Gardens to visit in the North West

With the last of the summer flowers, and a fantastic display of colour in the trees, autumn is a particularly special time to visit our gardens. If you're planning your next visit, here are our top picks to make the most of autumnal in gardens across Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire.

Autumn at Quarry Bank

Quarry Bank

Autumn in the Upper Garden at Quarry Bank sees the last of the summer display, with hydrangea flower heads looking striking in the sunshine. Over in the Apprentice House orchard you can spot lots of fruiting trees, including heritage apple varieties, while acers, oak and beech trees put on their spectacular display of autumn colour.

Couple walking in the garden at Dunham Massey in autumn

Dunham Massey

Drifting over the canal borders in autumn is the wonderful smell of burnt sugar, as the Katsura tree leaves begin to turn. Elsewhere in the Winter Garden at Dunham Massey you can explore the acer archway, a picture-perfect spot formed from the bold red leaves of the autumn acer tree.

Little Moreton Hall in autumn

Little Moreton Hall

Take a walk around Little Moreton Hall's newly-planted orchard and see the historic apple varieties growing ahead of the harvest. The autumn colour of the surrounding established trees creates a truly impressive backdrop for this quirky Tudor hall.

Rufford Old Hall autumn landscape image

Rufford Old Hall

The Virginia creeper, an ivy-like plant, transforms the courtyard at Rufford Old Hall every autumn. You can pick up a trail map too, showing you the best spots to see autumn colour around the house and along the canal-side path.

A tree full of red autumn leaves at Speke Hall

Speke Hall

The red leaves of the acer on Speke's south lawn make for an impressive autumn photo, while the long line of lime trees along the main driveway turn to bright yellow. The hawthorn and blackthorn fruits will be in bloom too, and don't forget to look for acorns, conkers and sweet chestnuts to pick up.

Autumn view of house and reflection lake at Lyme, Cheshire

Lyme

As the garden is transformed into autumnal colours, look out for late-flowering blooms like dahlias in the borders, or head into the orangery to see those plants that need the extra warmth. Venture out to Knightslow Wood to enjoy the colourful canopy of beech trees.

The Japanese Garden at Tatton Park, Cheshire

Tatton Park

Explore 50 acres of glorious gardens at Tatton, like the spectacular fernery and the tranquil Japanese garden. One of the most picturesque gardens in England, Tatton shows visitors today an almost complete picture of how it would have looked in Edwardian times.

Slices of lemon and thyme shortbread on a wire rack

Pick up a treat

A stroll around one of our gardens can really work up the appetite. And more often than not, the seasonal ingredients you see growing in our kitchen gardens will make their way into our cafés and restaurants too. So next time you're exploring a National Trust garden, don't forget to stop for a tasty treat. Every penny you spend in our cafés will go towards caring for these special places.

 Gardeners planting tulip bulbs at Polesden Lacey

Gardeners' tips 

We're bringing our gardening expertise to you with the help of lots of handy tips from the gardeners working at the places we care for.