.

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The Beth Chatto Gardens, are based in North Essex, just past the village of Elmstead Market. We headed there in mid-April with the promise of blossom. Not ones to adventure alone, we also convinced a couple of friends to join us. The gardens have a free to view garden which is very low maintenance and you can also gain free access to the nursery and the tearooms. Entrance to the gardens is £6.95 per adult which grants you free roam around all the areas of the garden. Look out for free entry weekends during the year.

The Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Clacton Rd, Elmstead, Colchester CO7 7DB


After we finished at the gardens our friends took us on a culinary adventure to Manningtree. We tried a local Italian Restaurant Lucca. Mama mia that pizza was a good-a. We can’t wait to go back and maybe, next time we’ll have a little local adventure in Manningtree.


We hope we have inspired you to explore more of your local area? Don’t forget to tag #ddlocaladventures if you have!

Andrea & Dan x

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