The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North
Burton Agnes Hall Burton Agnes Hall
Places to go
June 2017
Reading time 10 minutes

Our guide to the greatest gardens in Yorkshire

Here we've picked out the best gardens to visit to put a spring in your step.

Beningbrough, York YO30 1DD
 01904 472027

The gardens of this Georgian mansion stretch across eight acres including a working walled kitchen garden and herbaceous borders. Within the walled garden there are more than 50 varieties of apples and pears, alongside other fruits and vegetables.
Must see: The ha-ha walk, where 300,000 bulbs are in full flourish in spring.

Near Leyburn DL8 4ET
 01969 623981

Roses are the main attraction at Bolton Castle, near Leyburn: more than 25 varieties make their home in the Medieval-style rose garden here. The nearby herb garden has more than 50 types of plants to be used in cooking and medicine, while the maze will keep the children entertained for hours.
Must see: The vineyard, recapturing the magic of AD280, when a Roman emperor decreed vines should be grown outside Italy as a distraction for his troops, and which produces 1,000 bottles of wine each year.

Common Lane, Warthill YO19 5XS
 01904 488800

More than 6,000 varieties of plants reside in the 20 acres of Breezy Knees, five miles from York. With plants lining the extensive borders, pond, shade and rose gardens, there’s plenty of inspiration to take back to your own garden.
Must see: The cottage garden is a riot of colour, particularly when midsummer strikes.

Castle Howard Castle Howard

York YO60 7DA
01653 648333

Sprawling across more than 1,000 acres, Castle Howard’s gardens are a haven of tranquility. The 2,000 roses within the walled garden delight both sight and smell, while the views of the breathtaking Howardian Hills and the surrounding countryside show it’s not just what’s within the garden’s boundaries that’s worth visiting. If you’re suddenly struck by inspiration, the on-site garden centre, with its own tree nursery, will help scratch your green fingered itch.
Must see: The ray wood, filled with rhododendrons and designed by James Russell, is a great place to go for an afternoon stroll.

Leyburn DL8 5LJ
01677 450428

With more than 6,500 bulbs planted annually, Constable Burton Hall Gardens truly shine in the springtime. The beautiful, Palladian-style house at their heart is aesthetically augmented by the various types of magnolia, while the majestic deodar cedar that stands proudly in the terraced woodland garden is the hub.
Must see: The stream garden and the lily pond, with its fantastic array of bog arum and bamboo.

Helmsley, York YO62 5EB
01439 770213

The glorious Doric Temple, built in true neo-classical style, is just one enticing aspect of the Duncombe Park estate, with an abundance of flora embellishing the green slopes on which it is perched. The yew tree walk and the old conservatory provide more idyllic spectacles.
Must see: The 148-feet ash tree that stands close to the rotunda of the Ionic temple.

Mill Green Farm, Crayke, York YO61 4TT
01347 889431

The wildlife garden at Dutch House is a special place, with its herbaceous border and raised plots in the scented area, and an extremely broad range of biodiversity across its 1.6 acres. Mediterranean vegetables are cultivated in the grounds, while a plants courtyard allows visitors to take home some greenery for their own garden.
Must see: Be sure to visit the wild flower meadow beside the River Foss.

Bradford Road, Riddlesden, Keighley BD20 5EL
01535 607075 uk/east-riddlesden-hall

The gardens of this grand hall have been infused with history and heritage throughout the years. The discovery garden gives children the opportunity to get hands-on with the abundance of natural beauty that surrounds them, and they are encouraged to construct whatever they want out of the fallen branches.
Must see: The great 17th century barn, with its original wood markings and structure.

Tupgill Park Estate, Coverham, Middleham, Leyburn DL8 4TJ
01969 640638

This fun and challenging labyrinthine set of gardens will keep you and your children on your toes. Mystical carvings and a range of disorientating tunnels are scattered through the natural wonders of Tupgill Park, combining the sublime and the scary. Although at points you may feel like a character in a Brothers Grimm fantasy, the statues and the herb garden are a bit more down to earth.
Must see: The fantastic glass pyramid – outstandingly odd and alluring to the eye.

Ripon HG4 3DY
01765 608888

The glorious remains of this Cistercian abbey showcase the best of Medieval design, but the greenery is the main event. The water garden, designed by John Aislabie, plays host to some spectacular vistas across its geometric design. The Temple Piety – along with its garden follies and classical statues – are regular photograph points, while the deer park contains more than 500 wild, red, fallow and sika deer.
Must see: The snowdrops that carpet the grounds every spring.

27 Tadcaster Road, York
YO24 1GG 01904 771930

Every detail of this four-acre garden, once a haven for the Terry family, is influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, including the different and contrasting garden rooms. The bowling green, the herbaceous border, and the magnificent rock garden each have their individual attractions. Goddards Garden is also graced with vast colonies of lavender, allowing a glorious scent to diffuse throughout the grounds.
Must see: The secret garden and its chestnut trees – a truly tranquil haven.

Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG
0113 218 1010

From the confines of the wonderful walled garden, with its modern greenhouses, to the kaleidoscope of colours in the archery border, with angel’s trumpets stealing the show, the vibrant and unique displays across the 100 acres of Capability Brown-designed landscape are some of the most eye-catching in the county.
Must see: The Himalayan garden is simply breathtaking, with a Buddhist Stupa built by Bhutanese monks adding to the serene ambience.

Cleveland Way, Helmsley YO62 5AH
01439 771427

Although Helmsley Walled Garden was constructed in the 18th century, it has been able to move with the times. On the one hand, the small white garden and its collection of hardy perennials and shrubs harks back to the halcyon days of English country gardening. But on the other, the five acres is an ideal home for bumblebees, which are regularly surveyed by the garden’s staff.
Must see: The colourful clematis garden in late spring.

Brodsworth, Doncaster DN5 7XJ
01302 722598

First designed in the 1860s, the pleasure gardens here were originally a way for the Thellusson family, who inhabited the house, to get closer to nature. Now restored by English Heritage, the wider public can wander through the statue walks, into the fern dell grotto and around the wild rose dell.
Must see: The fern dell, where the ground is carpeted with greenery.

The Balk, Pocklington, York YO42 2QF
 01759 307125

Seven times winner of the Yorkshire in Bloom Gold Award, Pocklington’s Burnby Hall Gardens were the inspiration of explorer and adventurer Major Percy Marlborough Stewart. The Stumpery is an intriguing garden feature designed using upturned roots of large trees, while there’s also a secret garden that’s a perfect place to relax.
Must see: It’s the water lilies that you’ll want to come here for – they’re among the largest displays in Europe.

Burton Agnes, Driffield YO25 4NB
 01262 490324

The woodland sculpture walk is one of Burton Agnes Hall’s standout features: it appeals to all ages and has a host of great installations to intrigue visitors. The walled garden holds more than 3,000 species of plants, and its neo-Elizabethan style is easy on the eye. The maze, with its exquisitely sculpted yews, is breathtaking.
Must see: The Jungle Garden is a great place to get lost in nature.

Near Scorton, Richmond DL10 6AT
01748 818178

The gardens of this Jacobean stately home are as spectacular as its interior. For those looking for calm, the hornbeams in the sensory garden provide a great view to admire while sitting and relaxing. For the more active, a walk through the peninsula wood is a good option, providing an opportunity to inspect some of the garden’s vibrant pond life.
Must see: The romantic rose garden, with plants climbing up red brick walls.

Ripon HG4 5AE
01423 322583

Newby Hall’s curving pergola and orchard garden are two highly attractive horticultural areas. The former is a winding path, enrobed by drooping clusters of laburnum vossi, enticing the visitor towards the fabulous rock garden and its waterfall. The orchard gardens inject even more colour into the grounds, with Japanese aureola grass and various species of magnolia.
Must see: Newby Hall’s National Cornus Collection, containing over 100 different specimens.

Doncaster Road, Nostell, near Wakefield WF4 1QE
01924 863892

The 1743 menagerie garden was once a small zoo for exotic species, but now plays host to a gorgeously gnarled oak. The Druid’s Bridge in the pleasure grounds, which wends around the property, crosses burbling banks. Make sure to be on the lookout for swans and herons as you stroll down the lakeside paths.
Must see: The 100-metre stretch of iceberg white roses in the kitchen garden.

Nunnington, near York YO62 5UY
01439 748283

The walks around this garden are highly picturesque, giving ramblers a chance to relax and contemplate their surroundings. What’s more, Nunnington Hall has been growing organic produce since 2002. The manor house itself contains the renowned Carlisle Collection, one
of the finest and most comprehensive collections of miniature rooms (at one-tenth scale to real life) in the country.
Must see: The spring flowering meadows of the fruit orchard in full bloom.

Nutter Lane, Birstall, Batley WF17 9LG
01924 324761

This late 17th century family house is graced with six gardens, and has an enticing aromatic herb garden which spurs on the senses. Reopening this spring following £190,000 of investment, the garden has many highlights: its arboretum has trees from around the globe within its collection, including a sugar maple and Indian bean tree.
Must see: The perfectly-manicured parterres and compartments.

Skyreholme, Near Appletreewick BD23 6DE
01756 720311

The configuration of Parcevall Hall’s plots is thanks to its 1920s owner William Milner, who filled the 24 acres with specimens from the Himalayas and western China. The cliff walk over the Hall’s limestone valley will keep those with an abundance of energy busy, while those with green fingers will marvel at the wide variety of alpine and woodland plants.
Must see: The impressive views of Wharfedale from the south-facing terraces.

Crag Lane, Harrogate HG3 1QB
01423 565418

The jewel of the 68-acre RHS Harlow Carr is the streamside garden that hugs the serpentine brook, with banks decorated by an array of flora and shrubbery. The hedgehog-friendly garden is a great way for kids and adults alike to catch a glimpse of our prickly pals, and the Alpine house’s variety of 2,000 different specimens is something to behold.
Must see: The wonderful willow beds of the kitchen garden.

