Located in a private, environmentally protected valley, our eight acres of gardens and woods are large enough to be both a peaceful haven and a safe, natural adventure playground.
Our extensive gardens and woods make staying at Lower Coombe Royal a unique experience for all our guests. The gardens have more than a hundred varieties of red, pink and white camellia and many rhododendrons - some over 50 foot high! In the woods you will find a wonderful collection of native trees as well as silver fir, eucalyptus, a Japanese elm, a Judas tree, an enormous Magnolia and a huge Thuja. There is always something to catch the eye throughout the seasons, from winter berries to spring bulbs and apple blossom, summer flowers to flaming autumn Japanese maples.
The gardens and woods are full of wildlife - a resident buzzard, deer and fox families, rabbits, squirrels, woodpeckers, owls and jays as well as waterfowl by the ponds and the spotted flycatchers near the Royal House. A series of paths take you on an ever-changing journey around the grounds, from the formal garden to the lawns, the orchard and the woods, to the American Garden and the ponds, it's truly a voyage of discovery.
You can enjoy a peaceful stroll around the grounds, relax in the water gardens and enjoy watching the birds and ducks to the sound of the stream running by, or simply sit on one of the wooden benches dotted around the gardens, soaking up the views and seasonal colour.
Although historic, our gardens are there to be enjoyed by everyone, including children, so there is an area for ball games as well as a play area with a climbing frame, a Wendy house, a trampoline and a table tennis table. The 'Rain Forest' is a natural adventure playground for children - and adults too! There are trees to climb, dens to build and a tyre swing hidden in the woods.
Our grounds are full of wildlife, so if you are a keen bird and/or animal watcher, you will not be disappointed! Wildlife Wonders produced a fascinating report for the previous owners, complete with photos, on the flora and fauna in our gardens which guests can use as a guide. If you are awake early (or up late), then you will hear our resident owls and perhaps the fox. Later in the day as the thermals improve, our resident buzzard will call to her young across the valley. Recently, she was spotted eating a slow worm on our drive! You will also hear the rhythmic knocking of the woodpecker, the spotted fly catcher can be seen nearer the main house and all sorts of ducks, frogs and other creatures can be found around the ponds.
Lower Coombe Royal is well-known for its American Garden, which was laid out by John Luscombe in about 1840 as an addition to the garden of his house, Combe Royal, located further up the hill. We have compiled a short history of the gardens giving more details of the unusual plants and tree specimens to be found here and our ongoing restoration of the gardens.