Gardens to visit in the North West

Step into blooming gardens at special places in the North West. Take in seasonal spectacles as rhododendrons put on a colourful show or wander through rose gardens and breathe in the bouquet of fragrances. Share with a friend or bring along a good book for a peaceful afternoon on your own.

The restored glasshouse with summer flowers

A greenhouse to rival all others at Quarry Bank

Take in the sparkling, restored glasshouse surrounded by blooming boarders and fruitful veg patches. Stroll alongside the meandering river in the lower garden and spot some of our rare rhododendrons in a variety of colours. With several gardens to explore, one visit won't be enough.

A couple enjoy the sunshine in the garden at Dunham Massey

An unlocked treasure at Dunham Massey

The gardens at Dunham Massey were once exclusively kept for the Earls and their families, but the winding paths and floral boarders can now be enjoyed by everyone. Hanging wisteria in May, a blooming rose garden in July and gigantic lilies in August are just some of the seasonal highlights to look out for. You can make the most of this picturesque setting in the summer too with music, theatre and outdoor cinema.

Woman sits reading in the garden at speke

Glorious gardens at Speke Hall

Purple alliums bursting into life, a hidden oasis in the Secret Garden, a busy Kitchen Garden, and a colourful display of rhododendrons - you'll be spoilt for choice at Speke Hall. The grounds and gardens surrounding this Tudor hall are filled with picture-perfect plants and wildlife. Return in summer for a riot of colour in rose garden, each with their unique names. The lawns are the perfect place to unwind with a book too.

Two visitors stand by Reflection Lake surrounded by rhododendrons, with the house in the background.

A place of contrasts at Lyme

Wide-stretching moorland and deer-inhabited parkland greets you as you arrive at Lyme. Step through the house though, and you'll enter another world entirely. The 17-acre garden was carefully etched out of the surrounding woods and moorland by its Georgian residents, providing a great contrast to other parts of Lyme. The reflection lake makes an idyllic setting for a stroll as the formal flowerbeds and walkways come into bloom.

Visitors in the walled garden at Hare Hill

A secret to discover at Hare Hill

As you leave the hustle and bustle of daily life behind you'll discover a tranquil haven at the very heart of Hare Hill's colourful woodland garden. Open the gate into a secluded walled garden with busy boarders displaying unusual varieties of iris, poppy, echinacea, lupin and phlox. You can also take a wander round the ponds to spot wildlife returning after last year's conservation. Take some shade under the pergola, relax with Tai Chi on the lawn, or find a peaceful spot to kick back with a book.

Visitors enjoying the sunshine in the garden at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire

Must-see blooms at Rufford Old Hall

The colourful climbers and boarders at Rufford are nurtured and pruned by a small garden team who make sure the gardens put on a big show. Displays of rhododendrons and azaleas are just some of the spectacles not to be missed. Keep an eye out for the topiary which includes two larger-than-life squirrels.

Visitor talking to a costumed Tudor lady in the Knot garden

Small but beautifully formed at Little Moreton Hall

Relax in the orchard at Little Moreton Hall with a cuppa or follow the paths around the moat and Knot Garden to see (and smell) what's in bloom. The garden echos the symmetrical shapes of the hall's Tudor design and is planted with herbs and vegetables used for cooking and medicine.

A couple walking through the garden at Tatton Park

Gardens to inspire at Tatton Park

There are plenty of plants in the 50 acres of gardens at Tatton Park to inspire your green fingers. Highlights include the Walled Kitchen Garden, Japanese Garden, Glasshouses and Pleasure Grounds. You can take a tour to find out more, or enjoy a day out bursting with colourful gardening inspiration at the RHS Tatton Flower Show in July.

Tulips at Sizergh Castle

Gardens to visit in the Lake District 

The Lakes may be better known for dramatic landscapes than intimate country gardens, but there are some real gems waiting to be explored.