Things to do in the garden and parkland at Dyrham Park
Nestled between the house and neighbouring St Peter's Church is the West Garden with magnificent borders and lawns, a perry orchard, and winding paths around picturesque ponds filled with wildlife and surrounded by plants and trees. An ambitious project to create a vibrant, 17th-century inspired garden is well under way at Dyrham Park.
Winter highlights in the garden at Dyrham Park
The garden offers a spectacular scene in winter with hints of colour peeking out through the trees. It's a great time to spot birds on the bare branches with black caps, red wings, goldcrests, robins and long-tailed tits regularly seen here.
Dyrham is home to more than half a dozen types of snowdrop. They sometimes pop up as early as Christmas and New Year and, by January, can be admired in front of the 17th-century house, in the terraces and in the garden.
The West Garden
Inspired by key historical documents including an engraving of Dyrham Park from the 17th century, the gardeners are transforming the West Garden into a vibrant 21st-century garden with flavours of the past. The borders and lawn of the Avenue represents the historic west entrance to the estate, looking up towards the house and a watchful statue of Mercury. The planting and designs bring your attention towards this view, guiding the eyes through a tunnel-like shape of manicured lawns and long, rectangular flower beds.
Cider apple trees are being trained on attractive purpose-built iron frames along the Avenue's edges in the espalier design of the 17th century thanks to a recent gift in a will by a generous local donor. At the end of the Avenue are historic gates which would have been the main entrance to the house in years gone by.
On the south side of the garden is Nichol's perry pear orchard. Take a wander along the paths around the orchard. It’s just like a scene from a Christmas card looking back towards St Peter’s Church. This area is dormant over winter as the wildflowers have spread their seeds waiting to recharge through the grasses come spring.
The pool gardens with its gentle cascade is a relaxing place to wander round with a looser, wilder style of planting. Follow the serpentine path alongside the ponds back towards the courtyard garden. The lower pond is surrounded by plants that reflect the Victorian pleasure grounds, constructed of meandering pathways, lawns and reveals. Small trees give height and shade and plants give all year-round reflections in the water. Look out for the fiery red dogwood framing the pools, at its best in winter.
By the house, the courtyard garden known as Fountain Court is presented as a 17th-century herb garden, with wall trained fruit trees and a variety of herbs.
Discover the Greenhouse which is attached to the house. The Greenhouse was converted in the 19th century with a glass roof for year-round planting. When cold outside it was full of delicate plants on large shelving. In the summer the plants moved outside, and the room became an enormous conservatory, with cane chairs and the walls decorated with maps and sculpture. Unusually the Greenhouse always had direct access from some of the best rooms in the house.
Explore the parkland
The 270 acres of parkland is a great place to walk and explore in the great outdoors with far-reaching views right across to Wales. There's a range of set walks or you're free to wander at leisure.
Old Lodge play area in the parkland reopened in 2022 after a major revamp and includes a brand new café, ice cream kiosk and toilets.
An update on the deer herd
If you've visited before you may have seen deer in the parkland. Due to high levels of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) detected in our deer, we very sadly had to cull the entire herd at Dyrham Park in March 2021.
We - all our staff and volunteers - were all devastated by this decision and the loss of the much-loved deer herd from this very special parkland setting and we understand how upsetting this is for everyone. While it was a very sad few months coming to this conclusion, we do have every intention to reintroduce the deer to this historic parkland setting as soon as we are able.
Free guided tours
On most days, we run a range of tours of the garden and parkland showcasing the seasonal highlights and the work being carried out. Look out for the noticeboard in the courtyard on arrival for the list of tours on the day.
From 18th-century water gardens and Arts and Crafts landscapes to intimate woodland gardens, there are so many places to discover.
The main phases of conservation and decorative work in the house at Dyrham Park are now complete and you can explore beautifully presented rooms, delve into the house's history and discover what it was like to live in the 17th century.
After exploring the house and garden, refuel with a tasty treat from the tea-room, café at Old Lodge or tea garden kiosk. Whether sweet or savoury, there's bound to be something to tempt you. Afterwards, take home a gift from the shop, where there's a wide range of products, from locally made chutneys to fun family books.
There is history of occupation at Dyrham Park from ancient times. Find out about the people and families who have added their stories to Dyrham Park.
The 270-acre parkland at Dyrham is a great place to explore the outdoors and enjoy a walk, whatever the time of year.
Find out what’s on for families this season at Dyrham Park and plan your visit.