The Gardens

Exbury Gardens were the inspiration of Lionel Nathan de Rothschild. It was his vision, his dedication and his resources which have created one of the finest woodland gardens in the country.

A visitor once described Exbury as “Heaven with the gates open.” It is a garden for people young and old, horticulturalist or enthusiastic gardener, or just a lover of beautiful places. From botanical rarities to masses of spectacular colour, there is something for all to enjoy – a place to escape from the cares of the world.

Lionel de Rothschild was a keen collector of plants, particularly rhododendrons and azaleas.

He was also a highly successful hybridizer of many different species and Exbury is still filled with his creations. This tradition has been continued by his descendants, his sons Edmund and Leopold and grandsons Nicholas and Lionel, who actively continue to develop the gardens to this day.

Both Lionel and Edmund, who passed away in 2009 aged 93, were awarded the highest possible honour by the RHS in recognition of their horticultural achievements – the Victoria Medal of Honour. Father and son were described as “bankers by hobby, and gardeners by profession” and their Exbury legacy is today enjoyed by an annual 100,000 plus visitors from all corners of the world.

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‘We recently had some friends from London to visit and were looking for something to entertain our young children for the day. We decided to give Exbury Gardens a try and I thought it was wonderful. We had Sunday lunch in the restaurant and the food was far superior to other local attractions so compliments to the chef. Walking through the gardens was beautiful with lots of little pathways to explore. I have lived in the Romsey area for many years and always thought Exbury was a little out of the way but it only took me 20 minutes from the motorway. We will definitely be a regular visitor from now on.’

Philip Moulds, New Forest

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What to see in the garden on your visit

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Juliet’s Jottings

What wildlife to spot in the gardens

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