The gardens

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The gardens sit above and below a cliff face. They include the Mill Meadow, the lower garden and the upper garden. The upper garden has a café, shop and accessible toilet. The garden has three entrances, see below for more details.

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The most accessible entrance to the garden from is via a level path from Visitor Reception. From Visitor Reception is it approximately 250m to the glasshouse or the garden café. The upper garden has views down to the lower garden and over to the mill and Quarry Bank House.

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The second entrance is the lower garden entrance. This entrance is reached from the mill yard by descending a sloping cobbled path (13% for about 10m) around the Mill Manager’s Cottage, and crossing a wide wooden bridge over the river onto the mill meadow.

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At the lower garden entrance is the garden kiosk, which is staffed by a volunteer. Across the tennis lawn there is a further bridge which is 105cm wide and re-crosses the river.

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There is also an entrance to the lower garden from Quarry Bank House. There are two routes, a cobbled path which is partially stepped or a compacted gravel path. The compacted gravel path is a 20% gradient.

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The compacted gravel paths in the lower garden have slopes up to 15% for lengths of 510m. From the lower garden access to the upper garden is via steep paths and/or steps, suitable only for those who can walk. The steepness of the terrain (in places 33%) means there's no direct access between the lower and upper gardens for powered mobility vehicles or wheelchairs of any type.

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The lower garden is adjacent to the river Bollin. There is a near-level route through the lower garden and into Chapel Woods. The route extends for about 600m from the garden entry kiosk (one-way distance). For those with wheelchairs, the exit is by the same route; otherwise, you have the option of climbing a number of steps and returning by a different route.

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The glasshouse is in the upper garden. You can reach it through a gate near the garden café or through a doorway in the kitchen garden wall near the garden shop. The entrance doorway is 74cm wide; the door is manually operated and opens inwards.

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There's a stone-flagged path that runs the length of the glasshouse and is 97cm wide at its narrowest. Powered mobility vehicles are not allowed in the glasshouse due to the narrowness of the space and the nature of the building.

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The historic entrance to the glasshouse is up three stone steps; there is no handrail.

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Behind the glasshouse are the back sheds, where you'll find the toilets and garden shop. The doorway between the glasshouse and back sheds is 84cm wide and there are two steps of 17cm each.

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There's a small glasshouse opposite the main glasshouse, the entrance to which is up a step of 11cm. Wheelchairs, whether powered or hand-propelled, are not allowed in the small glasshouse, due to the limited space within it.

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Dogs on a short lead are welcome in the garden; however only assistance dogs are allowed in the glasshouses. The paths in the gardens are compacted gravel, flagged stones or cobbles. Throughout the gardens there are benches with spaces to park a wheelchair or pushchair beside them.