Caldecote Open Gardens: 23/24 June (2-6pm)

Caldecote Open Gardens this year will truly feature something for everyone – a children’s paradise, teas, mini music recitals, exhibits featuring 8 artists and a sports/classic car show!

Whether you’ve been every year or this will be your first time, you won’t be disappointed. People are coming from all over Cambridge and beyond for what is a great afternoon out for all ages. For a feel of the event, have a browse through last year’s photo gallery.

Time and place

Caldecote Open Gardens 2018 takes place over the weekend of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June. The parish church, Sidewalk Coffee Shop and 14 gardens will be open both afternoons from 2pm to 6pm.


Your ticket for the event is a programme with full list of gardens and attractions and a map. Buy a programme at your first garden you visit – all gardens will be marked by a ‘Garden Open’ post and balloons. £5 per adult – children free. Collect stickers to add to your programme and keep track of where you’ve visited. Children love them!


Dogs are very welcome, as long as they are kept on leads (not all gardeners or fellow visitors will be natural doggy people, and some gardens have pet residents of their own), and accompanied by responsible owners who will clear up any gifts left by their pets!

Wheelchair accessibility

The gardens are of course gardens of private homes, and have not been specifically designed for wheelchair access, but many of them are largely accessible, even if some areas of them may be more difficult to explore. We’re sorry that there are no designated disabled access WC facilities. Buy your programme at the Sidewalk Coffee Shop on Furlong Way, and you’ll see a disabled access logo by the gardens which you’ll find easiest to enjoy – the entrance is wide enough for a chair, and there are no steps into the garden. Some of these gardens may have gravel paths or driveways, but experience has suggested they do not pose too much of a problem because of the depth or size of the stones. We would be glad of your feedback after the event, so that next year we can provide additional information in advance of the weekend.

Gardens opening this year

Here’s the map to get you started – it’s included with your programme, which you can buy at any of the gardens or the Sidewalk Coffee Shop, from 2pm.

Here’s the full line-up:

1. Caldecote Church (Main Street)
* 15-minute music recitals on the hour every hour (see below for schedule)
* Biscotti di Debora: the best cupcakes in Cambridge! (Sat)
* Fine art by Tina Bone (Sun) + View Farm Arts children’s exhibit
* Local History display: Caldecote through the ages
* Flower arrangements in every window
2. Clare Farm
* Tour at 3.30pm of Caldecote Meadows (SSSI) by Natural England’s Monica O’Donnell, with talks on gardening for bumble bees by entomologist Donal O’Donnell.
* Local honey for sale (while it lasts!) on the entrance table
* The Caldecote Print by Roger Sylvester-Bradley (limited edition)
3. Longmeadow (Main Street)
* Teas: Formerly a dustman’s yard, this beautiful garden gets better every year and transforms into an outdoor tea room!
* Raffle prizes on display: You have to be in it to win it…
* Children’s activities: animal treasure hunt, swings & slide. Pet the two bantam chicks!
4. 32 Strympole Way (Sunday only)
* A small, beautiful and well-loved garden that will give you ideas on how to make the most of limited space. Chat with the gardeners and sit for a while to enjoy the afternoon.
5. Sidewalk Coffee Co. 
* Great coffee, freshly roasted by the Sidewalk Coffee Co.
* Buy your raffle tickets here and you could win a year’s coffee subscription: a monthly bag of speciality freshly roasted coffee.
6. 98 West Drive (Saturday only)
* Car show: get up close to some fantastic sports & classic cars.
* If your own car is looking a little jaded by comparison, why not buy
a raffle ticket or two? You could win an inside & outside car valet
7. 91 West Drive
* Lovely garden with a formal pond
* Plant sale: stock up for your garden this summer
* Hungry? Get one of Nasra’s onion bhajis before they disappear!
* Pakistani clothes sale: including shoes and salwar Kameez
8. 3 Roman Drift
* Enjoy the sun in this gem of a garden. Even the tiny front garden will make you want to go and get your gardening gloves on, back home! Buy a raffle ticket and you could win a patio Salix (willow).
9. 79 Highfields Road
* Have a meander down this long and quirky garden.
* Chat to the gardener and take a rest on a bench in the sun.
* Buy some raffle tickets and you could win one of two specimen plants courtesy of Coton Orchard Garden Centre.
10. 81 Highfields Road (Saturday only)
* Children’s dream garden: every play activity they can imagine.
* The owner is a registered childminder: if you’d like to pop out to see another garden, enquire with Rosanna.
11. 3 Clare Drive 
* Afternoon teas: tea and cake before you feast on the art!
* Guinea Days: artwork & poetry by Tracey Humphreys (Sat)
* Aluna Rae DS Photography by Laura de Stefano (Sat)
* Pencil portraits by Clive Whitfield: you won’t believe they aren’t photographs…
* Oil Paintings: atmospheric land, sea and sky oils by Mary-Ann Claridge
* Susie McG Art: original artwork, prints and cards by Sue McGlennon (Sun)
* Morsbags: handmade environmentally friendly shopping bags + friendly aliens!
12. 19 West Drive (Sunday only)
* A friendly and welcoming garden with children’s activities –
find out how to save bees, and go on a nectar plant Treasure Hunt.
13. 1 Highfield Farm
* Teas: Look out over the wide countryside views as you enjoy tea and cake in this old-style traditional garden.
* Raffle tickets on sale. On the track between Highfields Farm and Highfields Road, look out for Fortitude Fitness. Your ticket could win fitness sessions with a value of up to £144. A great gift for anyone from 6 years old to 70+ years young!
14. Highfield Farm Cottage (Saturday only)
* Hug or hand-feed a chicken and hold a baby chick!
* Enjoy the wildflowers and maybe a few orchids.
* Walk through the trees, counting the baby (wild) rabbits, around the pond looking for the Great Crested Newts, or if you’re lucky a deer or two sat in the undergrowth. Just take care not to join Alice down a rabbit hole!

