The other week I took the girls to Swiss Gardens as it was taking part in the Heritage Open Days, which meant it was Free to get in. (Usually £8 per adult, children under 16 Free). The 9-acre gardens are adjacent to the Shuttleworth Collection in Old Warden, near Biggleswade and were created by Lord Ongley in the 1820’s.
Before visiting I had looked up about the place, but nothing prepared me for how romantic and picturesque it actually was. I could not put my camera down because it seemed at every turn there was a new artefact, building or bridge that just looked like it had been done to perfection.
Both Mabel and Martha love being outside so they had so much fun within these gardens exploring everything. We came across an Indian Kiosk, Swiss Cottage, and an adorable little Chapel that was hidden amongst some trees and rocks.
It was these small stunning buildings partnered with the rolling hills, ponds and bridges, that made me feel like I was in a magical fairyland and any moment I was going to see fictional characters come to life.
We wandered around half of the gardens before making a detour to the house to explore the few rooms that were open to the public. Walking into this house I could not get over the size of not just the windows, but the paintings that were framed on the wall. They were enormous. It was also interesting to see the servant’s bells as I hadn’t realised just how many there actually were.
Once we finished the house we were able to complete the walk around the other half of the gardens, which is where we stumbled upon the Grotto and Fernery. The tunnel walls were lined with a rock called Pulhamite which just added to the interest of the building.
Swiss Gardens really is a hidden gem and a family-friendly place. (Just watch your little ones around the ponds). I don’t think I would go back to the house again because only a few rooms are open and it is a little bit of a walk from the gardens, but I would very much like to take the girls back to do some more exploring of the gardens and the woodland trail.
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