Things to see in the garden at Beningbrough
Explore over eight acres of formal gardens surrounded by parkland and mature trees. Relax among the flowers watching the wildlife at work or see what's growing in the two-acre walled garden.
This year round garden is planted with visitors in mind; something will always be at its best. Areas take on different styles and seasonally evolve. Explore ahead of a visit either season by season, or space by space.
The dedicated team of garden staff and volunteers can often be seen working away. Don't hesitate to ask what's they're working on and any advice they might have if you've got a question.
You might find surplus plants or glut of the harvest available to pick up and take home for your pocket of green.
During winter, the new Mediterranean Garden will be created, due to open by summer 2024. Through the construction phase, the area will be fenced off, and several other paths are likely to be closed on your visit to enable the work to safely take place. The team on the day can explain the current recommended route around the garden.
Thank you for your patience as we develop the next phase of Andy Sturgeon's garden vision for visitors to enjoy for years to come.
A garden for all seasons
Each area tends to be at its best at a different time of year and seeing the seasons change is a reason to return time after time.
As the days slowly extend into spring, blossom opens, and pollinators get busy, it’s a good time to see them buzzing around the delicate petals. Different types of blossom appear over the season, generally starting in March with the peach in the glasshouse. Then in succession look out for cherries, pears and apples, with crab apples often being the last to blossom. In the orchard keep your eyes peeled for medlars, quince and almonds giving their spring time show. Join in with the buzz and share your photographs using #BlossomWatch.
Don't miss as you meander
The formal gardens
Sitting next to the Victorian conservatory, is the hot west formal and the perfect place to bed out the boldest and brightest colours twice a year, as was the fashion of the time. In contrast the east formal is a cool, scented space to watch the fish or sit for a while in the loggia surrounded by scent. The south lawn offers views to the parkland beyond and is framed on all sides by mature trees. With south facing seating, it's not hard to find a place to perch if you want a pause when you wander.
The winter corner
Beyond the hall, close to the wilderness play area is an area that comes to life as others sleep. Filled with mahonia, silver birch, viburnums, calicarpa and bare naked ladies - expect colour from bark, leaves, berries and shoots from autumn to spring. In spring you won't miss the scent from the sarcococca - known as sweet winter box, drawing you in to explore a little further.
The walled garden
A stroll around Beningbrough's walled garden will take you through the historic pear arch and under Beningbrough's own two varieties of grapevine in the remaining glasshouse. The number of fruit trees are in the hundreds and it keeps the team of volunteers busy all year round to optimise their growths for production. Alongside the fruit, a wide range of vegetables are cultivated using traditional methods in two acres of kitchen garden, first enclosed when the walls were built in 1792. Harvested produce is used in the restaurant adding to the flavours on the menu with surplus offered for donation through the outdoor shop.
A bird's eye view
See the gardens from the sky on this short fly over.
What if it rains?
If there's one thing we can rely on, it's the Great British weather...and not just in winter. The garden has pockets of places to take shelter from a quick shower, alternatively, even if not part of your original plan, head into the hall, restaurant or shop if the rain is more prolongued.
- Borrow a brolly - ask the welcome team if you forgot to bring your own or buy a new one from the shop
- Take a seat under the south facing loggia in the East Formal Garden
- See what's growing in the glasshouse...the grapes have pips, just in case you're tempted!
- Mooch around the potting shed, try to figure out what some of the tools were for
- Imagine life as a laundry maid or reminisce about a time before machines did most of the washing
- Pick a new book from the secondhand book shelves in the library
When one of the garden team found out about the tree register, which keeps the records of 'champion trees' - the tallest or widest of each species, they felt sure that there would be some Yorkshire champions at Beningbrough...
County champion for height. There are a pair of these in the corner of the wilderness play area, and it's hard to tell which is the champion.
Nationally significant - the Yorkshire champion variegated English oak for girth and height. This tree was planted in 1898 by the then Duke of Cambridge, the 79-year-old grandson of George III.
This tree, planted in 1980, sits at the end of the carriageway dwarfed by the beech trees, however it's the county champion for girth.
The garden vision
The gardens at Beningbrough are no stranger to change, having been treated to redevelopment by its various masters and their differing tastes and the fashions of the time. The internationally acclaimed garden designer Andy Sturgeon has created a design that will be slowly introduced to enhance aspects of the landscape at Beningbrough.
Little detail is known about the specifics of the gardens of the past. Consequently, unlike many other National Trust properties the gardens cannot be tied to a certain era or design, allowing Andy and his team a certain amount of creative freedom to develop areas of the garden that some visitors may be less familiar with.
Beningbrough is a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) partner garden. RHS members can visit for free any day the garden is open. Free entrance is for members only and you will need your RHS membership card on the day.
Find out how award-winning landscape and garden designer Andy Sturgeon was appointed by the National Trust to help revitalise the garden at Beningbrough, the work that has already happened, as well as what is planned for the future.
Explore what to expect visiting the historic rooms on the ground floor, from feats of engineering, striking architecture and symbolic pieces of the collection marking moments in time. Find out more about the recent work on the hall and what's on in the Reddihough Galleries.
Discover what art exhibitions are on or coming up in The Reddihough Galleries on the first floor of Beningbrough Hall. See Inspired by Italy until 17 March (on open days). Explore the rooms and what to expect when you next visit.
Uncover the history of this enigmatic house, including its early beginnings, a close call with Charles II, romantic love stories and its wartime connections.
Bring your dog to Beningbrough and you'll both have a great day out on one of Yorkshire's finest estates. Here are some ideas to help you get the most out of your visit. Beningbrough is a three pawprint rated place.
The 380 acres of parkland at Beningbrough offer the chance to stretch your legs and reconnect with nature, as well as being home to wildlife including birds, rare bats and the iridescent tansy beetle. Park for free in the visitor car park before heading out on one of the routes.