Dig It

Dig It

Lockdown may mean many things for the green-fingered amongst us. When it comes to heavenly horticultural, picturesque parkland and glorious gardens, Yorkshire is blooming marvellous! Think about where you’ll be making a path to when we all get the green light.


Crowned Historic Houses Garden of the Year Newby Hall & Gardens received nearly a third of all votes when it recently triumphed as the nation’s favourite country house garden. A fabulous 40 acres of glorious gardens and wonderful woodland, its grand grounds frequently feature on film and TV (Victoria, Mansfield Park, Peaky Blinders). Discover rare and beautiful plants and scented shrubs in 14 stunning garden ‘rooms’. Boasting one of the longest double herbaceous borders in the UK, two heritage orchards, vast woodland, sculpture, plus a delightful children’s adventure playground and miniature railway.

Sculpture and art combine at The Hepworth Wakefield, with a gorgeous garden designed by internationally acclaimed landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith. Free for all to enjoy, this piece of glorious ground is positioned beside the award-winning art gallery on Wakefield’s historic waterfront, overlooking the River Calder. There is a rolling programme of outdoor sculptures, with works by Lynn Chadwick, Rebecca Warren, Michael Craig-Martin and Barbara Hepworth being the first to be installed.


From woodland to wildflower meadows, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate, is a growing landscape with much to see across its 68 acres. This breathtakingly beautiful, relaxing and innovative garden offers a hedgehog friendly area, the longest streamside gardens in the country, a Kitchen Garden, a wonderful Winter Walk and an Alpine House with stunning views of the woodland. Dine in Bettys Café Tea Rooms, browse in the extensive shop and plant centre, and look out for an exciting schedule of events happening all year round.


Built in 1619 Kiplin Hall and Gardens is an oasis of calm and tranquillity, with scenic walks by the lake, through stunning woodland and picturesque parkland. Take in the far-reaching views to the folly and enjoy the flora and fauna in the gorgeous grounds. The restored walled garden provides produce for the Tea Room, just as it would have served Kiplin’s family kitchen. There are cut flowers on display in the Hall and there’s a petite garden museum to the rear of the Walled Garden, helping to piece together the earth’s rich history.


A plant-lover’s paradise, the grounds at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens are a collection of ‘grand gardens in miniature’, which have been restored to their full Victorian splendour, reflecting the desires and aspirations of the country gentry at the time. There’s a seasonal sensation of ever-changing colour palettes, from spring tulips and laburnum to the Rose Dell’s display of spectacular wild and native roses, in full flower and scent all summer, followed by an array of golden autumnal leaves, with snowdrops and winter evergreens.


Described as ‘the perfect English house,’ Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens was listed as one of the twenty finest in ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses’, alongside Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. There’s a walled garden containing a staggering four thousand plant species, heavenly herbaceous borders, a jungle garden and a national collection of campanulas. Look out for wildlife sculptures on the woodland walk, lose yourself (or not) in the amazing maze and get engrossed in the giant games for children and adults alike.


Filled with art, culture and heritage Harewood is an historic Georgian country house set within 100 acres of stunning gardens and grounds. Surrounded by a vast variety of plants from all over the world, amidst an impressive landscape created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, explore the Terrace, the Lakeside Garden, the Himalayan Garden and the Walled Garden. There’s even a Bird Garden which is home to 40 species of birds from across the globe. Take a lake boat trip to admire the estate from the water. Astoundingly more than 30 tons of leaves are collected in the grounds each autumn and between April and October over 5,000 hours are spent cutting the grass in the gardens and park.


A glorious 120 acre garden of 6,000 trees from across the globe, The Yorkshire Arboretum spans a stunning landscape of parkland, lakes and ponds on the Castle Howard Estate and is run in conjunction with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Wander through peaceful hidden glades and wildflower meadows, admiring native plants and wildlife.


Set within 50 acres of early 19th century parkland Sewerby Hall and Gardens has spectacular views over Bridlington from its dramatic clifftop setting. The award-winning gardens and woodland include a Pleasure Garden with some of the oldest monkey puzzle trees in England, a Walled Garden displaying an ever-changing kaleidoscope of box hedgerows, shrubs and flowers, a blaze of colour and patterns. Discover a variety of wildlife and tree species on the Woodland Walk or visit the zoo for even more exotic species.


This article was originally written for This Is Y magazine digital edition – May 2020. To view the full magazine, click here