Last updated on 15 November 08

Houghton Lodge Gardens

  3.0/5 (1 ratings)

Gardenvisit Editorial

An eighteenth century Cottage Ornee in parkland beside the River Test. There is a flint grotto and a modern Hydroponicum in which plants are grown without soil.

Head Gardener's Comment

A haven of peace above the tranquil beauty of the River Test. The gardens at Houghton Lodge are listed Grade II*, and surround an enchanting and unique example of an 18th Century “Cottage Orné”. Chalk Cob walls enclose a traditional Kitchen Garden with espaliers, herbs and heated greenhouses, a hydroponicum and an orchid collection. The Gardens are both formal and informal with fine trees, a woodland walk, stunning herbaceous border and topiary peacock garden. There is a topiary puffing dragon! Houghton Lodge is a popular TV/Film location including the film “Wilde” and BBC “David Copperfield”. A further 14 acres adjoining the garden provide an experience of the natural world with meadow walks through the peaceful and unspoiled surroundings of the River Test where you will meet Tom, Dick and Harry, our new Alpacas.


Houghton Lodge has an importance quite disproportionate to its size, a building of architectural and historic importance. Built sometime before 1799 and probably intended as a fishing lodge, it is one of the earliest examples of a Cottage Orné or Rural Retreat. Whoever designed it appreciated regional buildings, especially the rounded thatched forms and plastered walls of Hampshire valley villages. Built on a hill overlooking the River Test, a more magical position would be hard to find. Both the House and the Garden are in the rare category of Grade II* listed status, one of only 12 properties in the whole of Hampshire.

Plants of Note

Drifts of daffodills and snowdrops in the spring. Many cyclamen under the trees in the spring and autumn. The rare Scilla Bythinica interwovwen amongst the daffodills. freshly planted tulips. Hydroponic displays including strawberries. Peonies, tender agapanthus, sternbergia Lutea, tender plants like plumbago in the conservatory, and an orchid collection. Oleander and hybiscus. Espalier apples and pears and old fashioned apple varieties. Gingko. Muscat of Alexandia Grape vine.

Address - Houghton Lodge, Stockbridge, Hampshire, England, SO20 6LQ
Opening times - Open 1st March-31st October 10am-5pm everyday. Wednesdays and House by appointment only.
Admission - Open 1st March-31st October 10am-5pm everyday. Wednesdays and House by appointment only. Admission: Adults £5.00, Children U14 free. Coach Tours and Groups welcome on any day by appointment only-special rates if booked in advance. Self service teas, coffees and homemade cakes. 14 acre meadow walks with Alpacas, available at an additional £2.50. Dogs welcome on short leads.
Website - Visit the Houghton Lodge Gardens website

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Reviews and Comments

Have you visited this garden?

  • about 6 years ago Adam Hodge said

    Wonderful views of the Test river and surrounding countryside, viewed from lovely lawns sweeping to the edge of the river. Something very peaceful, calming and romantic in this area of the garden.
    The walled garden has a central walk through a series of arches festooned with Rose American Pillar and there are some quite interesting plantings along the walls.
    Why they promote the hydroculture stuff beats me..never seen such a tired collection of plants in ages !


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