Painshill is one of the most beautiful 18th century landscape gardens, created between 1738 and 1738. This place has the most indescribable magic. It is an amazing garden in which to spend your day exploring the many winding paths in a journey of discovery.
There are quite a few routes you can take. I chose to do the historic route, which was fabulous. Typically, the English weather was quite miserable but this made the place more exciting, and mysterious. The historic route takes you through a series of scenes with views that continually changes and surprises you.
The temple of Bacchus was arguably the most spectacular of Charles Hamilton’s follies and is the latest to be restored.
In the Gothic Temple, the narrow opening between the pillared arches frame a living painting: from the inside you will have the most stunning views at Painshill.
The Hermitage was reserved for a hermit to live in as a recluse for seven years. However, the legend has it that the hermit was found drinking in a local pub within three weeks…
The Gothic Tower is supposed to have amazing views from the top beyond the Painshill landscape over four counties, and Windsor Castle can be seen on clear day. However, it was closed. I did try to open the door, but with no luck.
The trees of Painshill have many notable old trees including Cedar of Lebanon, Swamp Cyprus, Cork oak and veteran English Oak and Robinia.
The Crystal Grotto at Painshill is a magical, naturalistic cave with shimmering, bubbling water, rough rock and stalactites covered in sparkling crystals. The grottoes Hamilton saw in European gardens had water, rough rocks but were more architectural as structures. He may have seen some of the natural caves along the Roman coastline of Italy.
This garden has a remarkable beauty, and the best of all it’s just a short drive from South London. A place designed for lover’s of nature.