Explore the gardens at Quarry Bank
Discover some of the best views of Quarry Bank. Paths twist and turn through the valley, passing caves, cliffs and garden bridges. Stroll along the river, step inside the glasshouse, or see what's growing in the walled garden.
The gardens in autumn
The gardens are beginning the transformation from summer blooms to rich autumn colour. Leaves are starting to fall and the squirrels are busy filling their stores.
Autumn’s a great time to wrap up warm and explore everything nature has to offer. The trees turn red, gold and orange, colourful fungi grows in the most curious of places and you can spot animals such as squirrels and birds getting ready for the winter.
Look out for these autumn highlights
- For vibrant pops of autumn colour look for the young Judas tree next to Quarry Bank House, the Nyssa sylvatica and Acer near Fernybrow. On the tennis lawn you will see the bronze orange leaves of the Amalanchier and glossy leaves of the Persian ironwood as it's leaves transform from purple to brilliant red with deep crimson flowers.
The apple trees in the Apprentice House Orchard and Walled Garden will be laden with fruit and laden with fruit and ripe for picking. For a donation you can take a bushel of apples home with you, ideal for an apple crumble.
In the walled garden you will find Daliah's, hesperantha, Cyclamen coums and the vivid red stems of Cornus otherwise known as Dogwood.
Alongside the river walk in the lower gardens the Parterre with lilac and purple shades of Oenothera, Verbena and Achillea.
The industrial picturesque movement
The valley garden at Quarry Bank is a rare example of the industrial picturesque movement, where elements of nature such as the caves and cliffs feature alongside the industrial mill backdrop to create a sense of drama.
Wander through the mill meadow, cross over the garden bridges and follow the bubbling River Bollin as it flows past the Ornamental Ladies Garden created by mill owner Robert Hyde Greg in the 1860s.
Upper garden and glasshouse
Take in the elevated views over the valley and discover Hannah Greg’s favourite spot to sit and enjoy the garden. Head to the Walled Garden to see what grows here, and step inside the historic curvilinear glasshouse where exotic plants and fruits were grown. And in the back sheds, you can can uncover the stories of Quarry Bank's gardeners from the 19th century.
Apprentice House garden
See where apprentices grew herbs, fruit and vegetables for their meals, after long days working inside the mill. The Apprentice House garden, orchard and pond are a haven for wildlife, where you can often spot birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians.
The garden shop
Whatever your gardening plans, there’s something to help you get the job done. From tools to seeds, plants to pots and even books stuffed full of tips, find inspiration and gift ideas in the Garden Shop, nestled next to the walled garden at Quarry Bank.
Family activities in the gardens
There are lots of self-led trails around the gardens to enjoy with your family. Whilst you explore jump in puddles and play a game of poohsticks from the lower garden bridges.
Looking for some refreshment? Choose from three venues at Quarry Bank, which include a riverside restaurant and a garden café. Each of them offers a range of hot and cold meals, snacks, cakes and bakes.
Pull on your walking boots and stride out on a walk through the 400-acre estate. Follow the river through woodland to discover a historic landscape bursting with wildlife.
Step inside the mill which led the way into the Industrial Revolution and experience the machines in action. Visit the homes of mill owner and worker to see what life here was like.
Discover unique fabrics woven inside the mill and locally made products, as well as National Trust homewares, gifts, garden essentials and more in our shops.
From the glorious garden at Dunham Massey to the industrial garden landscape at Quarry Bank, this corner of the North West is full of colour and has an abundance of horticultural delights for garden-lovers to enjoy, even in winter.
Explore all the different areas of the garden at Lyme. From the herbaceous border to golden Japanese maple trees, there's lots of autumn colour to find at the second highest garden in the National Trust.
Stroll past historical landmarks and breathe in seasonal scents with a visit to Dunham Massey's ever-evolving and extensive gardens. Crunch through leaves on a woodland walk and watch as the gardens unveil their vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow this autumn.
From peaceful strolls through colourful borders, to adventures in the woodland and spotting wildlife in the secret garden, there's plenty of seasonal joy to find at Speke Hall.