HISTORIC gardens, which recently celebrated its 230th anniversary and often referred to as ‘the jewel of the Test Valley’, has been named a 'hidden gem' by VisitEngland.

Situated on the banks of the River Test, Houghton Lodge Gardens has been the cherished home of the Busk family for over a century.

The Grade II listed 'Cottage Orné' is surrounded by mature trees, vast espalier fruit trees, and lawns that gracefully sweep down to the river's edge.

READ MORE: Houghton Lodge Gardens celebrates 230th anniversary with events series

The gardens offer a serene blend of history, architecture, and nature, making it a sought-after destination for corporate events, romantic weddings, and tranquil getaways.

This prestigious recognition from VisitEngland is part of the Visitor Attraction Accolades for 2022-2023, which honours exceptional visitor experiences across England.

Sophie Busk, owner of Houghton Lodge Gardens, said: "We are delighted to be announced as a Hidden Gem by VisitEngland. This accolade is a testament to the dedication, passion, and hard work of our team. We've always believed in the magic of Houghton, and it's heartening to see our efforts recognised on such a prestigious platform."

This year Houghton Lodge Gardens celebrated the 230th anniversary of Houghton Lodge with a series of events including the official opening of the Oriental Garden by Charlie Dimmock; Bridgerton Bliss, A Regency Afternoon of Tea, Tunes and Twirls; Music on the Test and most recently, Apple Day. Not forgetting, the 52-foot-long espaliered pear tree which was officially recognised as the world's longest tree.

SEE ALSO: History: The Elms, a grand private house in West Field

Visit England director Andrew Stokes said: "These accolades are a testament to the outstanding experiences and customer service that attractions in England give visitors."

The gardens close for the winter season at the end of October. Over the next few weeks, visitors are invited to enjoy the autumnal colours of the changing season.

The gardens will re-open in spring 2024. 

For more information about Houghton Lodge Gardens visit houghtonlodge.co.uk.