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Longstock Water Gardens: The Test Valley’s hidden landscape jewel

It seems strange to call Longstock Park Water Gardens a “hidden jewel”. It’s been there since the 1930’s and open to the public since… well at least 40 years, I remember being taken there as a child. It’s part of the Leckford Estate, owned by the John Lewis Partnership and these days is open 5 days a week between April and October. And yet… so many people I speak to have never heard of it or never visited.

And they’ve missed a treat because this is one of the most beautiful gardens imaginable. The sort of place that you would expect to find in Singapore, rather than Hampshire’s Test Valley. The images in this gallery were made on a visit I made in early July 2021 and I was very lucky with the conditions. A sharp rain shower was just passing as we arrived, followed by bright sunshine which made all the colours pop to the maximum. In truth it was perhaps a little too bright, but the sky looked fabulous so I was able to throw on a wide lens with polariser and shoot at 16mm to capture the wide lakes surrounded by lush vegetation.

I’ll definitely take a return journey in September for some autumn colour before the garden closes for the winter.


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