Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth, Devon
Connaught Gardens at Sidmouth were designed to incorporate the grounds of a house that once stood on the clifftop, so they are very different to most town gardens; some of the original walls were kept as features, the taller ones providing shelter from the prevailing sea winds. The gardens were formally opened in 1934 by The Duke of Connaught (Queen Victoria’s third son) and a plaque to commemorate this event can still be seen there. It’s a lovely place for a stroll around, with striking herbaceous borders, a sunken garden and temperate plants; there are several benches to sit and reflect or to stop for a chat, and if you fancy a bite to eat, you can go to The Clock Tower tea room, once a 16th century lime kiln, now one of the best places for cake and coffee in town. One of Sidmouth’s best known features is the flight of white painted steps known as Jacobs Ladder that link the gardens to the beach below.
Connaught Gardens provide a very charming backdrop to events throughout the year; in the warmer months there is live music, theatre and art exhibitions; near Christmas the gardens are transformed into an illuminated winter wonderland.
All information correct at the time of writing