Gardens to visit in the North West

Summer is the best time of year to experience the gardens at National Trust places in the North West. From the grand Cheshire gardens at Quarry Bank and Dunham Massey to the Tudor landscape at Speke Hall, here are our top picks to make the most of summer in our gardens across Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and Lancashire.

View over the gardens at Quarry Bank towards the mill

Quarry Bank

Take a step back in time discover the story of Quarry Bank, a complete industrial community surrounded by spectacular gardens. Scented sweet peas climb up their frames, while the soft summer fruits develop around the garden. Head inside the large glasshouse to discover wonderful summer scents, including the hedychium 'flowering ginger' and lemon verbena.

Rose 'Stamford's Sanctuary' overlooking the house, Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey

Roses steal the show in summer at Dunham Massey, with colourful blooms and delightful scents to enjoy in the Rose Garden until the autumn. The Saloon Border, set against the brickwork of the house, is another popular summer spot, with vibrant yellows, oranges, pinks, and reds.

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

Rufford Old Hall

As you enter Rufford Old Hall, you'll head through a sea of cornfield flowers including marigolds and chamomiles. These provide a much-needed food source for Rufford's resident bees. There are some rare wildflowers to look out for here too - look out for the rare Northern Marsh Orchid at Rufford, as it comes into bloom in the summer months.

A family by the house at Speke Hall and Garden

Speke Hall

Tudor Speke Hall's garden is full to the brim with roses in summer, with Victorian varieties that were enjoyed by the Hall's formidable owner Adelaide Watt. On the South Lawn, look out for the hydrangeas in their summer bloom. Over in the Kitchen Garden, watch as garden volunteers tend to salad, vegetables, and summer fruits.

Hare Hill walled garden in summer

Hare Hill, Cheshire  

Step into Hare Hill's walled garden to see this hidden gem in its summer glory. Wisteria, roses, peonies, lillies and shasta daisies are a delight to see through the summer. The original design of James Russell has been restored throughout much of the garden here, with a catmint hedge, echinacea, and ornamental grasses to enjoy.

The summer bedding in flower in the garden at Lyme, Cheshrie

Lyme

You might notice the flowers bloom a little later at Lyme, where the gardens are an oasis of calm in the rugged moorland landscape. Look out for the contrasting double borders, half planted with hot colours, and half with cool colours. Step inside Lyme's Orangery to see the plants that thrive in the warmer temperatures.

A couple walking through the garden at Tatton Park

Tatton Park

Summer planting adds splashes of colour to the lawned area in front of the Tenants' Hall and Mansion at Tatton Park this season. Plant-lovers should head to the Show House next to the Fernery to see a dazzling display, while the Japanese Garden is a beautiful spot to relax on a summer's day.

A woman enjoys a coffee at Gibside

Enjoy seasonal treats in the café

After a stroll through the garden, don’t forget to stop in at one of our cafés, restaurants or takeaway kiosks to pick up a delicious seasonal treat. Every penny you spend in our cafés will go towards caring for these special places.

A gardener weeding in summer at Hidcote, Gloucestershire

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.