Explore Crook Hall Gardens

A sunlit gravel path between flower filled garden borders leads to a wooden gate in an old stone wall almost hidden by climbing plants.

Wander through a series of interlinked gardens, each with its own character.

Intriguing paths lead you to blooming borders, secluded walled gardens, an orchard and a tranquil moat pool. Sheltered spots tempt you to sit a while and soak up your surroundings. The gardens are a haven for wildlife, alive with bees and butterflies collecting nectar from flowers, ducks and moorhens on the pond and songbirds in the trees. Views of Durham Cathedral are a reminder that this green oasis is close to the heart of the city. 

An assortment of styles

The gardens complement each other, while differing in age and personality. Formal areas with neat lines and topiary hedges border traditional English cottage gardens, boasting a colourful medley of roses, wisteria, perennials, trees and shrubs.

The serene moat pool is planted with water lilies, hosta and iris. The gentle sound of running water and views towards fields and woodlands beyond the gardens enhance its peaceful appeal. 

The serene moat pool at Crook Hall Gardens
Two wooden benches on a grassy area overlook a large pond surrounded by plants. Large trees in full leaf shelter one side. Some buildings of Durham city are visible between the trees in the background.
The serene moat pool at Crook Hall Gardens

A year-round feast for the senses

Watching the seasons change at Crook Hall Gardens is reason to return again and again.

Roses come into their own each summer, filling the gardens with their beauty and scent. From June, phlox, oriental poppies and ox-eye daisies vie for attention in the walled gardens. The moat pool teems with life, including frogs, newts and dragonflies. 

Our Senior Gardener, Ann, recommends keeping an eye on the maze in the autumn. A living puzzle planted mainly of cotoneaster, at the beginning of September it sports dark green leaves; red berries soon appear, then develop over the coming weeks in a fascinating transformation. 

Several shrubs have an autumnal ‘wow’ moment. Look out for beautyberry with its vivid purple berries. Autumn crocuses also provide unexpected pops of colour.

Spring grows into a riot of colour. Hellebores ease us out of winter, with snowdrops joining them as an early sign of spring. Bright splashes of anemones, cyclamen and crocus soon appear. The vibrant yellows of daffodils, forsythia and kerria bring sunshine on even the dullest day. Tulips, grape hyacinth and fritillaria add variety to the palette.

A large magnolia, benefiting from spring warmth in the shelter of the walled garden, puts on a magnificent display of flowers. And a frothy mass of blossom makes the orchard an unmissable sight.