5 of the Best Yorkshire Gardens

Scampston Walled Garden, Scampston

Scampston Walled Garden is a stunningly beautiful contemporary garden, quite unlike any other. Designed by the renowned Dutch plantsman, Piet Oudolf, and featuring modern, perennial meadow planting alongside more traditional areas, the garden is open to the public from Easter to October every year. Set within the 18th century walls of the original kitchen garden for Scampston Hall, today the Walled Garden has an exciting and unashamedly modern feel to it and complements the adjacent 18th century ‘Capability’ Brown park.

Each month look out for the heritage guided walk around the hall grounds, where one of the team will give you a guided walk around the Hall gardens and parkland where you can find out more about the Richardson Conservatory Restoration Project. It’s a captivating tale.

The other parts of the grounds to enjoy whilst you are here at Scampston are the Cascade Circuit, a peaceful area to enjoy a quiet stroll and to explore the gardens around the Hall, and The Park.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Sheffield

The restored Sheffield Botanical Gardens attract thousands of visitors annually. They are now established as the outdoor cultural venue for Sheffield. The Theatre, Art and Music in the Gardens events attract a further 30,000 visitors over the course of the season.

Initiated in 1833, the Gardens were designed by Robert Marnock for the recreation and education of members of the original Sheffield Botanical & Horticultural Society. The Gardens opened to a paying public in 1836 but by the turn of the century Sheffield Town Trust owned them. The Trust instituted free public access, which still remains today.

A central feature of the Gardens are the sweeping lawns with mature trees which create a setting for the restored linear glass Pavilions. The grand central Broadwalk leading up to the glass Pavilions is framed by colourful herbaceous borders. The splendid Gatehouse entrance arch and Tearooms are complemented by formal Victorian bedding displays.

The gardens has an extensive programme of events which include music, theatre, art shows and Christmas illuminations.

Sledmere House, Driffield

The gardens and parkland at Sledmere House can offer enjoyment for all, from beautiful 18th Century Walled Rose Garden and recently laid out Parterre, to the acres of open space and woodland.

The Walled Garden is impressive, if you visit in Spring you can see over 30,000 tulips and narcissus whereas during Summer the many displays of perennial and annual flowers are particularly eye-catching. If it’s a stroll through wonderful, vibrant grounds that you’re after instead, then this can also be achieved here. What’s more, the splendid backdrop of the Georgian Sledmere House is an added delight.

Throughout the Summer there are set dates when garden tours can be taken at Sledmere, these are all lead by the Head Gardener and give a fascinating insight in how they achieve such beautiful results.

Wentworth Castle and Gardens, Barnsley

There are 60 acres of formal gardens at Wentworth Castle just waiting to be explored. Tranquil spaces, fascinating follies including the unique folly castle and maze like Union Jack Garden and 50 acres of family friendly gardens where children’s imaginations can run wild.

If you’re a keen wildlife fan, then head out to the parkland, known as Stainborough Park, where you can spot many animals including deer and majestic stags! There’s also a decent collection of unique historic monuments including Queen Anne’s Obelisk and the Duke of Argyle’s monument.

Make time when visiting to head to the stunning Victorian Conservatory. This glasshouse reopened in 2013 following a £3.74 restoration. The Grade 2 listed glasshouse was brought back to its former glory and the renovation is the culmination of a 10-year fundraising campaign which began after the glasshouse featured on the BBC programme Restoration. During the renovation, which is faithful to the original design and planting, an incredible 4,000 parts were dismantled, labelled, cleaned and re-cast where necessary. A fascinating place.

Red House Museum, Gomersal

Based in Gomersal, near Bradford in West Yorkshire, Red House Museum, is a Grade II* Listed 1830s cloth merchant’s home with fascinating Brontë connections. Charlotte Brontë visited often and featured Red House in her novel Shirley. The enchanting recreated gardens have been restored to the landscaping and horticulture fashions of the 1830s, a distinctive garden style rarely found in period gardens today.

A detailed research project in 1996 by landscape architect Helen Stuffins studied early 19th Century maps, gardening books and magazines to find out what the garden might have looked like. The basic layout of the site has changed little.

Red House Museum gardens feature the Flower Garden and the Pleasure Ground. The elegant flower garden, with its formal layout of intricate beds and gravel walks, was the most showy and artistic part of an 1830s garden.

The Pleasure Ground of the 1830s Garden consisted mainly of a large lawn to the front of the house, with a plantation of trees and perimeter shrubberies. Gravel walks winding through the pleasure ground allowed the residents to ‘take the air’ and show off their gardens to visitors. For the ladies in particular the garden was their domain and they would have enjoyed reading, gossiping and taking tea on the lawn in fine weather.

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