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Things to do in the garden and parkland at Dyrham Park

Family visitors in the Pool Gardens in summer, Dyrham Park, South Gloucestershire
Visitors in the garden at Dyrham Park | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

With 270 acres of ancient parkland, a herd of fallow deer and a garden brimming with seasonal colour, formal and informal planting, ponds and an orchard, there's plenty to explore 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.

Spring highlights in the garden at Dyrham Park

The garden at Dyrham Park bursts into life in spring with a wonderful display of colour and scent. Following the snowdrops which greet you at the bottom of the drive, the garden and terraces are full of the early signs of spring in February and March. Daffodils start to peep through in the orchard while purple and cream-coloured crocuses, blue chinodoxa, pulmonaria and primroses pop up around the garden.

In March the scent of wild garlic starts to fill the air in the terraces with its white flowers mingling with bluebells beginning to emerge in April.

Tulip time

Tulips have long graced the garden and provide a spring highlight, usually rearing their heads in April and visible for a few weeks into May. They have become a key feature of the long borders in the Avenue as well as Sphynx Court and link in with the Dutch history of the house and founder William Blathwayt who worked in the Netherlands back in the 17th century.

Spring walks

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 are a range of set walks or you're free to wander at leisure. You might spot wildflowers such as dogs mercury, violets or primroses or catch sight of a buzzard flying overhead.

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Inspired by key historical documents including an engraving of Dyrham Park from the 17th century, the gardeners are transforming the West Garden into a vibrant 21st-century garden with flavours of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.

Watch out for blossom on cider apple trees 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. Varieties include 'red styre' cider apples, thought to originate from Gloucestershire and now very rare. At the end of the Avenue are historic gates which would have been the main entrance to the house in years gone by.

Perry orchard

On the south side of the garden is Nichol's perry pear orchard. Take a wander along the paths around the orchard to experience the season's clouds of white pear blossom in the spring, accompanied by wildflowers hiding among the long grass.

Pool gardens

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.

Fountain Court

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.

The Greenhouse  

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.

Herd of fallow deer in parkland at Dyrham Park
Deer herd at Dyrham Park | © National Trust Images/ James Dobson

Explore the parkland

A new deer herd at Dyrham

In April 2024, a new herd of 26 deer was introduced to the ancient parkland at Dyrham.

This followed a cull of the entire herd three years earlier in 2021 after high levels of bovine tuberculosis were detected in the deer.

We are delighted to welcome the new animals but ask that visitors let them settle and give them space to get used to their new home.

General Manager Tom Boden said: “We are absolutely delighted to share the long-awaited and brilliant news that deer are back at Dyrham Park.

“Deer belong here. They are the very essence of the park, the name 'Dyrham' derives from a Saxon word meaning ‘valley of the deer’, and there’s evidence of their presence here going back hundreds of years.

"We do urge visitors not to seek out the deer and, that if they do come across them, to keep their distance so as not to startle or unsettle them in any way. They are wild animals and it’s important that we give them the time and space they need to get used to their new home and we must respect their need for calm and quiet.”

Measures have been put in place to keep the deer happy and healthy, including adapting the deer sanctuary to include more space sheltered by trees, a badger vaccination project, new fencing, deer grids and the installation of specialised water troughs.

A full-time park deer manager has also been recruited to oversee the arrival of the herd and the ongoing good health and welfare of the animals.


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.

Find out more about the walks at Dyrham Park

Old Lodge

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.

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.

A group of Delftware urns at Dyrham Park, Bristol and Bath

Dyrham Park's collections

Explore the objects and works of art we care for at Dyrham Park on the National Trust Collections website.

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