Spring at Canons Ashby

St Mary's Church with daisies

The weather is getting warmer, the gardens are beginning to bloom and there are plenty of changes happening in the house. Visit soon to see Canons Ashby springing to life ready for our new busy season!

In the gardens and grounds

This year our planting has been inspired by the National Trust’s celebration of LGBTQ history in 2017, so expect a proud rainbow of colour in the gardens throughout spring and summer!

Have a wander around the formal garden and admire the colourful chaos of blue forget-me-nots, stocks and striking ballerina tulips on the top terrace. Enjoy the scented wallflowers and watch out for the new season’s busy bees collecting pollen from the double daisies.

Here we plant for nature and wildlife, as well as for visitors. We select plants which 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.

As the grass is beginning to dry out, why not put your wellies on and go a little further afield and have a stroll around the parklands? Keep an eye out for the new spring lambs but please don’t get too close to them.

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.

Family fun

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

Why not pick up an I-Spy trail from the coach house and try to find all the different objects in the garden? Or have a look at our 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ suggestions. These challenges will help you spend quality time with the whole family and get active in our outdoor spaces.

In the house join our new children’s trail: Stolen! Canons Ashby has been hit by a crime wave and we need your help to help us find the missing objects throughout the house. Just ask at the Coach House for your free “Stolen” trail and get exploring.

Bringing new life to the house

In the house you can now find out about one of the important women in our property’s history: Alice Dryden. In our new presentation “Like father, like daughter” you can discover how Sir Henry Dryden and his daughter Alice lived here at Canons Ashby in the 19th century.

As well as the new presentation and new family trail, we have also brought a breath of fresh air into the building for the new season with fresh floral displays around the house, bringing some cheerful spring colour into this ancient building.

Our conservation of the house will continue behind the scenes during spring, as we start to do some much needed conservation work on spaces not currently open to the public (but perhaps will be again in the future!)

We will also be doing some Conservation in Action events in the next few months, where you will be able to see the houses team working to look after our special time during your visit, and allow you a bit more of an insight into how much work is needed to protect a place like Canons Ashby for the future. Keep an eye on the What’s On page for more information.

Every time you visit us, you are helping us to continue our conservation work of the house and grounds. Thank you for supporting us.

Treat yourself!

Whilst you’re here, don’t miss the Stables Tea Room and the Coach House shop.

We make delicious seasonal fare in the Stables Tea Room every day, so pop in and treat yourself to lunch or some fresh baking eaten in the open air courtyard surrounded by flowering bedding plants.

There are plenty of beautiful gifts and mementoes available in the Coach House shop as well. Have a look at our new Glasshouse Inside Story range or pick up some new plants for your spring garden.