Explore the garden at Rufford Old Hall

Couple walking in the garden at Rufford Old Hall in Lancashire

Look down at your feet and you will find plenty of springtime splendour in the garden at Rufford Old Hall. Whether you're looking for somewhere new to go for a walk in Lancashire or you want to experience the sights and scents of spring, we're the place to go.

A journey through spring...

As you pass through the entrance, you'll notice a colourful array of springtime flowers coming into bloom. From daffodils and crocuses to bluebells, you can see spring changing all around us.

North Woods

Venture into the North Woods at any point in spring and you are bound to see something magical. It's well-known for the incredible display of thousands of bluebells in mid-April, offering the chance to take a stroll through a sparkling sea of blue. It's arguably one of the best places to see bluebells in Lancashire.

A sea of bluebells at Rufford Old Hall
A sea of bluebells
A sea of bluebells at Rufford Old Hall

Courtyard & Walled Garden

Entering the courtyard, don't miss the Early Dutch honeysuckle adding dashes of purple and yellow in May-June. This climbing shrub attracts many insects and birds.

Squirrel Border

Wander through the Squirrel Border and you will be met by an array of colours. From the bright pink Bergenia cordifolia 'Elephant's ears' flowering in April-May to the charming whites and yellows of the Wood anemones in March-May. Take a seat on one of the benches and treat yourself to a picnic, overlooked by a mischievous duo of giant squirrel-shaped topiary gleaming in green.

Meet Rufford's larger-than-life squirrels
Squirrel Topiary at Rufford Old Hall
Meet Rufford's larger-than-life squirrels

Turn at the squirrels and follow the path heading towards the orchard and you'll be met with a huge wall of colour in April-May in the form of Rhododendron ‘Loderi King George’ and Rhododendron Yakushimanum. Both offer a eye-popping display of white and pink petals that should not be missed.

Rhododendron yakushimanum... overflowing with whites, pinks and greens
Overflowing with whites, pinks and greens
Rhododendron yakushimanum... overflowing with whites, pinks and greens

North Lawn

Head to the front of the house, where you will find a perfect place to relax and unwind on the North Lawn. The grass is soft and you'll find more examples of perfectly-manicured topiary, cared for by our garden team (if you spot them, feel free give them a well-earned thanks for all their hard work).

Beech Walk Paddock

Lined by a wall of towering beech trees on one side and the Leeds & Liverpool canal on the other, this is the best place to take a seat and enjoy some quiet time. In late March-late April, the paths around here are bordered by hundreds of bluebells, making it the perfect place for unhurried walks and once-a-year photo opportunities.

Rufford Old Hall is just one of the places helped by the Lancashire National Trust Volunteers
The gardens in the spring at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire.
Rufford Old Hall is just one of the places helped by the Lancashire National Trust Volunteers

Orchard

The first recording of an orchard at Rufford is from 1779, when the hall was leased to a gardener called Thomas Lowe for 21 years at an annual rent of £22 and 16 shillings. Today, Rufford's orchard contains a varieties of apple and pear trees, including Keswick Codlin, Duke of Devenshire, Lemon Pippin and Bramleys Seedling to name a few. In April-May, the trees begin to show off their beautiful blossom and it's a sight you won't want to miss.

We would love to see your own photos of your spring journey through Rufford Old Hall's garden. Share them on social media by tagging us @NTRufford (Twitter and Instagram).