Ripley, Harrogate HG3 3AY
01423 770152

The gardens of Ripley Castle are as deep rooted as the seat’s family tree, with the Ingilby family holding the ancestral grounds for over 700 years. April is the ideal time to visit Ripley’s walled garden, when a multitude of hyacinths come fully into bloom and disperse their beautiful aroma. The pleasure grounds contain thousands of bluebells, aconites, and daffodils, as well as several beautiful specimen trees.
Must see: The hot houses, replete with tropical plants and cacti.

Wentworth Wentworth Castle Gardens

Masham, Ripon HG4 4JH
01765 680900

Stretch your legs by strolling through Swinton Park’s expansive grounds, and walk across the garden’s Quarry Gill Bridge to experience an excellent view of the ravine. There is a lake which sits serenely in the middle of Swinton Park, surrounded by eye-catching flora and beautiful greenery.
Must see: The waterside walks along the river burn.

Bedale DL8 2PS
01677 425323

Thorp Perrow Arboretum has a collection of some of the rarest shrubs and trees in the country, and its carpet of bluebells provides a contrast to the extensive plantings of daffodils. There is a nature trail for visitors to explore, and as many of the garden’s plants originate from China and North America, a wonderful sense of diversity throughout.
Must see: The Milbank Pinetum – an imposing collection of imperious pines.

Minster Yard, York YO1 7JL
01904 624247

This special garden is situated in the centre of York, and is a handy haven when you want to escape the tumult of the city centre. The walled garden is stylish with a symmetrical arrangement, and in early spring the resident crocuses and tulips steal the show.
Must see: The sandstone sculptures of Vulcan and Ceres.

Lowe Lane, Stainborough, Barnsley S75 3EN
01226 776040
With a deer park and Victorian flower garden, Wentworth Castle Gardens is a brilliant place to visit. The Union Jack garden is a great sight in itself, and the appearance of spring’s camilias and azaleas light up the grounds with colour.
Must see: The 19th century conservatory and its vast array of flowers.

West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG
01924 832631

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is spread out over 500 acres, and filled with the most provocative and engaging outdoor art installations. This spring, the sculpture park plays host to some of British sculptor Tony Cragg’s works, whilst also showcasing some of its classics in the permanent collection, such as Henry Moore’s bronzes.
Must see: The scenic vistas of the valley, lakes, and 18th century bridges.

Malton YO17 8NG
01944 759111

The contemporary walled garden at Scampston Hall, designed by Piet Oudolf, attempts to encapsulate the appearance of his idealised ‘perennial meadow’ by landscaping an area with a distinct mixture of plants. It is a truly special sight, with a riot of colour presenting itself vividly to all those who gaze upon its splendour.
Must see: The butterflies as they flit between plants in the perennial meadow.

Coxwold, York YO61 4AD
01347 868465

Half of Shandy Hall Garden is situated in a disused quarry, providing a fantastic pathway through the flourishing surroundings. The more formal section of the garden has its own delights: there are over 100 different rose bushes within the gardens, and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of a stoat or buzzard if you keep your eyes peeled.
Must see: The barn garden, behind the old granary, with its central sundial.

Surrey Street, Sheffield S1 2HH
 0114 273 6895

The Winter Garden is home to more than 2,500 species of plant, and acts as the evergreen epicentre of Sheffield’s industrial, urban landscape. There are big palms, originating from Madagascar and Central America, and Norfolk Island Pines that can grow in excess of 150 feet tall. It’s safe to say this is not your simple greenhouse: in fact it’s large enough to contain 5,000 domestic greenhouses.
Must see: The eye-catching eucalyptus tree.

Sledmere, Driffield YO25 3XG
01377 236637

Sledmere’s walled garden has more than 30,000 tulips, ensuring that your visit is anything but a dull affair. Furthermore, there is a potager that contains over 5,000 vegetables and flowers, and the parterre of the front grounds is ornately decorated with box and yew topiaries. The wild primroses in what’s colloquially called York Dale are another highlight.
Must see: The intricate flowerbeds and hedged design at the front of the house.

Stewart Lane, Stillingfleet, York
YO19 6HP 01904 728506

The Newtonian order of Stillingfleet’s rill garden, with its geometric layout and sparse planting, contrasts with the more natural pond and meadow, whose mixture of geraniums and narcissus is mesmerising. Moreover, the rill garden itself has its own water feature, and there are many species of shrubs and trees that play host to an assortment of wildlife.
Must see: Stillingfleet Lodge’s impressive apiary will leave bee hunters buzzing.

Sutton-on-the-Forest, York YO61 1DP
01347 810249

These glorious gardens are frequent winners of the Yorkshire In Bloom competition, and it’s easy to see why. The 18th century house is surrounded by beautiful herbaceous rose borders, and the pristine lawns are adorned with magnificent stone centrepieces. There is a Georgian icehouse nestled in the grounds, along with a tranquil lily pond.
Must see: The Edwardian rock garden.

For open day dates, admission times and prices please visit each garden’s website.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.