Our Favourite

Lake District English Country Gardens

‘How many kinds of sweet flowers grow in an English Country Garden…?; so goes the old song. We’ve some fabulous English Country Gardens in the Lake District. Here are a few ideas of places to enjoy when you’re visiting.


Dalemain Garden

Dalemain Historic House & Gardens

The blush-pink Georgian facade of this majestic mansion certainly gives a romantic feel to this beautiful country house. With its treasure trove of memories, stories and history, it is still home to the Hasell-McCosh family, giving a homely and inviting atmosphere. Inside you can explore the servants’ quarters and grand rooms untouched since the 1800’s.

This lovely house is also home to the World Original Marmalade Awards usually in March each year, where hundreds of artisan marmalades are available to taste and buy.

The grandeur of the house also overflows into the garden, where you’ll find many rare plants and over 100 beautifully scented roses amongst the 5-acre garden and historic parkland. A Greek Fir stands near the fountain, the biggest of its kind in the UK, and there are also mature Walnut trees, fine Spanish Chestnuts and a 200-year-old Tulip tree.

You’ll find out a bit more about what thrives in our Cumbrian climate and maybe seek out their famous meconopsis blue poppies.

After exploring the house and garden, cake and tea await you in the Medieval stone-walled tearoom and outside seating areas. The perfect end to a delightful day. Garden tours Monday – Thursday, pre-booked tours only.

Lowther Castle and Gardens

Lowther Castle & Gardens

Built at the turn of the 19th century on the site of two previous houses, the castle was a grand affair with a room for every day of the year. Its gardens were the envy of the north.

But in 1957 the castle was demolished leaving just a façade and outer walls and for over half a century, the place was empty and the gardens were lost to wilderness.

Today Lowther Castle is one of the most intriguing visitor attractions in the country. With dramatic ruins, gardens within gardens, and a fantastic adventure playground, there’s plenty of room to wander and wonder for a while.

Open every day from 10am to 4pm in winter and 10am to 5pm in summer and you’ll find lots of events here, and even bike hire is available.

Holker Hall & Gardens

In the south of the county, in a beautiful setting near Grange-over-sands, Cartmel and Morecambe Bay, Holker is the home of the Cavendish family where Lucy Cavendish lives today with her husband. With 23 acres of award-winning gardens, with a series of formal gardens set within a more informal landscape of interesting trees, shrubs and meadows, they are planted to offer year-round inspiration for casual visitors and keen gardeners alike, with a nationally important plant collection and some rare plants including The National Collection of Styracaceae.

Spring is a riot of colour with displays of tulips, daffodils, wallflowers and spring meadows, framed by majestic Rhododendrons and Magnolias. Summer brings billowing borders packed with colour exciting tender plants, and wonderful summer flowering trees such as Styrax, Stewartia and Eucryphia. Autumn brings its show in the stunning autumn colours across the gardens.

After you’ve had your fill of the garden and estate, wander back to the Courtyard, and treat yourself at the Courtyard Cafe, or the Ilex offering a fabulous Sunday lunch and is also available for private hire.

Levens Hall and Gardens

Another of our favourite gardens is also found in south Cumbria, Levens Hall with its world-famous topiary gardens. Dating back to the 1690s, the ten acres of Gardens retain many original features including the world’s oldest topiary gardens. This surreal and unique collection of ancient box and yew trees, in abstract or geometric shapes, rises from a beautiful display of underplanting, populated with an ever-changing array of over 30,000 bedding plants, and roses. Levens Hall has even established the first World Topiary Day, which took place on 12 May 2021, celebrating the world’s oldest topiary garden – started in 1694 here at Levens Hall and Gardens.

It seeks to spread the love of the fantastic and quirky art of topiary, which has absorbed gardeners for centuries and is enjoying a resurgence, with celebrities and influencers often sharing their love of this gardening art form and means of creative expression. It focuses on the tranquillity and mindfulness a topiary garden provides, through structure and form, shapes and creativity, in a world packed with stresses and uncertainties. Open 10-5 (last entry 4pm) Sundays-Thursdays March-October.