Great Fosters is set amongst 50 acres of formal gardens and parkland. Originally designed by W H Romaine Walker and Gilbert Jenkins they are amongst the finest Arts and Crafts gardens in Europe.
The formal gardens are framed on three sides by a Saxon moat which may be crossed by a Wisteria-clad Japanese bridge constructed from green oak. Designed to reflect the intricate beauty of a Persian rug, the knot garden is embellished with fragrant beds of flowers and herbs bordered by manicured hedges and topiary. In the centre is the Drake sundial, which historians suggest may have been donated by Sir Francis Drake and is believed to date back to 1585.
Since 1990, under the leadership of Kim Wilkie, the grounds have been extended, restored and enhanced, to create the stunning gardens in which the hotel now sits. A beautiful circular sunken rose garden with arches and pergolas encircle a lily pond. A lake, four ‘secret’ gardens and a majestic grassed amphitheatre at the end of the lime avenue complete one of England’s most outstanding Arts and Crafts movement gardens. In 2013 an apiary, a large glasshouse and kitchen garden, which supply the hotel with fresh produce were also created.