High Close Estate and Arboretum

High Close Garden is 11 acres of tranquillity perched between Elterwater and Grasmere. It has over 1000 years of fascinating history and is home to many rare trees and shrubs from all around the globe.

Champion trees

Originally planted in 1866 by Edward Wheatley-Balme, a Yorkshire merchant and philanthropist, High Close was designed in the fashion of the day using many of the recently discovered ‘exotic’ conifers and evergreen shrubs coming into Britain from America.

The exposed location of the garden has resulted in some of the larger trees being lost, the majority falling in the winter storms of 1973 and 1983, but there are still many fine specimens including douglas firs, sitka spruce and redwoods.

Take our tree trail to discover some of the exotic conifers we look after. 

High Close tree trail
Walking trail

High Close tree trail 

Follow this walking trail around the arboretum to discover some of the exotic conifer species we look after.

Our work

There were once nine gardeners and a full time path sweeper to tend this lovely place. Now most of the work is carried out by National Trust Rangers and a very dedicated band of volunteers, who are slowly bringing this beautiful garden back to life.

Take some time

A wander around High Close is truly enchanting, with views that open up across Loughrigg Tarn and Elterwater. Keep an eye out for and have a rest on one of the many stone 'courting seats' set into the walls and you can really make a day of it with a picnic on the Chang terrace.

Getting here

You can walk from Elterwater or Grasmere, or you can drive here and park in our new car park next to High Close Youth Hostel. If following SAT NAV, use: LA22 9HJ.