Bowood in Wiltshire, with its magnificent 70-acre walk through rhododendrons, magnolias and azaleas, has been named the 2014 Garden of the Year, an award sponsored by Christie’s and the Historic Houses Association.

The current Marquess of Lansdowne, Bowood’s owner, has maintained the high standards of presentation set in the 18th century by his Prime Minister ancestor, the 1st Marquess, who employed the celebrated architect Robert Adam to create an orangery, menagerie and mausoleum. The following century saw the arrival of the pinetum and arboretum, Capability Brown landscapes, pleasure grounds and Doric temple.

The present Lord Lansdowne created the four-acre Jubilee Garden. He says: ‘Few accolades could be more rewarding for us. To know that it has been adjudicated by our visiting public says it all. Bowood continues to evolve, each generation leaving its legacy-it gives pleasure to thousands and employment to many.’ The gardens reopen on April 1 (01249 812102; www.bowood.org).

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