2021 is the 160th anniversary of the birth of esteemed garden designer Thomas Mawson. You can still see many examples of his exceptional garden design around the Lake District, Cumbria. Check out our blog for the best Mawson gardens here.

Its not just Thomas Mawson gardens that we are famous for in the Lake District, Cumbria. If you are a green-fingered fan, you are completely spoiled for choice when it comes to bloomin’ magnificent gardens. Lets take a wander around some of our favourites taking in everything from formal gardens to ones where the wildflowers are left to flourish.

Hutton in the Forest

Hutton in the forest

Situated in the less-explored north Lakes, this grand medieval house was built in the 14th Century and is set in one of the most beautiful areas of the county. On your visit you will discover a walled garden, terraces and topiary, ponds and a woodland walk. The gardens have evolved over time but the layout hasn’t changed since 1705. The woodlands are home to many forms of wildlife including birds, roe deer and the rare red squirrel.

Find out more about Hutton in the Forest


Brantwood

Brantwood


The Brantwood estate near Coniston was the home of the famous writer, poet and literary critic John Ruskin. Explore his life and works in his grand home that boasts incredible lake views. The gardens simply must be explored too. This estate backs onto the lake and includes a mixture of native and ornamental plants. Several of the gardens were designed by Ruskin himself.

You could arrive a Brantwood in style by catching the boat on the Coniston launch. There is an hourly service in peak season.

Find out more about Brantwood


Muncaster Castle

Muncaster Castle


The views from the gardens of the 800 year old castle were described by John Ruskin as “Heaven’s Gate.” Muncaster Castle is near the village of Ravenglass which is a very special place indeed. It is the only coastal village in the Lake District National Park and is situated in two world heritage sites – the Lake District and Hadrian’s Wall. The castle itself is a grand construction and overlooks the coast, lakes and mountains of the Western Lake District. It is home to events all year round and comes alive with the undead at Halloween! The extensive gardens are filled with exotic plants from around the world plus you will find a hawk and owl centre that host regular flying displays.  

Find out more about Muncaster


Levens Hall

Levens Hall


This grand stateley home is blessed with a garden that dates back to 1694 and is grade 1 listed. This formal garden is so immaculately preserved, you’ll be pushed to find a leaf out of place. The most stricking aspect of the grounds at Levens Hall is the famous historic topiary – in numerous shapes and sizes. You’ll also find an orchard of apple trees, a herb garden, a bowling green, a rose garden, herbaceous borders and seasonal bedding. Allow plenty of time for your visit as there is lots to see.

Find out more about Levens Hall


Askham Hall

Askham Hall

This historic stately home is situated in the quieter North Lakes amidst stunning countryside. The Grade II listed gardens are blessed with colourful terraces, a 230ft long double herbaceous border, unusual species of plants, formal lawns, woodland, meadows and ponds. Take in the views down to the River Lowther and enjoy the secluded spots of the garden. There is even a kitchen garden which is used to grow produce that is served in the hall – in a Michelin star restaurant. If you want to see where the food on your plate has come from, just look out of the window!

Find out more about Askham Hall


Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle sits on the edge of the Lake District surrounded by 3500 acres of parkland. The garden itself has undergone some major restoration works over the past 10 years. The gardens had previously been abandoned and vegetation had taken over. The work being undertaken now is to reimagine the gardens and add a new layer of planting, whilst maintaining the sense of place and being sensitive to the historic features, all of which is being led by garden designer Dan Pearson.

The garden in the ruins is an area which was planted in 2015 and gives visitors a botanical treat with several interesting and unusual plants. The flower parterre sits on the south façade of the castle ruin which is a tapestry of perennials, grasses, and bulbs. A new orchard has been grafted which has hundreds of new fruit trees and a new rose garden is on the verge of being complete, which has over 3000 roses planted providing a horticultural treat on a journey around the garden.

Find out more about Lowther Castle


Sizergh Castle

Sizergh Castle


This medieval castle in the South Lakes is still home to the Strickland family. In fact, they have lived here for more than 800 years.  At certain times of the year the house is open to visitors and is Operated by the National Trust.

Sizergh is a 1,600 acres estate and there is plenty to explore. The stunning gardens include a pond, a lake and exquisite limestone rock garden. The area is a haven of peace and tranquility.

Find out more about Sizergh Castle


Mirehouse

Mirehouse


This historic manor house is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of the area between Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw. Walk around this friendly stately home serenaded, on occasion, by live piano music.

The grounds are gorgeous and a visit is essential if you are in the area. Explore the tranquil walled garden, poetry walk and rose terrace which mirror the beauty of the surrounding landscape. There is always the possibility, too, of seeing wildlife as you walk round. roe deer, foxes, red squirrels and many bird species have been seen in the grounds.

Find out more about Mirehouse


Dalemain

Dalemain


Situated in a landscape of lakes and rugged Cumbrian hills, the award-winning gardens have been developed and enhanced since 1679 by the Hasell family, who still live at Dalemain today. With intriguing and unusual planting, this is a garden to be savoured. Highlights include the Rose Walk, Tudor knot garden, wildflower spiral garden, sleeping giantess and Himalayan blue poppies Meconopsis ‘Dalemain’. The gardens are full of wildlife with red squirrels, hedgehogs, birds and bees galore. The top gardens are beautifully formal, while the low gardens are wild and atmospheric, with Dacre beck forming the perfect backdrop.

Find out more about Dalemain


Hilltop

Hill Top


We can all fondly reminisce about this garden from our childhood. It was the home of Peter Rabbit and friends. The gardens at Beatrix Potter’s former home are exactly as they were in the days when she wrote those enchanting tales. She left her estate to the National Trust in her will and they still manage the house today. A visit here really does feel like you are stepping into a fairy tale.

Find out more about Hilltop

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