What better way to reconnect with nature than to immerse yourself within the great gardens of the Lake District? Dripping in colour and bursting with natural fragrances, the great gardens of the Lakes are nestled within some of the most breathtaking surroundings, offering visitors a sanctuary of serenity, wonderment and rejuvenation throughout the year.
An inspirational and awe-inspiring wonderland. Step into the world’s oldest topiary gardens in the gateway to the Lake District.
Levens Hall has evolved from what was once a harsh and imposing 13th Century Pele tower, into a magnificent Elizabeth mansion, that welcomes guests with a warm, welcoming embrace. And what lies hidden behind the extensive stone walls that line this historic estate, is something truly breath-taking.
Remaining largely unchanged since the 17th century, and stretching over 10 acres, the Gardens at Levens Hall showcase many of its original features. A quirky and unique collection of over 100 specimens, including ancient box and yew trees, stand tall at the centre of the garden in an assortment of abstract geometric shapes, congregating to form what is known as the oldest topiary garden in the world.
Travel further into the gardens and discover the Willow labyrinth, Wildflower meadows, Rose gardens, and the magnificent herbaceous borders, which remain to be some of the finest found in England.
There’s always a gardener busy at work who will be happy to answer any questions you may have throughout your journey, offering you an insight into the fascinating history surrounding the gardens, and how generations of owners and gardeners at Levens have added contemporary design within its historic framework.
We’re incredibly lucky to have such an oasis of expertly crafted garden right on our very doorstep, a garden that harmonizes effortlessly with the rich history that surrounds the landscape. This is certainly a destination that should be on everybody’s bucket list!
Countryfile’s Garden of the Year…this place speaks for itself!
Whilst remaining under the tender care of the Cavendish family for hundreds of years, the grounds at Holker Hall have continually evolved into what is now a garden with beauty, charm and character in abundance.
Although impressive in scale, Holker still remains a family garden at heart, retaining its tranquillity and intimacy thanks to the meticulous planting and arrangement of shrubs, trees and meadows across the 23-acre landscape.
What makes this place even more exceptional is the fact that Holker gardens remain the perfect destination for both avid gardeners and casual visitors, all year round!
Holker gardens are placed within a relatively informal landscape, with a series of formal gardens within. The captivating shrubs, trees and meadows have been planted to offer year round inspiration, expressing the Lord and Lady Cavendish’s sense of fun and love of exotic plants.
During the spring, an extravaganza of colour emerges throughout the gardens, with magnificent magnolias and rhododendrons framing the displays of wallflowers, tulips and daffodils. Summer billows with bulging borders of vibrant colour, which surround exciting tender plants and flowering trees, as autumn enters with stunning autumnal colours across the landscape.
Holker Hall boast unparalleled gardening worthy of its many awards. and is certainly worthy of a visit this year!
A stunning Lakeland Garden for all seasons!
Perched on a hillside in a spectacular setting overlooking Windermere and the Lakeland fells, Holehird 12-acre Gardens rewards a memorable visit at any time of year with numerous different areas to explore.
What was once an abandoned, overgrown and derelict site in the 1940’s, now remains a favourite for horticultural lovers around the country, thanks to the Lakeland Horticultural Society who rescued the landscape in a monumental effort that began in 1969.
Still to this day, Holehird grounds are solely managed by volunteers from the Lake District Horticultural Society, and continue to express their love and passion for the gardens at Holehird within the great variety of shrubs, trees, herbaceous borders and diverse displays that are planted throughout.
There is more than enough to keep you busy at Holehird, with plenty to see within the extensive walled garden (the centrepiece of Holehird), the upper gardens (the most diverse area of the gardens), the lower garden, the glasshouses, as well as the new display house which was installed within the walled garden in 2017.
The gardens are in their full splendour during late Spring, as rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias are at their prime. This isn’t to say spring is the only time of year to visit Holehird, as summer and autumn arrive with new delights and surprises. The island beds and herbaceous borders of the walled garden burst into life and dominate the summer months, as autumn arrives with a medley of colours enhanced by stunning views.
Holehird Gardens continue to demonstrate the great possibilities for gardening in the Lake District, the perfect destination to reconnect with nature in the heart of the lakes.
Take a short walk from the village of Ambleside, and be welcomed by the beauty of Stagshaw Garden, a real hidden gem in the heart of the Lake District.
This 8-acre woodland sanctuary is somewhat unconventional to the gardening norm, with its beauty residing in the natural placement of its azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons around the woodland, as well as its unusual combination of shrubs, gigantic plants and towering native oak trees that enchant the garden.
As you begin rambling along Stagshaw’s woodland paths, and cross the babbling becks over small wooden bridges, you’ll begin to uncover the natural treasures that lay around each and every corner…especially during spring.
The former National Trust agent Cubby Acland, who created the garden between 1959 and 1979, chose to plant an assemblage of species that emerge with an explosion of vibrant colours and sublime scents in the spring and summer months, perfectly partnered by the carpets of native daffodils and bluebells in the spring.
If woodland gardening is what makes your heart happy, then Stagshaw is certainly a spot you need to explore.
This relatively unknown haven offers a place of peace and tranquillity. Take in the sights and smells of the gardens, the incredible views of the surrounding Lake and mountains…and enjoy!
Image Credit: @mathewbryan @evasgou
For us here at Heart of the Lakes, exploring our great gardens in the Lake District is the perfect way to recconect with nature. And if you're wanting to explore all of the 7 wonders of the Lake District, and find out how you can recconect with Mountains, Communities, Literacy and whole lot more, then click here to read more >>> 7 Wonders of the Lake District Troutbeck.