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Ryedale is home to some of the country's most glorious gardens all set within easy reach of one another in beautiful North Yorkshire, one of Britain's largest counties, and offers one of the most diverse landscapes in England. Relax and enjoy the bright colours, lovely perfumes, beautiful views and vistas as well as home-grown fruit and vegetables. Each garden offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors - whether you wish to be dazzled by the impressive gardens of a stately home, dotted with statues, lakes, fountains and temples or prefer to enjoy the tranquility of a walled garden, from the magnificent and majestic through to the ornate and tranquil there is something to satisfy every taste.
Carefully designed classical vistas, wild meadow orchards, Victorian glasshouses and contemporary garden rooms are just some of the garden gems to be found in Ryedale. Rievaulx Terrace and Temples
Castle Howard is a magnificent 18th century house situated in breathtaking parkland, dotted with temples, lakes statues and fountains. There are also formal gardens, a woodland garden and an ornamental vegetable garden. Seasonal displays include daffodils, rhododendrons, magnolias, azaleas, roses and delphiniums.
Formal terraces with graceful statues, wide open spaces, lakeside paths and richly planted rose gardens provide the visitor with endless opportunities for gentle walks amongst a riot of colour. Produce form the Ornamental Vegetable Garden can be bought in the Farm Shop and plants, trees and shrubs can be bought from the Plant Centre. The Courtyard Restaurant offers and excellent menu based on local produce.
This early 18th century 35 acre garden has been described as "the supreme masterpiece of the art of the landscape gardener". Explore at leisure the great lawn and level terraces, temples, yew tree walk, woodland walks and the scented ‘secret garden' around the old conservatory. The colourful parterres to the north and south of the house were added in the middle of the 19th century and along with the conservatory are the only additions to have been made since the 18th century.
Helmsley Walled Garden
Beautiful eighteenth century Helmsley Walled Garden was originally built to supply the Duncombe estate with fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Set against the backdrop of Helmsley Castle, this 5 acre site is home to 120 different varieties of Clematis and the Northern Fruits apple collection. The walls have been refurnished with fruit trees and the garden's centre piece, the Orchid House, has been restored. Vines wind their way along arches in the restored Victorian Vinery, the setting for the Vinehouse Cafe. The cafe uses produce from the garden and has a tasty, mainly organic, vegetarian menu. An extensive range of plants can be bought. Under the magical ruins and ramparts of Helmsley Castle, this is a romantic oasis to sit and picnic or just watch the world go by.
Jacksons' Wold Garden
A three acre garden on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds with stunning views across the Vale of Pickering, Jacksons' Wold Garden is a favourite of Alan Titchmarsh. Richard and Sarah Cundall have converted a former paddock on their farm high on the Wolds, one mile from Sherburn, into three acres of formal gardens, a wildflower meadow and woodland.
This charming Elizabethan manor house stands on the banks of the River Rye and is managed by the National Trust. The walled gardens still have traces of the 17th century formal layout. Many old varieties of fruit trees grow in the orchards, including pears and apples found only in Ryedale. The gardens are managed organically.
Rievaulx Terrace & Temples
Constructed in the 1750's, the two temples overlooking Rievaulx Abbey were developed as a family pleasure and picnic site. As in the past, today's visitors are greeted with changing views as they progress along the sweeping grassy terrace.
Scampston Walled Garden
Relax in this award winning 4½ acre contemporary garden with its striking perennial meadow planting, traditional spring/autumn borders and spectacular autumn grasses. This stunning contemporary garden was created by the internationally renowned designer Piet Oudolf in 2004 and described in The Good Gardens Guide ‘an historic garden of the future'. The sculptural hedges and avenue of lime trees divide the garden into different rooms and walkways. Wild and colourful perennial planting provides a central focus and the overall design layout of the garden can be viewed from a high grass pyramid. The Garden Restaurant serves refreshments throughout the day and a wide range of plants are available in the specialist plant sales area. The gardens, 19th century rock garden and woodland walk, set within magnificent ‘Capability' Brown parkland surrounding Scampston Hall are also available for you to explore.
The Yorkshire Arboretum
This 'Garden of Trees', offers relaxing walks through a beautiful landscape with stunning views. Dogs are welcome in the Arboretum. Managed by Castle Howard Arboretum Trust, the collection includes Rhododendrons, Hybrids, shrubs and trees from around the World.
Wolds Way Lavender
Wolds Way Lavender is a Lavender and Herb farm situated just off the Yorkshire Wolds Way at Deer Park, Wintringham and provides an opportunity to have a relaxing day out. Here, people can walk around and enjoy the vast variety of plants that grow on the site. There are over 100 different types of lavender on display. Added to this is a gift shop and welcome tea rooms, with lavender scones of course being a speciality. Harvested lavender is distilled to produce oil which, along with plants and gifts, can be bought in the cafe.
Near Terrington has a huge selection of lavenders, a Sensory Garden, and Dry Garden planted with Mediterranean and native dry-loving plants. Plants and gifts are available in the shop. In EJ's Team Room Lavender scones and Lavender ice-cream, are included on the menu.
Farndale is internationally famed for its show of wild daffodils which normally bloom around Easter. It is believed the daffodils were first brought to Farndale by medieval monks from Rievaulx. The Daffodil walk runs along side the River Dove, for about 1½ miles between Low mill, where the North York Moors National Park has an information caravan during the flowering season, and High Mill a few hundred yards short of Church Houses.
The Bridestones are curiously shaped ancient sandstone stacks rising above heather moorland situated in the peaceful and beautiful Bridestones Moor nature reserve and SSSI. The Bridestones Nature Trail is approximately 1ml long and leads visitors through a range of habitats such as typical moorland with three species of heather, ancient woodland estimated to date from the end of the last Ice Age, and herb-rich meadows.
Dalby Forest is both a working woodland and great place for recreation and wildlife. There are a number of waymarked walks through beautiful landscapes varying in length and ability and horse riding and cycling trails. Information can be obtained from the new eco-friendly Dalby Forest Visitor Centre.
The historic market towns and traditional Yorkshire villages that surround our gardens provide the visitor with high quality accommodation, places to eat, and great shopping. Of course they all offer a great Yorkshire welcome too!
View a map of these locations
Itinerary 1: Visiting both the Walled Gardens of Helmsley and Scampston would provide a wonderful break that contrasts the traditional with the contemporary. Approximately 45 minutes drive from each other, they can also be reached by public transport from Malton. For a longer break, why not spend a day at Helmsley and include a visit to the larger and inspiring parkland and gardens of Duncombe Park staying overnight in Helmsley or Malton before exploring not only the walled garden at Scampston but strolling peacefully in the traditional gardens around the house and in the park, designed by Capability Brown, with its magnificent views.
Itinerary 2: Get things into perspective and feel inspired by combining woodland walks at Dalby Forest with spectacular views across the moors at Bridestones Moor and maybe finishing the day with a spot of stargazing courtesy of one of Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society public viewing nights at the astronomical observatories outside Dalby Forest Visitor Centre. They run (throughout the year on the first Friday of every month from 8pm, excluding June, July and August).
Itinerary 3: For a restful ‘escape from it all' combining gentle walking with superb views, why not stay in the picturesque village of Hutton le Hole where you can drive to Church Houses in Farndale to walk along the River Dove and see the daffodils possibly stopping for a light snack at the Daffy Caffy or some fine home cooked food at the Feversham Arms at Farndale. You could make the short journey two miles to The Lion Inn on remote Blakey Ridge located at the highest point of the North York Moors National Park offering breathtaking views over the valleys of Rosedale and Farndale. Accommodation and a good selection of ales and meals available is available at Severnford House.