Secret garden walk earns its place in Top 10

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Stowe Landscape Gardens has made the Top 10 with the opening of a brand new ‘secret garden’.

The Lamport Garden, which opens to the public for the first time on Sunday, is the centrepiece of a new Secret Places Of Stowe walk which is attracting national media attention after being chosen by the National Trust as one of the top 10 hidden walking gems in the UK.

Stowe Landscape Gardens. Secret Garden. Head Gardner, Barry Smith.'130823M-A036

Stowe Landscape Gardens. Secret Garden. Head Gardner, Barry Smith.'130823M-A036

The Secret Places of Stowe walk meanders through the Lamport Garden, which has been restored under the supervision of head gardener Barry Smith.

Mr Smith, aged 49, from Buckingham, has been a gardener at Stowe since the age of 15. He now oversees a team of nine paid staff and 60 volunteers tasked with maintaining and renovating the gardens.

The Lamport Garden, which had become completely overgrown, was started in 1820 but never finished.

In style, it is quite different from the rest of Stowe.

Stowe Landscape Gardens. Secret Garden. 130823M-A007

Stowe Landscape Gardens. Secret Garden. 130823M-A007

Entering through an old wooden door, the visitor follows a winding path through woodland with mature trees, rocky banks, cascades and rock pools.

Mr Smith said: “Paths are key at Stowe because they’re how you get these great views.

“Your paths are your map round the garden and, when you arrive at that spot where you get that perfect view, you’re surprised. That’s what planting does. It frames the view but it also hides the view so when you get there there’s the element of surprise.”

>> View a slideshow on our website.