Our most bee-friendly gardens

Bumble bees, honey bees and wild ‘solitary’ bees love visiting meadows and gardens this time of year and the sound of buzzing is a sure sign that warmer days are on their way.

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are open. You no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the property webpage before you travel.​

Bumblebee at Lundy Island, Devon

The importance of bees in the gardens we look after

Bees are one of our most important pollinators, and we rely on their hard work for much of what we eat. They pollinate the flowers that produce our fruit, nuts and seeds, and help to spread colour through our landscape. Bees are vital in keeping up the health of our ecosystem, so we need to give them the biggest chance possible to thrive. Check out our most bee-friendly gardens and find out how you can make a promise to help bees and butterflies in your own garden.

A short stroll will lead you to Attingham's Walled Garden and Orchard

Attingham Park, Shropshire 

Attingham's walled garden and orchard were probably built at the same time as the mansion in the 1780s for the first Lord Berwick. This productive area provided the Berwicks with a constant supply of fruit, flowers, vegetables and honey. It's still home to the Attingham bees who can safely be seen hard at work in the observation hive. If you have time, pop into the kitchen garden to see the Grade II listed Georgian bee house.

Two people walking along a floral border

Beningbrough, Yorkshire 

Beningbrough’s flower gardens are home to several varieties of bee, including red-tailed and buff-tailed bumble bees. If you take a wander past the bee hive by the south border, there’s a good chance that you’ll see the busy residents hard at work among the flowers.

Two bees on a sunflower

Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire 

Bees, butterflies and other insects thrive on Canon Ashby's plants that were popular during the Victorian era, especially the amaranthus foxtail, antirrhinum and verbena bonariensis. Throughout the gardens and grounds there are different types of bumble bee, as well as masonry, mining and cuckoo bees. How many species can you spot?

Enjoy the scents of summer in the Walled Kitchen Garden

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire 

Stroll around the orchards in the walled kitchen garden at Clumber and spot the bee hives hidden among the trees and blossom. The orchards boast over 58 varieties of local apples and attract busy bees and lots of other pollinators.

Backlit trees and bluebells in the garden at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Dunham Massey, Cheshire 

A team of dedicated volunteer beekeepers take care of the honey bees at Dunham Massey. Come and take a look at the vibrant garden that attracts these little — and vital — pollinators.

 Gardens in spring at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk

Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk 

The ornamental gardens at Felbrigg Hall attract bees from all around. There's a wide variation from roses to some more unusual plants like the pink Colvile butterfly bush, perfect for pollinators to busy themselves with.

Bee hives in a meadow

Gibside, Tyne and Wear 

Watch for bees pollinating the wild flowers and blossom throughout Gibside’s landscape gardens. Come and see the colourful apple and cherry trees, blackthorns and horse chestnuts.

Picture of a honey bee collecting pollen from a flower

Ham House, London 

Ham’s huge lawns have recently been refreshed by the garden team, who have planted around 500,000 spring bulbs. The early purple crocus, romantic pastel-coloured tulips and vivid muscari will create a vast display of intense, natural drifts of colour – the perfect buzzing habitat for bees and other insects.

Bee on a flower in the garden

Hare Hill, Cheshire 

The tranquil walled garden at Hare Hill is often full of buzzing bees. Recently restored, the garden is planted with predominately white flowers, including unusual varieties of iris, poppy, echinacea, lupin and phlox. The bees definitely have a favourite plant though: the white catmint.

Bee on flower

Hughenden, Buckinghamshire 

If you’re investigating the flowers in the garden, you may spot some of our foraging bees. If you look closely you can sometimes see the colour of the pollen they carry and work out which plants they have visited.

The garden terrace at Killerton in the summer

Killerton, Devon 

Honey bees are vital to the health of the orchards and garden at Killerton, and their efforts to pollinate flowers probably help your garden grow too. Killerton’s bees also produce delicious honey which is available in the estate shop – and any profit goes straight back into conservation work on the orchards.

The buzz border at Nunnington Hall

Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire 

Discover the 'Buzz Border' at Nunnington Hall, which contains many different plants to maximise biodiversity and attract more pollinators like bees. The border also includes a bee observation box, where you can take a look at the bees making themselves at home there.

A beekeeper checks the beehives in the orchard

Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk 

Listen out for the gentle hum of the bees as they go from flower to flower. You'll find many buzzing around the orchard thanks to the long wildflower meadow and herbaceous border. It's also the perfect spot to help them pollinate the Victorian kitchen garden next door which once fed the estate.

Bee on a blue cornflower

Peckover, Cambridgeshire 

Peckover is another of our places that is helping to support the UK’s bees. There’s even a special border in the garden that our team has filled with bee-friendly plants, so that we can help these handy insects thrive.

 View along the Fuchsia Arch in the Walled Garden at Penrhyn Castle and Garden, Gwynedd, North Wales

Penrhyn Castle and Garden, Wales 

The range of flowers in Penrhyn castle from snowdrops to the beautiful fuchshia arch is a real treat for bees. The gardens at Penrhyn were designed over a century ago to flower throughout the year which is great for pollinators. Come and see the gardens and listen to the sounds of some happy buzzing bees.

Wonderful blue flowers of Meconopsis betonicifolia in the Walled Garden at Rowallane, Co Down, Northern Ireland

Rowallane Garden, Northern Ireland 

Rowallane Garden's bees both pollinate the garden and produce delicious honey, which you can buy from the shop. Relax and let the world go by as you stroll through the garden and admire colourful blooms.

Alliums in a herbaceous border

Speke Hall, Merseyside 

The kitchen garden continues to be maintained each season in partnership with ‘The Come Alive Group’. The beehives are kept here - we use the honey in recipes in Home Farm Restaurant and are hoping to sell it in the shop next year, so you can enjoy it at home.

Bee visiting geranium in the garden at Wordsworth House, Cumbria

Wordsworth House and Garden, Cumbria 

Wordsworth House’s walled heritage garden in Cockermouth has been specially designed to offer these vital insects a year-round haven. The gardeners here grow pollen-rich, old-fashioned varieties that would have been recognised in the Georgian period. This very rich habitat means there is an unusually high number of bee varieties.

What you can do to help the bees

The homes that bees love are under threat. If the bees were to disappear, our trees, flowers, fruits, vegetables and crops would go with them. This means that our air would become less filtered through capturing carbon, and lots of the beautiful gardens we care for would be significantly reduced. Check out some easy ways you can help the bees by making them feel at home again.

Honey bee feeding on a dahlia flower

Help protect pollinators 

Bees play a vital role in the natural world around us but they're under threat. By donating to support nature and wildlife at the places in our care, you'll be helping to protect these pollinators and the green spaces they call home. Now more than ever, we need your help to look after the nature and wildlife we all find comfort in.

Want to make a difference for bees? Make your promise for nature