Lose yourself in the garden

The beautiful 17-acre garden at Lyme stands at 245m above sea level. Over the centuries, the Legh family carefully etched a beautiful garden out of the surrounding woods and moorland. In doing so, they created the unique family garden that we enjoy today. A fine ravine brings water down from the moors and the reflection lake offers an idyllic setting for a stroll. Pick up a garden guide at the entrance to find out more as you explore.

Flood damage to the Garden

During the heavy rainfall on Wednesday 31 July the gardens at Lyme were badly affected by flooding. Since then, National Trust staff and volunteers as well as external contractors have been working hard to repair the damage, where paths, fences and planting have been washed away. However, we regret that while paths are still being fixed, some areas of the garden are not currently accessible to visitors.

See the changing seasons in our garden


Over the start of spring, we are replanting the Vicary Gibbs area with rare species of plants from around the world. The real Vicary Gibbs was a famed horticulturalist and friend of the Legh family, who donated many plants from his own collection when he was invited to design a new garden area at Lyme in 1906.

You may also see some strange machinery around the stream in Killtime as our team start clearing out the silt traps. The waterways at Lyme are fed by water coming off the moors which is often thick with silt, and could fill up our lakes and ponds with thick mud if not removed!

Our Nursery plot will also hold its first open day in March. These continue monthly until October, and give visitors the opportunity to see where we grow plants and produce for the garden, house, café and tea rooms. There will also be plants grown in the nursery for sale at these events.

Lyme is the second highest garden in the National Trust, so spring bulbs often flower later than other properties. April is a great time for a stroll through the formal beds, as well as the rhododendron walk where a multi-coloured wave of blooms will be starting to appear.

From May, the gardening team will be embarking on a big project in the Italian garden, to replace the current planting with perennial plants. This will provide a longer lasting display through the year, make the garden more sustainable for the future, and contain more plants attractive to bees and other insects.


In summer the garden is at its brightest, with flowering plants throughout. Particular highlights are the rose garden, which remains faithful to its original Edwardian design, the herbaceous border, and the Italian garden.

On sunny days, join in with traditional sports around the garden. Try your skills at badminton, croquet or giant skittles!

Autumn and Winter

September sees the start of another big project, to renovate the herbaceous border over the next four years. This will restore the border back to the design created by Graham Stuart Thomas for the garden in the 1960s, not long after Lyme came into the National Trust’s care. Graham Stuart Thomas was an advisor to the National Trust for many years and his influence can be seen in gardens across the country.

Once winter sets in, the gardening team will be hard at work with path repairs and other conservation works. With frosty mornings and a windswept moorland backdrop, the views of Lyme from the garden terrace are dramatic and ever changing during the colder months. Meanwhile, the Orangery is a year-round indoor oasis of tropical planting.

Visitors walk dogs in the garden at Lyme

Four-legged fun in the garden 

Even dogs love a stroll by the lake. Dogs are welcome on the second full weekend of each month and every Wednesday.

Group bookings

If you would like to bring a group to visit Lyme, please find more information here or contact the estate office on 01663 762023 or lyme@nationaltrust.org.uk.