With winter almost behind us, Yorkshire’s gardens are springing into life and will soon be bursting with colour.
If you’d like to be inspired by the region’s dedicated gardeners, then why not pay a visit to one of the The National Gardens Scheme gardens, which open to the public to raise money for charity. Huddersfield has four private gardens listed that will be open on selected dates from April to September. Visit ngs.org.uk for details and listings of other Yorkshire garden opening dates.
Further afield, there are also several large-scale gardens, open to the public all year round, that offer a great day out and the opportunity to stroll in the fresh air.
We’ve picked out six of the best for a spring outing.
Low Westwood Garden, Golcar , Huddersfield HD7 4ER: This sloping garden, once part of the Savile Estate, leads down to the Huddersfield Canal and has been lovingly created over a 10-year period by social worker Craig Limbert. It has mature 150-year-old trees, a spring-fed pond, large vegetable plot, a profusion of rhododendrons and flowering shrubs and plants that thrive in the Pennine garden. Visitors who want to know what will grow in their Northern plots can get all the information they need from Craig. The garden joined the NGS scheme last year and will be open this year on Saturday, April 22, from 10.30am until 1.30am, resplendent with daffodils and other spring bulbs. It can be found opposite the Titanic Spa, over the canal bridge. Visitors should park on the road before the bridge. Admission is £3.
Scape Lodge, 11 Grand Stand, Scapegoat Hill , Huddersfield HD7 4NQ: New to the NGS, this contemporary country garden shows what can be grown at 1,000ft above sea level. It has a steeply sloping site with far-reaching views over the Colne Valley, gravel paths, mixed borders and naturalistic planting for year-round colour. It is owned by Dr and Mrs David Smith, who plan to make a donation to the Mayor of Kirklees’ Charity from proceeds. Opening this spring on Sunday, May 21, from 1pm until 5.30pm. Admission is £3 and home-made afternoon tea will be on offer.
Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate HG3 1UE: By the end of the month there will be a host of golden daffodils in the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Harlow Carr. Wait until late April and early May and it’s ablaze with tulips. Enjoy the grounds on Tuesday, March 21, entirely free. Otherwise, it’s £11 for adults and £5.50 for children. There’s a pond, woodland area, formal gardens and an Alpine greenhouse as well as Betty’s tearooms and snack bar. Harlow Carr runs a series of special events throughout the year and is open from 9.30am until 6pm. Visit during the week if you can as this is an incredibly popular venue for all ages at weekends. For details visit rhs.org.uk
York Gate Garden, Adel, Leeds, LS16 8DW: Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, this charming garden near Headingley Golf Club has 14 distinct ‘outdoor rooms’, each with its own character. Originally owned by the Spencer family it is now run by the horticultural charity Perennial. It has a tea room and gift shop and hosts a series of workshops and events. Entry is £5 for adults and free for young people under 16. Open from April 9 until September 28,
Sunday to Thursday (and Bank Holiday Mondays) from 12.30 – 4.30pm. Visit perennial.org.uk for more details.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY: This magical parkland with ancient Cistercian abbey, Georgian water gardens and deer park, makes a wonderful day out. By May the deer herds will be swelled by large numbers of ‘Bambis’. In March the attraction offers a free Spring Explorer Map to help visitors to the National Trust property enjoy the new season. Entry is £13.60 for adults and £6.80 for children. The park is open from 10am until 4pm every day. For details visit nationaltrust.org.uk
Yorkshire Sculpture Park , West Bretton, WF4 4JX: The award-winning sculpture park’s green acres house more than 100 sculptures by everyone from Henry Moore to Anthony Gormley, all nestling in what was the grounds of a stately home. There’s an orangery as well as 500 acres of parkland to explore. Entry is free although there are charges for parking. The visitor centre has a lovely cafe with stunning views over the park. Open every day from 10am until 5pm. For events and workshops visit wyp.co.uk