Where to find wildflowers in Yorkshire

Many of the gardens we care for in Yorkshire are well known for their formality and beauty but among these spaces are less formal areas with lawns and meadows full of native species and wildflowers. These parts of the garden are not only beautiful but maintained in a way to encourage wildlife. Here are some of the best places to spot wildflowers in Yorkshire:

Couple walking across a field with Beningbrough Hall in the background

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens, Yorkshire 

If you step away from the well-maintained borders and walled garden at Beningbrough, you'll find tranquil walks over the parkland with views stretching towards the river. The south walk paths are flanked by wildflowers and the grass is left long to attract insects and provide a habitat for wildlife to make a home in.

East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire

East Riddlesden Hall, Yorkshire  

The wild garden at East Riddlesden Hall starts to fill with colour in late spring and blossom weighs down the branches of the trees in May. Look out for the tall blue spires of Camassia alongside cowslips and primroses. By the end of June, the meadows will also be alive with colour so it's the ideal time to try the Meadow Walk, which is just over a mile long and will show off the natural beauty of a traditional English meadow at its best.

A couple enjoying the Fountain Abbey ruins from afar

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Yorkshire  

Take a stroll around the Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal estate in early summer and as well as coming across ornamental lakes and canals, formal avenues, temples and the grand abbey ruins, you'll also discover a colourful wildflower meadow containing crosswort, giant heliflower, St. John's wort and the common spotted orchid.

Group of people walking through Nostell Priory and Parkland

Nostell, Yorkshire  

The parkland at Nostell is a mosaic of interconnecting habitats, with pockets of semi natural ancient woodlands, traditional grazing pasture and wildflower meadows. In summer the meadows are awash with colour, with plants including meadowsweet, ox-eye daisy and yellow rattle attracting insects such as dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies and bees. Follow the Obelisk Lodge walk to explore the wildflower meadows at their best.

Nunnington Hall garden avenue

Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire  

Behind the original walls and sitting side by side with topiary and floral borders, there are swathes of wildflower meadows at Nunnington Hall. Weaving paths are cut through the grass and flowers so you can get up close and take in nature's show. Bee hives are installed in the fruit orchard each year while the meadows are in bloom to help with natural pollination too.

Ormesby Hall looking at the back of the hall from the rose garden

Ormesby Hall, Middlesbrough  

Take the Holly Walk at Ormesby and by the ancient copper beech there's a pocket of nature waiting to be discovered. This part of the garden is less formally maintained to let nature take hold and, in the wildlife haven created, bugs live, insects fly and buzz and other creatures make the most of this natural habitat.

Rievaulx Terrace temple and wild flower banks

Rievaulx Terrace, Yorkshire  

Take a stroll along the terrace at Rievaulx to admire the colourful wildflower banks. From the cowslips, buttercups and primroses that appear in late spring to the common purple spotted orchids, crosswort, lady's bedstraw and harebells that bloom in the summer, you’ll be sure to spot something special. The wildflowers also provide the perfect backdrop to views across the Rye valley and over the ruined Rievaulx Abbey below.

The nature reserve at Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales

Yorkshire Dales, Yorkshire  

The Yorkshire Dales start to reawaken after winter in late spring and its wildflower meadows will be looking their best in June. The limestone grassland around Malham Tarn and Upper Wharfedale give rise to displays of bird’s eye primrose, early purple orchid and cowslip, while you may also discover distinctive wildflowers like the dramatic globeflower and bog bean on the fen at Tarn Moss.