Abbey House Gardens, Malmesbury

By Emma Kirkup

A strange title for this blog perhaps? Of course anyone who’s visited Malmesbury before will know there are lots of reasons to visit this pretty hilltop town. So what’s with the 100,000? Well, I took a guided tour around Abbey House Gardens yesterday with the owner, Barbara who informed me that there are around 100,000 tulips within the gardens here!

This year’s strange weather and milder climate has led to some interesting things happening within the gardens at Abbey House. From the snowdrops putting on an extra-long display (although they’ve now gone) through to the cherry trees not doing their usual display of blossom but going straight to leaf.

I’ve noticed in Salisbury there are a couple of tulips emerging on my walk into the office however the display on offer at Abbey House Gardens at the moment was something else, especially when in places they sat alongside the beautiful bluebells.

Barbara led me through different sections of the grounds from the formal knot garden in the courtyard area, past the herb garden and down towards the river. It’s a very tranquil place, with the sound of birdsong and the river flowing and it’s easy to forget you are in the heart of a bustling town.

The gardens are not only rich in flora and fauna but also in history. The house dates in part from the 12th century and has strong connections with the Abbey which sits alongside it.
It would be interesting to visit again in a couple of weeks to see how much the gardens change as the leaves continue to emerge and the different flowers begin to thrive.

Rather than get too technical on the botanical names for the plants I saw (because, quite frankly I’m no expert when it comes to this) here are some images I captured on my visit yesterday:


Sculpture at Abbey House Gardens


Through the hedges



Don’t forget to look at the sculptures around the gardens too. If you fancy a bite to eat, there’s also a small café offering light lunches and cream teas.

It would be easy to spend a couple of hours here relaxing and taking in the spectacular views, I will no doubt return!




  1. jackie
    We are so lucky having Abbey House Gardens in our Town they do an amazing job of bringing the tourists who then also visit our other attractions and eat in our lovely pubs, cafes and restaurants. After a difficult year for the Pollard Family they triumph again with a dazzling display for us all to enjoy
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    The use of the "100,000 tulips" as a central theme is likely meant to create curiosity and make readers want to explore the gardens themselves.
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