Set in a sheltered valley with shrub-filled banks, hidden pathways and colourful herbaceous borders, Mottistone gardens surround an ancient manor house (not open) and have a Mediterranean planting scheme to take advantage of the southerly location.
Drought-tolerant plants from subtropical regions surround the front lawn while an organic kitchen garden provides fresh produce for the tea garden. Light lunches, cakes, bakes and drinks are served in what was once a tennis court, while the Tudor barn is full of National Trust goodies to buy.
There’s even ‘The Shack’ to explore – a unique cabin retreat featuring beds, kitchen and shower, designed as a summer drawing office by architects Seely and Paget.
Keep little ones occupied with a hunt for the hidden flowerpot people, or try some of the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾‘.