Must see gardens in Cheshire

PUBLISHED: 11:17 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:05 20 February 2013



Gorgeous gardens in and around Cheshire that you must visit this summer<br/>COMPILED BY JONATHAN BACON

Attractions aplenty at Arley

Crafted over the centuries by successive generations, these gardens combine traditional designs with modern ideas and additions. To the southwest of the stately home lies eight acres of formal gardens, each with a distinctive character while to the northeast is an arboretum and woodland garden. The annual garden festival here, held at the end of June, features hundreds of flower and plant nurseries from all over the country. Estate owner Lord Ashbrook offers tours of the Arley grounds while gardening experts answer all manner of questions.

Arley Hall and Gardens, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6NA

For details of opening times and charges visit or call 01565 777353

Lyme Park loveliness

A variety of horticultural attractions await the visitor at Lyme Park, Disley. Particularly noteworthy is the lavish Victorian garden with its beautifully symmetrical sunken parterre and fountain. There is also a Gertrude Jekyll-style herbaceous border, an orangery and an Edwardian rose garden. A pleasant stroll is to be enjoyed along the reflection lake, the setting for Colin Firth's famous emergence as Mr Darcy in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice series. Beyond the gardens is a vast medieval deer park and acres of woodland to explore. The estate mansion itself dates from the Tudor period though now more closely resembles an Italianate palace.

Lyme Park, Disley, Stockport, Cheshire SK12 2NRFor details of opening times and charges visit
or call 01663 762023

Rode's secret garden

This breathtaking estate has been in the prestigious Wilbraham family for over three centuries. The current owners, Sir Richard and Lady Baker-Wilbraham, have continued to maintain the spectacular formal garden here - an eye-catching bronze statue of a wood nymph being one of their notable additions. This forms a central feature, encircled by a beautifully patterned rose bed.

The parklands here are also famous for Rode Pool, a man-made, mile-long lake, as well as over 40 varieties of snowdrops. These were introduced into the landscape by Sibella Egerton at the time of her marriage to Randle Wilbraham in 1832 and were the subject of 'A Sudden Warmth', a poem by former Cheshire poet laureate W Terry Fox.

Rode Hall, Scholar Green, Cheshire, ST7 3QPGardens open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons until September. For full details of opening times and charges visit or call 01270 873237

Exotic Ness

Ness won six prestigious awards last year and it's easy to see why. Among them was a win in the 'Large Visitor Attraction' category at the Visit Chester & Cheshire Tourism Awards as well as a gold medal for its 'Garden for Bees' display at RHS. You can enjoy a pleasant day's walk through well-planned sections including pine woods, an azalea walk and a water garden.

The gardens were set up by Liverpool cotton broker Arthur Kilpin Bulley, who hired plant hunters to travel the world in search of new specimens. This is still reflected in the rare and exotic plants on show at Ness, including a host of rhododendron species from the Far East.

Ness Botanic Gardens, Ness, Neston, South Wirral, CH64 4AY. Open 7 days except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. For full details visit or call 0151 353 0123

Tatton is a treat

Tatton Park's historic gardens have been voted the 'Number 1' garden in central England by readers of Gardeners' World. Tatton Park pulls in thousands of visitors each year as there's so much to see.

Plant enthusiasts, particularly, will enjoy the mansion's 'pleasure grounds' with their opulent gardens including the intimate rose garden, the Japanese garden and the deciduous maze.Surrounding these intricate sites are 2,000 acres of landscaped parkland, 1,000 of which are open to the public. Red and fallow deer roam freely in the ancient deer park while two meres offer fishing and sailing.

Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6QN. For details of opening times and charges visit or call 01625 374435

A walled delight

Grappenhall Heys Walled Garden is something of a well-kept secret, but it's so attractive we aim to change all that. Only a few years ago this garden, situated at the far end of Witherwin Avenue, Grappenhall Heys, near Warrington, was in a sorry state. The ownership of the garden was transferred to the local parish council in 2005 and residents have been involved to create this beautiful oasis of calm. In April, wood carvings by local tree surgeon Nigel McQuilton were created, transforming the trunks of two trees that had been lost.

Admission is free and the garden is open daily 1 -4 pm.

For further information visit

Also worth a visit

Pretty Peover The meticulously-planned gardens at Peover Hall near Knutsford are home to an avenue of limes, yew hedges, a lily pool and summer house. or call 01565 830395

Walton whimsy This lush parkland estate at Walton Hall near Warrington boasts spacious lawns, picnic and play areas and a heritage centre. Particularly popular is the children's zoo or call 01925 261957

Beautiful Bramall One of Cheshire's grandest black and white Tudor buildings, Bramall Hall, is also home to 70 acres of gorgeous parkland. or call 0161 485 3708

Happy in Hare Hill A colourful walled garden lies at the heart of these woodland grounds at Over Alderley. Among its quirky features are a pergola walk and some striking wire sculptures. or call 01625 584412

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