Swiss Garden is a scenic garden in Old Walden. Situated on the same site as Old Walden Aerodrome and the Shuttleworth collection, and can be easily accessed via the A1(M) or A600, and is about a 20 minute drive from Hitchin.
These pleasant gardens offer the opportunity for a variety of landscape and nature shots, including a series of mini lakes and rivers, numerous scenic bridges, several little follys (including a chapel, grotto-come-green house and of course the Swiss cottage itself. There are a huge variety of trees and shrubs although (or at least not to my untrained eye) relatively few interesting plants and flowers.
Since my last visit in around 2010 a woodland walk has been added with a number wood carvings. and there is also access to a lake. Talking of access, although there are few rises access around the site is really good for the less mobile.
The Shuttleworth collection of vintage aircraft is also on the same site, and as a working (if very quiet) aerodrome small aircraft do come and go. There are several “flying days” during the year and a number of events however these do get booked up very quickly and usually have an entrance charge in their own right.
There’s a sizeable gift shop on site, and quite nice cafe. There is a dedicated picnic area, although if you’re discreet you can pretty much eat anywhere you like, although you can also sit by the runways and watch the planes take off and land. If you don’t want to bring food with you the Hare and Hounds pub in Old Walden itself does some fantastic food (if a little on the pricey side).
Entrance for an adult as of July 2016 is;
- £8 for the Swiss Gardens,
- £15 for the Shuttleworth collection
- £20 for a combined entrance ticket
Learn more about the Swiss Gardens at their website http://www.shuttleworth.org/swissgarden/.