Explore the gardens at Anglesey Abbey
When it came to designing the garden at Anglesey Abbey, Lord Fairhaven wanted something to show his guests during every season of the year. Today, the garden still follows the same seasonal pattern.
A garden for all seasons
After purchasing the Anglesey Abbey estate unseen at auction in the 1920s, Lord Fairhaven began the process of transforming the garden into a spectacular seasonal display – something that still exists to this day.
Look out for the use of straight, tree-lined avenues with a sculpture at the end to draw your eye, or the use of circles and symmetry in the Formal Garden and Dahlia Garden.
When exploring the estate, look out for the array of statues – widely acknowledged as one of the finest collections of garden statuary in the country.
The hornbeams which form Jubilee Avenue were planted in 1977 to mark the Silver Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth. Visit in autumn for a scenic walk bursting with vibrant russet tones.
The creation of Pilgrims' Lawn was the last area of the garden designed by Lord Fairhaven – sadly he did not live to see it in all its glory. Strong yellow and purple colouring predominates, particularly in autumn.
The Riverside Walk
The trees of either side of Quy Water provide a rich burst of colour. On still days you get perfect reflections in the water.
The magnificent Temple is set against a colourful amphitheatre of beech, alder & sycamores.
Drifts of delicate pink cyclamen carpet the understorey as you walk through the trees from the Winter Garden to Lode Mill - a sight not to be missed.
Anglesey Abbey has 114 acres of landscaped gardens to explore, and a renowned sensory Winter Garden to discover. Stroll through the wider estate on the 3-mile circular walk which takes in woodland, striking tree-lined avenues and winding paths through the historic gardens. Your winter walk is completed with a visit to the Winter Garden, planted for its sensory qualities of scent, texture and bright colour throughout the colder months. Finishing in the iconic grove of ghostly silver birches, it’s not to be missed at this time of year.
The long and narrow Winter Garden was specially designed with plants that are at their best during winter, when colour is in short supply elsewhere. Its position takes full advantage of the low winter sun, which picks out the details of the unusual plants along the way. Plants such as Tilia Cordata 'Winter Orange' and Red-barked Dogwood dazzle with orange and red.
The snowdrop collection here at Anglesey Abbey hosts over 400 individual varieties of snowdrop, with some found right here in our gardens and as such, are named after people and places with links to Anglesey Abbey.
Snowdrops: The Specialist Collection Tours
These ‘sell-out’ tours can now be pre-booked to ensure you can see unusual varieties close up, and hear the intriguing stories and characters behind them from our dedicated gardens staff and volunteers. Mon-Fri, 23 Jan-10 Feb and 20 Feb-24 Feb. Normal admission applies. Pre-booking essential. Snowdrops are weather dependent, so should they not be at their best during your visit, you will be offered a seasonal garden tour instead, showcasing the winter highlights within the gardens. Book your tickets here.
Please note that these tours are free, but we would gratefully receive a £5 donation which will then go towards the care of the Gardens at Anglesey Abbey.
New for 2023, join one of our knowledgeable garden guides to find out more about the exciting collection of daffodils here at Anglesey Abbey.
With over 40 varieties to spot across the estate, uncover the subtle differences between them and a little bit about the history behind them. This tour will also take in other seasonal highlights along the way.
Dates: Daily at 1.30pm, 20-31 March and 17-21 April
Cost: free event (admission to Anglesey Abbey applies or free entry for National Trust members)
Booking: there's no need to book, ask a member of the Welcome Team to join a tour upon arrival
The Spring Garden
As the name would suggest, our Spring Garden comes into its own in the spring months and features daffodils and hyacinths. The flowers in the garden are complemented by the avenues of Amelanchier lamarckii, more commonly known as June berry, Aesculus x neglecta 'Erythroblastus', a horse chestnut tree with shrimp-pink spring foliage.
The Formal Garden
In the spring, Lord Fairhaven's choice fluctuated between tulips and hyacinths, blue and white in colour. Planted in uniform rows 'Blue Star' and 'Carnegie' offer a striking blue and white display during the months of April into May. Once these displays are over, they are then removed to make way for a second wave of colour during the late summer and early autumn.
Situated on what was once the site of dilapidated greenhouses and abandoned vegetable borders, the Rose Garden was one of Lord Fairhaven's first garden projects.
From early June through to October, it produces a vibrant display of 40 varieties of rose. Many of those can be found in our Plant Centre.
Located next to the Dahlia Border, the Herbaceous Border was designed and planted in the 1950s by Major Vernon Daniell, a friend of Lord Fairhaven.
It is based around a broad semi-circle with a central area of grass, and enclosed by beech hedging, creating a room-like feel.
Found to the west of Anglesey Abbey, the Wildflower Meadows cover approximately 25 acres and contain over 50 species of wildflower.
Throughout the summer, the meadows become a hive of activity populated by butterflies, small birds and numerous insects, including very important bees on the search for pollen and nectar.
Opened to the public in 2016, the Skylight Garden is located at the northern end of the East Lawn, and consists of an inner circle of 12 oak structures surrounded by hazel bushes; silver-leafed, pleached lime blocks, ornamental grasses and two triangle-shaped beds planted with lilac.
The garden was designed and created as part of a wider celebration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Lord Fairhaven's passing.
Discover the many layers that Anglesey Abbey has to offer. A Jacobean priory, once home to Lord Fairhaven.
Discover how the Lode Mill was rescued from being derelict for many years and restored by the new owner Lord Fairhaven.
Discover the many layers that Anglesey Abbey and Mill has to offer and explore the long and fascinating history that stretches from 12th-century priory to 20th-century home.
Every day important conservation work takes place throughout Anglesey Abbey, in the house, gardens and Lode Mill. Take a look at what this involves and why we need your support to look after this special place.
Discover what it takes to volunteer at Anglesey Abbey and the opportunities currently available.
Plan your next family adventure at Anglesey Abbey.
Find out how you can see Constable's largest ever canvas, alongside his other works, on display at Anglesey Abbey – and in a special online exhibition.