Written by: Elmtree Press

Yorkshire is a garden lover’s heaven with over a hundred gardens to visit within the county and  the surrounding region. You will be spoilt for choice on where to visit this summer.Our top tips are to check out the following guides and websites and you will then be well equipped and armed with the knowledge of where to visit either locally or further afield. For those wanting to explore Yorkshire there is always something new  to discover.

First of all pick up our free Go Yorkshire Mini-Guide packed full of great discounts to great places to visit, it includes vouchers for a number of gardens. 

The 2017 guide of the Great Castles, Houses and Gardens has just been published and lists a collection of over forty places to visit in Yorkshire. There is a similar guide for Cumbria too called Cumbria’s Living Heritage and finally, the invaluable little yellow book promoting the National Garden Scheme of both historic and private gardens, is a must have for anyone passionate about gardens. This excellent and well run scheme, which runs throughout the country, raises millions for charity each year as well as bringing immeasurable joy and satisfaction both to the visitors and those that open their gardens under this scheme.

Not only do many historical gardens open and donate their admissions for at least one day in the year towards supporting this group, but private individuals through to whole villages participate too. Visiting these private gardens gives a marvelous insight into the wonderful hidden gardens of Yorkshire and is an invaluable and informative way of improving your gardening knowledge. 

1. Bolton Agnes Hall, near Driffield have beautiful, award winning that  offer something for everyone, from the walled garden containing over four thousand different plant species, herbaceous borders, a jungle garden and national collection of campanulas, to the woodland walk with creepy crawlies to spot, as well as the maze and giant games for children and adults alike.

2.  Originally the home of Major Percy Marlborough Stewart, adventurer and collector, and his heiress wife Katharine, 
Burnby Hall and Gardens near Pocklington, were developed by them and left in trust to the local community when the Major died in 1962. The Hall is set in 9 acres of gardens and woodland have two lakes which are home to the National Collection of Hardy Water Lillies and from mid-June until the end of August the lakes are awash with these beautiful flowers.

3. Forbidden Corner is situated in the heart of Coverdale near Middleham, The 4 acre garden is like no other you have ever visited but one full of surprises with unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies will keep the young an old entertained and enthralled for hours.  Surrounded by the magnificent Yorkshire Dales scenery it is a beautiful place to visit.

4. Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden - is a World Heritage site and the jewel in the crown of the National Trust’s properties in the North of England.  Created by the Aislabie family, it is one of the most important water gardens in Europe and England’s finest.

5. Kiplin Hall is situated between Richmond and Northallerton is surrounded by 5 acres of grounds, lakes and woodland including a walled garden, sensory garden and rose garden.  The house and garden after years of neglect are lovingly being restored to their former glory by head gardener Chris Baker and a group of enthusiastic volunteers who have also created a garden museum to tell the history of the gardens since the Hall was built in 1620.

6. Harlow Carr Gardens – Harrogate is the RHS’s most northerly garden in England and is a wonderful oasis of calm situated just outside the busy town nearby.  It is a joy to visit each year as there is always something new to discover.  They also run excellent courses throughout the year.

7. Helmsley Walled Gardens – Just waking up after its winter slumbers is this wonderful walled garden tucked away behind Helmsley Castle. It was once the kitchen garden of the nearby Duncombe Park Estate but lay neglected and unloved for many years until it was discovered by the late Dr Alyson Ticehurst who transformed it a haven or peace and tranquility. It is one of the ‘hidden gems of Yorkshire’.

8. Scampston Walled Garden - near Malton was created in the derelict kitchen gardens of Scampston Hall.  Designed by the famous landscape gardener Piet Oudolf in 1999, it’s unashamedly modern feel complements the surrounding parkland designed by the 18th century designer Capability Brown.

9. Sewerby Hall situated in Carnaby, Bridlington has over 50 acres of award-winning (Yorkshire in Bloom Gold: 2008-11) landscaped gardens containing numerous woodland walks, comfortable benches, a huge variety of wildlife and secluded sun-traps as well as the Marie Curie Daffodil Trail throughout spring. The elegant symmetry of the formal gardens and the magnificent Monkey Puzzle trees, reputed to be amongst the oldest in England, are a must-see. Each garden offers its own variety of sights, smells and sounds throughout each of the four seasons.

11. The Yorkshire Arboretum is situated opposite Castle Howard, near Malton, and is an undiscovered gem of a collection of over 6,000 trees including rare and endangered varieties.  Run as a joint venture between Castle Howard and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, West London, it was established in 1959, and is over 128 acres in diameter.  With lots of family fun activities, bring a picnic for a great day out.

12. Thorp Perrow Arboretum is another renowned arboretum privately owned by Henry Ropner.  The collection was started but his grandfather Sir Leonard Ropner but upon his death the estate had become neglected and was fortunately saved and cared for by his son Sir John who created the visitor attraction it is today.  The 100 acres contain rare and beautiful trees and offers lots of family fund the a play area. Falconry and small mammal area.

13. Yorkshire Lavender – situated in an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty on the Hambleton Hills near Castle Howard, this garden has amazing views over the Vale of York below. From the end of May until late July the fields are awash with purple lavender and it is an ideal place to stop for a while. 

All the gardens above have great tearooms serving delicious Yorkshire Fayre and selling local produce.  So after admiring the gardens why not end the day with a perfect Yorkshire cream tea?