Skip to content

Visiting the garden at Lacock Abbey

A close up of pink and white apple blossom on a tree in the orchard at Lacock Abbey. The sun is shining and a grassy path dotted with yellow flowers leads off into the woodland in the distance.
Blossom in the Orchard at Lacock Abbey | © National Trust/Alana Wright

There have been gardens at Lacock Abbey for nearly 900 years. Each new owner has refashioned the grounds, from the herb and vegetable gardens that supplied medieval nuns to the pleasure grounds of a fashionable 18th-century gentleman. Now the grounds are a place for you to relax and be immersed in the scents, sounds and colours of nature.

Botanic Garden

The nuns of Lacock Abbey would have grown herbs for medicinal as well as culinary purposes. Centuries later, William Henry Fox Talbot built the greenhouses in the Botanic Garden. During autumn the swamp cyprus, or taxodium, planted by Talbot turns a beautiful red-brown colour before dropping its leaves.


Share in the joy of Blossom from April - May as the flowering trees come into bloom. Apple, pear, hawthorn and cherry bring pastel hues and the buzzing of bees to a walk around the gardens. From 15 April - 12 May you can collect a blossom ID sheet from Visitor Reception to find out more. In the Orchard find apple and pear coming into full bloom in April, learn more about the relationship between the blossom and the bee from 15 April - 12 May.

A view looking down Lacock's greenhouse in summer, there are vines growing along the ceiling and sunlight shining through the glass panes.
Fox Talbot's greenhouse in summer | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Woodland Garden

The romantic Woodland Garden is at its best in the spring before the leaf canopy of the trees blocks out the light to spring bulbs and flowers. You’ll find snowdrops, aconites, anemones, daffodils, snakeshead fritillaries and one of the best displays of Crocus vernus in the country. Autumn colour is dotted around with bright yellows from the gingko and wingnut, and shiny copper leaves of the sweet chestnut.

The Orchard

This peaceful spot with its mix of old and new apple trees is a haven for wild flowers in the spring. Choose your spot for a picnic, lie back and listen to the bees.

The Rose Garden

Lady Elizabeth’s Rose Garden is planted with varieties she would have known, such as the ramblers 'Alberic Barbier' and 'François Juranville', and shrub roses 'Alba Maxima', 'Maiden's Blush', 'Penelope' and 'Jacques Cartier'.

The Rockworks at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire on a sunny spring day
The grounds at Lacock Abbey | © National Trust Images / James Dobson

The Rockworks

Where the Woodland Walk meets the Bide Brook you’ll find the Rockworks, an 18th-century conceit. The structure was built to look like the ruin of a Roman or Greek building, faced with limestone intended to look like volcanic tufa.

Abbey borders

The hot south-facing walls of the Abbey are the perfect home for plants from Mediterranean climates, many of which have aromatic foliage, such as lavender, santolina, artemisia, rosemary, thyme, southernwood, Russian sage and myrtle.

When the cloister is open for the season, walk through to the damp north-facing wall where you will find a collection of ferns with their fine foliage.

The Parkland

Stroll through the mown paths of the Parkland, which in the 18th century was part of a fantastic water garden with wide paths and views to and from the Abbey. Only the pond remains. Today the Parkland celebrates Fox Talbot's interest in astronomy with paths and clearings cut to resemble the solar system. In spring make your way through yellow sea of buttercups, giving way to the long grasses of summer, and find the sun sculpture in the centre.

What's that plant?

If you spot a plant during your visit that you don't recognise, our garden team are happy to help. Why not send us an email at

Be sure to describe where you saw it, what it looked like and include a photo if you can and we will let you know what it is.

Row of cottages in the village at Lacock, Wiltshire

Discover more at Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum

Find out when Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum are open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

A visitor takes a photo of a half-timbered house in Lacock village, Wiltshire on a summer day

Exploring the village at Lacock 

Explore the historic streets of Lacock, a quintessential English village with timber-framed cottages and local shops. With its central grid of four streets, Lacock today looks much as it did 200 years ago.

A small dog on a lead on the grass

Visiting Lacock Abbey with your dog 

Lacock Abbey is a two pawprint rated place. Discover where you can go with your dog, what facilities are available for them and how to get the most from your visit.

A family explore the parkland at Lacock, two adults look on as two children play at the base of an old tree, a willow sculpture representing the sun in its branches.

Family-friendly things to do at Lacock 

Spring blooms, activity trails, medieval architecture and photographic discovery: have a fun-filled adventure at Lacock Abbey. Watch the gardens come to life, explore the nature and wildlife of the season and share the joy of blossom. Explore the abbey rooms and discover the window with a unique link to the invention of photography, find out more in the Fox Talbot Museum and feel inspired by the latest exhibition.

Close-up of a girl holding a sandwich close to her mouth

Eating and shopping at Lacock Abbey 

The Stables café is ready to welcome you for refreshments, while the High Street Shop stocks a wide range of gifts and souvenirs.

A visitor explores displays at the Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

Discover the history of photography at the Fox Talbot Museum 

Learn about the history of photography at the Fox Talbot Museum, with a collection spanning photographic developments up to the present day.

Evening visitors take their dogs into the Laburnum Arch at Bodnant Garden, North Wales

Gardens and parks 

From 18th-century water gardens and Arts and Crafts landscapes to intimate woodland gardens, there are so many places to discover.

Gardener working in the walled garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Gardening tips 

Discover our gardeners’ top tips so you can make the most of your garden, plot or window box.

View of the lake with Palladian bridge and Pantheon in the distance in spring at Stourhead, Wiltshire

Gardens and parks in Wiltshire 

There's plenty of inspiration to be found in gardens and parks near you. Get outdoors and explore a few favourite Wiltshire gardens with all the family.