Enjoy Spring at Canons Ashby

St Mary's Church with daisies

The weather is getting warmer and the gardens are blooming, so it's the perfect time to get out in the fresh air and enjoy Canons Ashby.


In the garden

It's a great time of year for a wander around the formal garden. In early spring, enjoy splashes of colour as the snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils emerge from the grass around the grounds.

Later in spring, breathe in the floral scents and enjoy the striking blooms in the formal blue and yellow flower beds. Feast your eyes on the beds of Tulips, Wallflowers, Bellis daisies and Polyanthus on the top terrace and the sundial terrace.

If you prefer wilder blooms, have a wander around the paddock. We have been trying to improve the biodiversity of Canons Ashby by planting carefully chosen wildlfowers like Yellow Rattle, Ox-Eye Daisies and Red Clover.

Why not put your on your wellies and go a little further afield by taking a stroll around the parkland? Keep an eye out for the new spring lambs, but don't get too close as it may worry their mums. Also please remember to keep any canine friends on a short lead at all times.

Wildlife in the garden

Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature in our gardens and grounds
Wren singing against a blue sky
Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature in our gardens and grounds

Here we plant for nature and wildlife, as well as for visitors. We select plants we know our insects and birds will love, which are grown from seed in the local area so we have less of an impact on the environment.

Love nature? Try to spot some of our special spring birds as they return to Britain after migrating over winter. Look out for blackcaps and garden warblers singing in the garden, as well as more common local birds such as blue tits and wrens who are already building nests here on site.

Every year we look forward to seeing the swallows return. They have missed a few years at Canons Ashby but they were back in 2020, so fingers crossed for plenty of swallows swooping around the courtyard in 2022.

Look out for the swallows returning to Canons Ashby this spring
Young swallow chicks in a nest being fed by an adult swallow
Look out for the swallows returning to Canons Ashby this spring

For more information about how we're looking after nature at Canons Ashby have a look here.

Family fun

There are plenty of activities do and things to explore, to keep the family entertained this spring. With the garden, parkland and paddock, we're not short of space for your young adventurers to stretch their legs and blow off some steam.

Guided visit to Priory Church and medieval Stew Ponds

Thursdays in May, June, July and September (not running on 2 June), 2-2.45pm. Normal admission prices apply. No booking needed & on a first come first served basis. Not recommended for children under 10 years old, but older children and teenagers are welcome

Find out more about the medieval history of Canons Ashby with a guided visit to the church, and then to the recently restored medieval stew ponds: an area not accessible to the public without a guide. An exclusive chance to see this beautiful area. This visit will only go ahead in good weather due to ground conditions on the route. Please wear sturdy footwear and ask at Visitor Reception on your way in. 

Strictly Sherlock performed by Don’t Go Into The Cellar

14 May, 6pm - 7.30pm. Doors open 5.15pm. £20 per person, limited tickets available, and pre-booking essential, see here for more information. Suitable for ages 11 plus.

Join the king of the detectives as he brings to life those startling cases, The Sussex Vampire and The Creeping Man. Jonathan Goodwin returns as Sherlock Holmes, in a show scripted by himself and co-directed by Goodwin and Gary Archer. Enjoy an intimate performance in the beautiful grounds of Canons Ashby. This is a seated outdoor event under a marquee cover, so please dress for whatever the weather brings. Chairs are provided.

Canons Ashby Book Sale

28 May - 5 June, 10am - 4pm. Normal admission applies.

Come and browse a wide selection of books which have been donated by our supporters. Stock up for your holidays whilst raising funds for our special place. On the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 11-2pm, bring your little ones and listen to a story from one of our friendly storytellers.

Every time you take home a pre-loved story, you’re helping us to look after the next chapter of Canons Ashby’s history.

Treat yourself!

Enjoy a cup of tea in the Stables tea-room
Tea in the Stables tea-room
Enjoy a cup of tea in the Stables tea-room

Whilst you’re here, Stables Tea Room and the Coach House shop.

We use fresh produce from the garden as much as possible in the tea-room, or you may find produce on the honesty bench by visitor reception.

In the shop you will find gifts, homeware, food, gardening gifts, plants and more. Every penny of profit made in our shop and tea-room stays at Canons Ashby to help care for this special place.