Gardens to Visit in Northumberland

The long, cold and wet northern winters provide a challenge to gardeners in this area but in spite of these conditions the county has a number of visionary gardens that make good use of the landscape and features. The county boasts several historic Grade 1 gardens, including an important collection of conifers at Cragside and the award winning gardens at Alnwick, one of Northumberland's major tourist attractions.

The Alnwick Garden

Grand Cascade © Richard West (CC2)

This historic parkland contains a contemporary garden with topiary and hedging that includes yew 'clouds', shaped beech and hornbeam tunnels. Highlights include The Poison Garden, Bamboo Maze and the Serpent Garden, where a topiary holly serpent snakes its way through the plantings. Not to be missed are the Grand Cascade and one of the largest tree houses in the world.

Facilities: parking, cafe
Open: all year (closed Xmas)
Address: Denwick lane, Alnwick NE66 1YU
Tel: 01665 511350
Web: alnwickgarden.com

Belsay Hall

© David Dixon (CC2)

Neo-classical hall surrounded by exquisite Grade 1 listed gardens. Highlights include a dramatic quarry garden packed with exotic plants and ferns, formal terraces and a winter garden. Creative plantings provide for all year interest and colour, so its worth making repeated visits. The ruins of a medieval castle can also be found in the grounds.

Facilities: parking, cafe, picnic area
Open: all year (closed Xmas)
Address: Belsay, Northumberland NE47 ODX
Tel: 01661 881636 - Run by English Heritage
Web: english-heritage.org.uk

Bide-a-Wee Cottage

© Oliver Dixon (CC2)

Wildflower garden created in a disused sandstone quarry, that makes good use of the natural setting to display a diverse range of plants. The varied topography, soil and micro-climates have been used to grow everything from marsh loving to drought tolerant species. Many of the specimens are clearly labeled. Holds the National Plant Collection of Centaurea.

Facilities: parking, shop, plant sales
Open: April to August
Address: Netherwitton, Morpeth NE65 8PR
Tel: 01670 772262
Web: bideawee.co.uk

Cragside

© National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Cragside is effectively two gardens. The first covers the formal Italianate gardens with its colourful bedding, rock gardens, ferneries and a fruit house. The second is the extensive parkland with its impressive rhododendron woods, hosting a large collection of champion conifers.

Facilities: parking, shop, cafe, plant sales
Open: April to December
Address: Rothbury, Morpeth NE65 7PX
Tel: 01669 620333 - Run by National Trust
Web: nationaltrust.org.uk

Dilston Physic Garden

Medicinal Garden © Oliver Dixon (CC2)

Take a tranquil walk through a haven of herbs, shrubs and trees planted for both health and medicinal uses. Each plant is carefully labeled indicating is type and usage. There is also a fragrant sensory garden and a chamomile lawn. On-site Physic shop and dispensary.

Facilities: parking, shop
Open: all year (not open if temp below 0°)
Address: Dilston, Northumberland NE45 5QZ
Tel: 07879 533875
Web: dilstonphysicgarden.com

Wallington Gardens

Dragon Head Statues (by Nick CC0)

Fine 18th-c mansion set in 65 acres of lawns and terraces, with lovely views. The garden covers several hectares of parkland with woods and lakes. The historic walled garden is packed with informal plantings, plus a large conservatory of exotic and tender plants.

Facilities: parking, shop, cafe, plant sales
Open: all year (closed Xmas)
Address: Cambo, Morpeth NE61 4AR
Tel: 01670 773600
Web: nationaltrust.org.uk


Gardens by Area