Tucked away behind a historic orthopedic hospital in England is an elaborate show garden that looks like it belongs in Hogwarts, taking inspiration from places across the globe, and the occult as well.
This small formal garden, which was created in the mid-1800s, has a strange and somewhat esoteric vibe. Walking the grounds, located just north of Stoke on Trent, you might follow one of the many paths and passages connecting the disparate sections of the garden, and emerge into the daylight to find a Chinese-inspired landscape complete with pagoda and koi pond. Elsewhere you might stumble upon a peculiar pyramid, housing a stone effigy of the Ape of Thoth, bathed in red light streaming through the colored window. The variation never seems to end.
In addition to the Chinese and Egyptian gardens, there is an Italian garden and a bowling green; there is a cherry orchard and a stumpery; and of course, precise topiary galore. Everywhere you turn in this eclectic garden there is some new horticultural wonder to see.
Biddulph Grange is fabulously odd. Well worth the price of admission and couple of hours getting lost. Belting cake selection in the tea rooms as well.
Know Before You Go
3½ miles south-east of Congleton, 7 miles north of Stoke-on-Trent. Access from A527 (Tunstall to Congleton road). Entrance on Grange Road. Apple Maps will give you a couple of routes. Take the less travelled one.