And here’s the line-up of music recitals in the church:

2pm CELLO Kiki Skinner
3pm HARP Stephanie Reeve
4pm ORGAN Deb Speed
5pm ORGAN Hiyori & Nagi Tateno
2pm TRUMPET Amelie Bentham
3pm CELLO Kiki Skinner
4pm CELLO Catherine Johnson
5pm VIOLIN Aya Skinner

What’s on over the weekend

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get the latest news and previews of the weekend. Here’s a taster of some of what will be on offer (attractions in red are new this year):

  • 12+ gardens of all shapes and sizes – from wild to manicured and everything in between!
  • afternoon teas served in three gardens both days
  • tours of Caldecote Meadows by Natural England plant expert Monica O’Donnell
  • short talks on gardening for wildlife by entomologist Donal O’Donnell
  • Guinea Days Art Studio – humorous and inspirational pet portraits and garden-related sketches
  • Handmade Italian cakes, pastries and biscuits by Biscotti di Debora
  • Oil paintings by Mary-Ann Claridge
  • Pencil portraits by Clive Whitfield (Sat 2-6pm; Sun 2-5pm)
  • Susie McG Art – original artwork, prints and cards
  • Miniature music recitals – solo cello, violin and organ (15 minutes every hour on the hour in the church)
  • Children’s dream garden – every kind of play activity they can imagine!
  • Children’s hunt for bee-friendly plants
  • Bambi & Mitch handmade jewellery
  • Caldecote Local History Group display
  • Sale of Pakistani shoes and dresses, including salwar Kameez
  • Onion bhaji snacks
  • Tina Bone Art
  • View Farm Arts – children’s art exhibition
  • Mini show of classic and sports cars (weather permitting)
  • Raffle with prizes up to £75 in value for gardeners, foodies and car enthusiasts!
  • Aluna Rae DS Photography
  • Caldecote Prints – unmounted, mounted or framed copies of Roger Sylvester Bradley’s aerial sketch of the village
  • Morsbags stall – find out how to make your own environmentally friendly shopping bag
  • Plant stall