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 Bedfordshire Wrest Park Gardens

This is one of the most magnificent gardens in England, but one of the least well known. Unlike 'Capability' Brown's natural landscape styling, favoured during the late 18th century, Wrest Park's formal gardens provide a fascinating history of gardening styles, laid out over 150 years and inspired by the great gardens of Versailles in France. Relying not only on extensive views, but also on revelation and mystery, Wrest Park succeeds in delighting the visitor with surprises at every turn. Yet of all its glories, the grandest is without doubt the recently restored domed Baroque pleasure pavilion, reminiscent of a great Italian cathedral.

Wrest is also home to a collection of stone and lead statuary, evoking the classic tales of Greek and Roman mythology. The park's unique mix of open space and sheltered woodland is complemented by reflective expanses of water, while Chinese and classical buildings vie to catch your attention. Wrest has an endless selection of walks, picnic areas and places to explore, relax and dream of days gone by. Another key feature is the reconstructed Chinese temple - one of many elements added to the garden to reflect the tastes of the age.

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