A south east London palace garden which was once home to royalty has been ranked as one of the top 12 gardens to visit in the UK this spring.

Eltham Palace made the list of the top 12 UK gardens to visit this screen published by The Guardian.

Eltham Palace and Gardens, located in Eltham in south east London, was once the royal residence to members of the Tudor family including King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth I.

Later, the palace was extended in the 1930s and turned into the glamorous home of the millionaire Courtland family, who decorated the palace with art deco touches and even kept a pet lemur named Jongy in the palace.

News Shopper: Eltham Palace was once a Tudor royal residence.Eltham Palace was once a Tudor royal residence. (Image: English Heritage)

The gardens boast 19 acres of land to explore, from woodland areas to landscaped formal gardens, as well as a moat around the castle.

The gardens were recommended on account of the “wafts of wintersweet and the spiced vanilla scent of viburnum lasting into March.”

The famous medieval bridge that takes visitors across the moat of the palace was also mentioned on account of it being “London’s oldest functional bridge”, with links to the famous poet Geoffrey Chaucer who famously supervised the construction of the bridge.

News Shopper: The medieval bridge is said to be London’s oldest functional bridgeThe medieval bridge is said to be London’s oldest functional bridge (Image: English Heritage)

In the spring, the gardens are abundant with spring bulbs, with hellebores in pink and ivory tones as well as epimediums.

If you walk to the topmost areas of the gardens you may spot early bulbs like cyclamen, snowdrops, yellow aconites, primroses and anemones.

Towards late spring, the gardens will be full of spring flowers like pansies and tulips, as well as primulas in the Inner Court’s seasonal beds.

News Shopper: The gardens have a wide variety of flowersThe gardens have a wide variety of flowers (Image: English Heritage)

If you are looking to smell the scents of spring, head over to the garden rooms, which are heavy with the scents of Daphne bholua and sweet box otherwise known as Sarcococca confuse.

The gardens also feature a wooden outdoor playground inspired by the Courtland’s love of travel and exploration.

Visitors looking to have a picnic will be spoilt for choice of where to sit down and tuck in from the Rock Gardens to the bankside of the moat, with stunning views of the bridge and palace.

News Shopper: The gardens offer 19 acres to exploreThe gardens offer 19 acres to explore (Image: English Heritage)

If you didn’t bring a picnic with you, be sure to head to the glasshouse café near the playground to have a tea and slice of cake if you get peckish.

Eltham Palace, now owned by English Heritage, offers a calendar of seasonal events such as jousting tournaments, art deco fairs and activities for the children.

News Shopper: The Guardian have rated the gardens as one of their top 12 to visit this spring.The Guardian have rated the gardens as one of their top 12 to visit this spring. (Image: English Heritage)

Tickets can be bought online in advance for £16 for an adult, £9.50 for a child and £14 for a concession.

Disabled carers are admitted for free and there is also disabled parking available in the car park.