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Exploring the garden and estate at Speke Hall

Visitors in the garden at Speke Hall, Liverpool.
Visitors in the garden at Speke Hall, Liverpool. | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

The garden at Speke Hall is filled with colour and history, and there are plenty of spots to relax and feel close to nature on the estate. There's always something new to discover as you explore one of the best places to go for a walk in Merseyside and the North West.

Plan ahead for bluebells

Every spring, thousands of bluebells transform Speke Hall's ancient woodland into a blue paradise and it's always a must-see sight. It's one of the best places in Merseyside and the North West to see bluebells.

They usually appear from early April to mid-May. If you're planning your visit specially to see them, the best thing to do is to check our social media or give us a call for details.

Spring highlights in the garden

The North Lawn

The North Lawn is the ideal spot for striking views of the front of the hall, especially on sunny mornings. Spring is the perfect time to witness the glorious rhododendrons that border the North Lawn burst into their distinctive purple, pink and yellow colours and make sure to look out for two large cherry tress which come into glorious blossom during spring. Explore the paths around the old moat, surrounded by evergreen topiary that has been shaped to perfection by the garden team.

The South Lawn

Spring brings new colour to the South Lawn, take the time to enjoy the camellias and begonias as they bloom and bring their chracteristic colour to the borders. In the corner of the South Lawn, new roses will be appearing in the Rose Garden and flowering as these traditional flowers would have around the Hall in Tudor times. Elsewhere, Walk in the footsteps of Speke Hall's 19th-century residents as you stroll around the South Lawn, taking advantage of the new path through the trees and enjoy the tall topiary which lines the paths and the giant monkey puzzle trees which tower over the manicured lawns.

The Kitchen Garden

Step into the Kitchen Garden to see an impressive space that has been transformed over the past decade. Speke Hall's gardeners and the team of hard-working volunteers who look after the Kitchen Garden will be sowing all kinds of vegetables including peas, broadbeans, and potatoes, many of which will be used in the delicious dishes created by our Food & Beverage team at the Home Farm Restaurant. Make sure to come back in summer to see it at its best and pick up some produce to take home.

The Secret Garden

This hidden oasis in the north-west corner of Speke Hall's grounds is a magical place, especially in spring, when the plants and wildlife awaken as the weather warms. It is accessible via an enticing narrow tunnel at one end and a winding path at the other and provides. The gentle stream running through it makes the Secret Garden a haven for some of Speke's wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for birds and frogs in particular.

One of the highlights here is a rare Wollemi pine or 'dinosaur tree'. Previously thought to be extinct, this species was in the news in late 2019 when the small area where the tree originates in Australia was threatened by devastating bushfires.

The Secret Garden was restored in 2017 thanks to generous donations from the Alan Evans Memorial Trust, Crosby National Trust Association, Oldham and District National Trust Association and the Chester and District National Trust Association.

The Clough woodland

For a relaxing woodland walk, go to the corner of the South Lawn to enter the Clough. Look out for Speke's bustling birdlife as you go around and notice the Bund towering over you, sheltering you from the sea breeze coming in off the Mersey and helping to create the micro-climate that makes Speke's gardens so special. As spring develops, so grows the carpet of vibrant bluebells through the woodland. A new pathway has been put in place this year, allowing direct access through this spectacle of natural beauty.

The Bund

Head towards the river from Home Farm and you'll find the Bund path, which you can climb up to enjoy a bird's-eye view of the River Mersey and Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Take a seat on one of the benches to enjoy a picnic, watch the wide variety of birds coming and going, and spot planes flying over your head.

A view over the pond at Speke Hall, Liverpool, with yellow flowers in front of it.
The pond at Speke Hall, Liverpool | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Explore the wider estate

Stockton's Wood

Venture into Stockton's Wood to discover a semi-ancient woodland filled with wildlife and secrets. Did you know this woodland was used by the American military during World War II to hide aircraft from German spy planes? You can enter the woodland from the car park and along the main drive.

Meadows

Stride out onto acres of hay meadows, accessible from the main drive. The meadows are carefully managed by the rangers and are important habitats that support a wide variety of birds, insects and mammals.

The Speke and Garston Coastal Reserve

For more adventurous types, the Coastal Reserve path takes you onto the Speke Garston Coastal Reserve, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest filled with wildlife and aviation history. Walk along the old airport runway or go down to the shoreline of the Mersey and watch the varied birdlife.

Thank you

Your support helps Speke Hall's garden to grow. Every time you visit and every penny you spend while you're here gives Speke Hall’s staff and volunteers the support they need to care for this special place.

A visitor is standing in front of Speke Hall, Liverpool, holding her phone up and smiling as she takes a selfie with the building in the background.

Discover more at Speke Hall

Find out when Speke Hall is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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