8 of the best blossom walks in Warwickshire & the West Midlands
Hop over to these nearby hanami hotspots to catch a gorgeous spring show.
Fancy joining in with Hanami – the ancient Japanese tradition of “flower viewing” and celebrating blossom, synonymous with spring picnics, under the sakura trees? Last year here in the UK the National Trust piloted its first #BlossomWatch campaign when the country had just entered lockdown. And, with thousands getting involved, they’re once again asking people to share photos of blush-tinted blooms to lift spirits through nature.
If you fancy trying a bit of Hanami here in Warwickshire and the West Midlands, now is the perfect time as trees burst into flower. Here’s some of the best local hotspots.
Upton House and Gardens, near Edge Hill
This 1930s National Trust garden is a little bit special on the blossom front. There’s the cherry blossom in the Wild Garden, including the spectacular Tibetan cherry tree – Prunus Serrula – with its striped bark which looks best at this time of year.
The orchard which blooms into life in April and May is designated a “silent space” by the National Trust, which recommends you turn off your mobile and immerse yourself in the sounds of nature without any distractions.
The gardens are open from 10am – 5pm. Book tickets well ahead of your visit.
Charlecote Park, nr Wellesbourne, Warwick
A passion for Victorian plants by former lady of the manor, Mary Elizabeth Lucy, still influences the gardens. Now that the apricot, apple and pear blossom is out in bloom in Green Court, the bees are happy. Head to the formal riverside parterre if you’re looking for Instagram inspo.
Baddesley Clinton, Rising Lane, Baddesley Clinton
Take a gentle stroll in the walled garden or the orchard on this secluded estate in the Forest of Arden and be greeted with the delightful sight of a variety of trees in blossom. Pre-book.
Hill Close Gardens, Warwick
These restored ‘hidden’ Victorian hedged gardens of historic importance with Grade II listed summer houses have 70 Apple Trees displaying beautiful blossom in spring. Open 11am-4pm. Entry: adults £5; children 5-17yrs £1, includes garden trail; and children under 5 free.
War Memorial Park, Coventry
Walk through the spectacular rows of cherry blossom trees at this city centre park, where the trees are named after fallen soldiers. There’s also a new Japanese Peace Garden designed in partnership with local school children. Key feature include the ‘Islands of Peace’, a gingko tree, viewing platforms, Japanese Sakura trees – and a new cherry orchard. Free.
Wightwick Manor and Gardens, Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton
Theodore Mander, part of a 19th-century family of industrialists in the area, and his wife Flora decorated its interiors with the designs of William Morris and his Arts and Crafts contemporaries. It remains a vision of a late Victorian private home set in 17 acres of woodland and Edwardian gardens designed by celebrated landscape designer Thomas Mawson with a number of outdoor ‘rooms’. The ornamental cherry tree is a beautiful sight in full bloom on the tennis court lawn carrying scented white blossom during April and May. Pre-book visit.
Brindleyplace, in the centre of Birmingham, might seem an implausable place to spy cherry blossom this spring – but this quieter than normal restaurant quarter is in full bloom. The best spot for hanami? Look outside Ikon Gallery, a contemporary art space – temporarily closed – inside a striking neo-gothic 1880s red-brick.
Hidcote, Glos, near Shipston-on-Stour
The grounds here are divided into a series of ‘outdoor rooms’ with different themes. Hidcote’s former owner Lawrence Johnston, a talented garden designer, planted a wealth of cherry trees in its orchard. Pre-book your visit.