Nine of the Best Gardens to Visit in and Around Yorkshire
Spring has sprung, meaning many of our favourite gardens in and around Yorkshire are starting to bloom
Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park
Home to 45 acres of Himalayan-inspired gardens and more than 85 contemporary sculptures, this garden was donated to a charitable trust by Peter and Caroline Roberts, who wanted to preserve the space and enable visitors to enjoy the collection of rare plants and sculptures. Now the trust works tirelessly to ensure the advancement of horticulture, the arts and environment and wildlife for everyone. The garden is thought to have many of the largest collections in the North with over 20,000 plants, including some 1,400 rhododendron varieties, 250 different azaleas and 150 magnolia species. Meanwhile in the arboretum, you can see 52 varieties of oak, 25 limes, 20 birches, 17 acers and unusual trees such as Chitalpa, a hybrid of the Cigar Tree.
Hutts Lane, Ripon HG4 3DA
Helmsley Walled Garden
Built in 1759, this garden sits beneath the imposing ruins of Helmsley Castle and has been welcoming visitors for more than 25 years. Productivity is important here – the walls are lined with stone fruit and apples, cordoned and espaliered apples and pears, and the kitchen garden grows a range of vegetables with a selection of soft fruit. However the garden now is a place for relaxation and exploration, encouraging visitors to take their time, rest on a carefully positioned bench or enjoy a picnic on the grass. The colourful iris border leads to maple corner and the wildlife pond, while the long east-facing border is at its best in spring with a mix of peonies and spring bulbs.
Cleveland Way, Helmsley YO62 5AH
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Spring is the perfect time to visit Nunnington Hall as the wild flower meadows are awash with snake head fritillary and camassia, and blossom takes over the trees. The garden has been fully organic since 2002, using traditional horticultural methods whilst still embracing modern techniques, and you can see much of this work up close as you explore the different parts of the garden, which sits alongside the River Rye and is home to plenty of wildlife including swans, otters and kingfishers. While you’re at the hall, visit the Nunnington Through the Seasons exhibition. This two-year project celebrates the progress of the garden through the year, featuring work by botanical artist Rachel Dein.
Nunnington, York YO62 5UY
The charm of Sledmere has captivated visitors for more than 200 years. Wander around the beautiful walled garden, enjoy a picnic lunch in the grounds, explore the wide open spaces as a family and meet the animals in their rare breed farm park. The garden at Sledmere is gaining increasing prominence for its dynamic and innovative development programme. The walled garden was designed to maintain the formal and traditional style in keeping with its history but with a contemporary twist. As the garden changes with the seasons you can see an extensive collection of vibrant tulips, wonderful scented roses and other spring bulbs.
Sledmere, Driffield YO25 3XG
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With the warm weather finally here, Thorp Perrow’s 100-acre arboretum bursts into colour. Embrace the beauty of spring with a stroll around the gardens where you’ll find carpets of bluebells and clouds of fragrant blossom, before your children let off steam in the adventure playground, enjoying the wonderful Birds of Prey displays and hand-feeding the wallabies in the Mammal Centre. Thorp Perrow is also home to to five National Plant Collections, 51 Champion Trees, and is a leading centre for raptor conservation.
Bedale DL8 2PS
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Whatever the weather, the Castle Howard landscape brings out the colour and drama of the season. With 1,000 acres of parkland to explore, it’s a real haven of peace and tranquility with extensive woodland walks, temples, lakes and fountains. Spring sees the estate transformed as new life blossoms in all shapes and sizes, while young birds and wildlife wander the lawns. The Walled Garden with its manicured borders, ornamental vegetable patch and pretty spring blooms is the perfect places to relax, while the serpentine paths which meander through Ray Wood allow visitors to discover an impressive botanical collection from around the world. When nearly 800 species of rhododendron begin to flower in spring, this woodland garden is a colourful spectacle that must be seen to be believed.
Castle Howard Estate, York YO60 7DA
Scampston Hall is one of the finest Regency country houses in North Yorkshire and set within the grounds of this traditional estate is an award-winning garden. The Walled Garden is a beautiful, contemporary space designed by Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf and set within the 18th century walls of the original kitchen garden. Derelict for nearly 50 years, it opened to the public in 2005 to international acclaim and it is widely thought of as one of the most beautiful in Yorkshire. Unashamedly modern, it still manages to complement the adjacent 18th century Capability Brown parkland. Here a series of lakes and naturalistic planting with fine examples of native trees, and a number of designated trails, allow visitors to discover some of the parkland’s most interesting features.
Malton YO17 8NG
The Rhododendron Walk at Temple Newsam was carefully planted by the previous owners, and has developed over the years to be an impressive sight in spring. Within the Walled Garden discover 800 yards of herbaceous borders, rose beds and herbs all set within the beautifully aged 18th century brick walls, or wander through the formal South Garden. Adjacent to the house, this garden reflects 17th century design with beech and box hedges, trained laburnum arches and a pleached hornbeam walk. Temple Newsam Road, Leeds LS15 0AE
0113 336 7460
Newby Hall’s award-winning gardens have evolved over the years, making a major contribution to 20th century gardening. There’s so much to be admired this season from the 172-metre-long double herbaceous border to the hall’s National Collection of Cornus, which includes over 100 individual specimens and 30 species represented by 76 different hybrids. Yet our highlight has to be Sylvia’s Garden, designed by Major Compton in 1930. Named after his wife, Sylvia Farquharson, the formal memorial garden was planted to peak in May to coincide with York Races, with rosa ballerina, peonies and purple sensation to name just a few.
Ripon HG4 5AE