Early spring at Upton House and Gardens

A coot enjoying the mirror pool at Upton House and Gardens

Get the family outdoors for a walk around Upton House and Gardens and discover the surrounding countryside. Warm up before heading home, with home-made refreshments from our Pavilion Café.

Between November and March, visits to the garden are via the Winter Walk, which includes the hard footpath alongside the Mirror Pool and track through the woodland.  Because of our location on the edge of an Ice Age valley, and the steepness of the historic grass paths, the grass wears away and the clay soil becomes compacted and waterlogged.  This has serious implications for our much-loved garden and visitor safety. The joy of the Winter Walk lies in the open views into the heart of the garden and to the surrounding countryside.  

Glowing daffodils
Golden daffodils
Glowing daffodils

Early spring is the perfect season to appreciate Upton’s historic cedars. Experience the drama these magnificent trees bring to the bare landscape.  Enjoy a brisk stroll or a leisurely amble and look out for animal tracks in the Woodland Walk, which is made for nature adventures for the young and young at heart. From late February to almost May the Narcissi start to flower around the garden walk from the Yew Terrace, wild garden and into the Orchard. There is an abundance of early spring plants and bulbs from Anemone, Primula and various species of Narcissi on the Hazel Bank before the Corylus show off their catkins and then come into leaf. 

Beneath the canopy of Upton's ancient cedars
A photo of the cedars at Upton
Beneath the canopy of Upton's ancient cedars

Give it a grow - Wednesday 23 March, 11am - 1pm

Join volunteer Lynda outside in the plant centre near the Gift Shop (head for the small gazebo), and find out what seeds to sow in the garden now ready for summer growth. Pick up hints and tips about what to look out for in Upton’s gardens and what you can do at home this time of year in early spring. No booking needed; the sessions are informal and on a drop in basis.

Local walks

Whether you’re in the mood for a gentle walk around the garden, or looking for something more challenging, we've got a range of walking routes to choose from.  All walks start from the car park, which is only available to visitors to Upton House and Gardens, including National Trust members.  Please note, the car park is locked outside of visiting hours. We recommend checking the opening hours before parking your vehicle.  The surrounding land is not in the care of the National Trust; so please follow the Countryside Code. Find out more about our walks here

Things may be a little different when visiting this year. Usually the garden team of 7 staff and 22 volunteers would spend a whopping 15,500 hours maintaining Upton’s high standards. During Covid-19, our Head Gardener managed the garden singlehandedly for 5 months whilst the rest of the team were furloughed or shielding, and our volunteers were asked to stay at home. Thankfully we now have the team back on board, but it will take 4 - 5 years to get things back on track.