Iford Manor Gardens wins best garden/arboretum in the Cotswolds Slow Travel Awards 2024

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Iford Manor, near Bath, has won ‘Best garden/arboretum’ in the Cotswolds Slow Travel awards.


The awards, sponsored by Bradt Guides, coincide with the publication of their Slow Travel Guide to the Cotswolds. Bradt Guides have been publishing travel guides for 50 years, providing honest guides for visitors infused with the spirit of adventure – uncovering offbeat and hidden corners.

The Slow Travel awards celebrate the sustainability, authenticity, and honouring our forebears. The prize recognises the unique beauty, tranquillity, and design of Iford Manor’s Grade 1 registered gardens, largely created by influential architect and landscape designer Harold Peto whose home it was from 1899 – 1933.

Now home to the Cartwright-Hignett family since 1965, the gardens have been lovingly restored and extended over the decades.

Owners William and Marianne Cartwright-Hignett took over the garden in 2018, with a 10 year plan in mind to reinvigorate the historic garden. Working closely with talented Head Gardener Steve Lannin and gardening team, over 3,000 plants were planted in 2023 with more added this year. The results of the work undertaken already show, with each year and season bringing new planting designs and combinations to look forward to.

William Cartwright-Hignett said “We’re very proud that the efforts of our exceptional gardening team have been recognised by this prestigious award. We’re about halfway through a 10 year restoration plan and I cannot think of a better encouragement to press on with the second half of the programme and hope that people enjoy coming with us on that journey.”

Iford Manor Gardens also play host to an annual jazz festival in the gardens, this year from 20 – 24 June. Claire Martin OBE curates the line-up of top international jazz artists. The opening concert in Iford’s stunning, and intimate, Grade II* listed cloister, with British jazz legend Elaine Delmar, is one not to be missed. Note some events have already sold out.

Iford Manor also has an award-winning restaurant, Iford Manor Kitchen, on site, creating honest food sourced from estate and local sustainable produce. Everything is made from scratch in the kitchen, including charcuterie, pasta, ice cream and more under the expert Head Chef Matt Briddon.

Iford Manor Bakery is run from the same kitchen and supplies the café with freshly based sourdough, cakes, pastries and more each day for visitors to the gardens and walkers alike.

Iford Manor Gardens are open from Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm (last entry 3pm) until the end of September. It is recommended to book tickets in advance online to guarantee entry, as capacity in the 2.5 acre garden is limited.

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