Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Highdown Gardens

My friend Nurse L has recently retired. This means she now has more time to come out and play. A date on my day off was agreed weeks ago and I bravely suggested somewhere down near her neck of the woods. Naturally anxious, I favour "safe" behaviours, so normally I would suggest somewhere familiar up this way. This time I conquered my fear, drove somewhere new and used the sat nav for the first time. We both enjoy flowers [she's a gardener, I am definitely not!] so I floated the idea of Highdown Gardens near Goring. The weather may have been grey and overcast, but it didn't dampen our enjoyment.

Highdown Towers [now the adjacent hotel] was bought by Frederick Stern in 1909. He came from a banking family with ambition and money to burn, but returned from serving in WWI a greatly changed man. His original intention had been to convert the chalk quarry next door into a tennis court, for which he sought advice as to how to prevent the glare from the chalk from blinding the players. Horticultural solutions were given and there his passion for plants was ignited. The tennis court never made it beyond the planning stage, but instead we have this glorious garden. Following his death in 1967 the gardens were bequeathed to the council for the public to enjoy. They are open all year round [closed at the weekends in the winter] and offer something for every season. Entry and parking is free and there is a teashop right next door. What more could a Brit want!!



  1. Such a coincidence, I mentioned to Tom the other day that we have not been to Highdown Gardens for a while. Your photos comfirm that we must go over there.

    1. We hadn't been for ages either. It's so lovely.


The Rogues Gallery.

This week it was Mythago's AGM. As secretary I get the dubious pleasure of running it, but after a few years worth of practice as a form...