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on 15 June 2005
A recent significant birthday and gifts of book vouchers allowed me to indulge my Sawday's addiction and add this one to my collection. Now all I need is the time to go and visit more of these places.
The rise in popularity in the National Gardens Scheme and village open gardens days seems to indicate that looking at other people's gardens is fast becoming a national pastime and if, like me, it's one you enjoy, then this book is for you. As with all the Sawday's guides the production is superb, well set-out, good (accurate) descriptions (I think these are written by the Sawday's inspectors rather than the places themselves) and beautiful photography.
In the two places from this book I have so far stayed at, both sets of hosts were only too pleased to show you round their gardens, and indeed to let you wander round at your own speed and were happy to answer endless questions and even offered cuttings!
The standard of accommodation in many of these places will give top hotels a run for their money, and yet you get so much more pleasure from staying in one of these but please buy the book and go and find out for yourself - you won't be disappointed.
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on 13 July 2003
Alastair Sawday's books are a breath of fresh air in the over-hyped world of travel guides, and this is one of the best of the lot. This is a labour of love by Nicola Crosse, who has tirelessly tracked down hundreds of beautiful, eccentric, unique places to stay with gardens. I have stayed in several of the properties in this book and they are quite wonderful - little corners of the UK that until now have been extremely well-kept secrets. A fantastic guide.
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on 8 September 2003
The selections in this book are immensely enticing. So far I've had occasion to stay in two. The most recent was in Charlton, at Bullock's Horn Cottage in July. The hosts and the home are delightful. We had a lovely evening meal with interesting conversation in a dining room overlooking a garden that was splendid even in the rain. I would go out of my way to stay there again. These homes are so lovely and pleasant that they are destinations in themselves. Once there and settled in, one can then decide what to find to do in the area.
The descriptions are detailed and color photos are included. A wonderful reference volume for the traveller fond of getting off the beaten track in the U.K.
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on 26 March 2011
What do you look for in a B&B, hotel or cottage, for a weekend or longer? I know what I DON'T want - trouser presses, mini bars and uniformity. It's why I tend to use the various Alastair Sawday guides, for quirky and individual places. Places I know will be comfortable, run by people with a passion for what they do and able to welcome, cosset and often inspire me. And occasionally I find myself searching for a certain specific something; wouldn't it be lovely to stay on a vineyard, or to be able to take the dog? Above all, wouldn't it be fine to stay somewhere with a fabulous garden? To know I could wander around someone else's private plot, sit under their wisteria and smell their roses, take notes on their plantsmanship, to be welcome to do so...and not have to mow the lawn!? Special Places to Stay in Britain for Garden Lovers is the latest in Sawday's special guides and it introduces a swathe of B&Bs, holiday cottages and hotels with green fingered owners and acres of well kept, burgeoning borders and lawns, some with ponds and waterfall, potagers, and glades. Reading this on a cold, misty, drear day with just the hint of spring in the air, pages and pages of gorgeous gardens was just too tantalising. I've been to one of these places and it is as outstanding as the description suggests, which just makes me want to go discover others in this book. As well as tempting you with the promise of Tudor knot gardens, violet-strewn dells and tables set for breakfast or an evening drink under jasmine and honeysuckle, each entry gives recommendations for gardens nearby to visit, and a gardener's tip. Did you know that conkers deter moths and spiders or that cayenne pepper protects tulip bulbs from voles? I suspect you'd come home from a stay in any of the recommended houses with notes, cuttings and the irresistible desire to start digging.
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on 7 June 2015
I bought this book to use for a weekend away. Each B&B I rang were either not in business any more, or didn't ring back. I rang Sawdays, who were extremely helpful they told me that this book was published in 2011, and advised me to use the internet. So please be advised this book is out of date don't buy it, but use the very helpful website. The production and photos are great though !
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on 17 September 2011
This is a lovely new addition to the Sawday range, of which we have several, and it has great pictures and lots of information. However, I have two negative comments, the first is that there seem to be less entries to choose from comparing it to the previous smaller edition, and the second is that it is rather large to carry around in your bag! PSV. Preston. Lancs
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on 9 October 2013
Was recommended this book by a friend. As usual, I checked out the other customer reviews before buying.
Must say that it's a super book, concise yet informative and having visited some of the destinations as a result of the book purchase, I have found it a really worthwhile buy.
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on 8 April 2011
I have long been a fan of the publications of Alistair Sawday's. I have stayed in over 50 places recommended by him and his team and have never been disappointed. Their research is impeccable and the places they find are truly wonderful. We've stayed in places in England, Wales, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy and have found every place not only clean, comfortable and cosy, but the hosts charming, charismatic and cheerful. I've always found the guide a delight to read with just the right amount of information, excellent directions, great photographs and correct contact details. So as you can imagine I have a high regard for these books and therefore high expectations.

Special Places to Stay in Britain for Garden Lovers not only met but exceeded my expectations. It's wonderful new larger format allowing for more photographs to, as another famous guidebook boasts, show you what other guidebooks only tell you. The book really is a pleasure to read in it's informative, yet casual style. Once again these properties have been thoroughly researched and there is a good spread across Britain. The book looks and feels wonderful and you can lose yourselves for hours researching your next trip or find the right place straight away using the well thought out indexes and maps. If you are planning a trip away I would highly recommend this book to you - one trip and you'll have gotten your money's worth!!
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on 8 March 2012
This is such a lovely book! I bought it as a present for my sister and we have both enjoyed looking through it. Just the right amount of detail for each property and sumptuous pictures. Like a tempting box of chocolates it's just a matter of which one to try first!
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on 7 May 2011
I got this book as a present for my aunt & uncle who enjoy visiting gardens on their holidays. It seemed the perfect way to combine travel & gardens and they absolutely love it. I almost didn't want to give this beautiful book away. It takes the excellent Sawdays books into another realm of publications.

This book is full of exquisite photos of flowers, trees, shrubs, fountains, ponds, arbours and everything anyone could wish to see in the ideal garden. (The only slight drawback is that it's a large book so not one to pop in your handbag!)

The places to stay are great too - but then they would be, wouldn't they, being Sawdays ... I can personally recommend the gracious Gilpin Lodge in Cumbria with its lovely Lake House. This book is yet another example of how many glorious places there are to stay at in the UK.
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