Parks & gardens

… open to the public

Enjoy the beautiful parks and gardens on your doorstep

Boughton House

Boughton House has extensive remains of formal gardens dating from the late-17th and early-18th centuries. The gardens surround a country house rebuilt at the same time, set in a park developed from a late-medieval deer park. Beyond the park are avenues and rides, also part of the landscape of the late-17th and early-18th centuries.

The current Duke of Buccleugh was passionate about adding a 21st century “edge”. He commissioned Kim Wilkie to design a striking new landform, Orpheus which is named after the famed musician of Greek mythology who, when his wife Eurydice died, went down into the underworld to try and reclaim her. Orpheus takes the form of an inverted pyramid, sunk into the earth and open to the elements, reflecting the mound on the opposite side of the lake. It seems to invite you to descend into its depths and enjoy the tranquility.

To find out more, including opening times, visit Boughton House website >

The Orpheus Project

Canons Ashby – (National Trust)

The parkland at Canons Ashby is a wonderful place for a stroll. The formal gardens are an excellent example of early-18th century garden design with well-maintained topiary and a fruit and vegetable garden.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the National Trust website >

Topiary at Canons Ashby

Castle Ashby Gardens

Castle Ashby has a wealth of gardens: an Orangery, designed by architect Matthew Digby Wyatt dating back to 1872; a butterfly garden where the plants have been specifically chosen to attract butterflies, bees and other insects.

A Maltese Cross which is best seen during early June when the silver, blue and white plants are in full bloom. Behind the Maltese Cross is the Rainbow Border. Planted in blocks of colour ranging from whites, yellows, reds, pinks and blues; and the Arboretum and Nature Trail dating back to the 1860s.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Castle Ashby Gardens website >

The Maltese Cross

Chichele College Gardens

This newly created medieval style garden was a community project funded by a National Lottery Community Spaces grant and the generosity of the local community of Higham Ferrers.

Volunteers cleared the designated areas in late October 2011, in readiness for planting the roses, lilies, lavenders and other plants and trees, of the medieval period. Children from nursery, infant and senior schools were also involved, planting bulbs and trees in the autumn.

The Cloister Garth has four square grassed areas divided by paths, with a gothic urn as a centrepiece. A medieval-style trellis and archway divides the site and leads into the larger grassed area. This recreational area is now used for a range of events to suit all age groups and the community is fully involved in the planting and maintenance of the garden.

The garden is never closed – you can visit at any time –and entry is free to all events.

For more information about the history of the garden and events, visit the Chichele College Garden website >

The perfect spot to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of the garden

Cotterstock Quiet Garden

The garden is set out in what was part of the Gardens of Cotterstock Hall.

It is not a show garden or a place of great horticultural skill; rather it is a place where people of any, or no faith, may come to be quiet and peaceful and reflect as they wish.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Cotterstock Quiet Garden website >

Cotterstock Quiet Garden

Cottesbrooke Hall and Gardens

The formal and wild gardens surrounding and adjacent to the house have been mainly developed during the 20th Century and these developments continue today. Many distinguished landscape designers have been involved – Robert Weir Schultz, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe and Dame Sylvia Crowe to name but a few.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Cottesbrooke Hall and Gardens website >

Cottesbrooke gardens

Coton Manor Garden

Originally laid out in the 1920s by the grandparents of the present owner, the garden has been developed and extended by successive generations capitalising on its natural setting, attractive views and abundant water. The 17th Century manor house acts as a central focus for the garden, its walls supporting many roses and shrubs, while the surrounding terraces are populated by numerous colourful pots and containers.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Coton Manor Garden website >

Wisteria adorns the walls of the manor, complemented by alliums in the border

Deene Park

The gardens at Deene Park like the house, have undergone many changes over the centuries, but have never looked better than they do today.

The formal gardens on the south side of this beautiful historic house give way to a vista of parkland and lakes linked by a canal; at its narrowest junction the canal is spanned by a fine stone bridge reminiscent of pictures in fairy tale books.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Deene Park website >

Delapre Abbey Gardens

The Abbey is set within the remains of the formal and semi-formal gardens which were once the pride and joy of the Tate and Bouverie families.

There’s a large walled garden, superb specimen trees in the understated arboretum, the hidden remains of a splendid water garden and the south lawn which stretches out to the ha-ha which separates the lawn from the 500 acres of the wider parkland and the golf course beyond. There’s so much to see from the colourful flowers to the ancient trees and mature shrubs.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Delapre Abbey website >

Walled garden

Evenley Wood Garden

Set amongst the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside, this 60-acre privately owned woodland garden contains a large and notable collection of plants; ranging from unusual trees and shrubs to a wide selection of lilies and other bulbs.

The garden’s unusual band of acid soil, in this otherwise predominantly alkaline area, provides the opportunity to cultivate plants such as rhododendrons, camellias, and magnolias, which would not ordinarily thrive in this location.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Evenley Wood Garden website >

Holdenby House Garden

The 20-acre Grade 1 listed garden, set in stately lawns and hedges, has several special features. Away from the formal gardens lie the terraces of the original Elizabethan rose garden – one of the best-preserved examples of their kind. There is also a delightful walled kitchen garden with the original Victorian greenhouses.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Holdenby House website >

Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens

Within the 18th century setting, the gardens that visitors see at Kelmarsh Hall today are largely inspired by Nancy Lancaster. She extended her interior style of shabby chic charm into the gardens and drafted in the garden designer of her day, the talented Norah Lindsay, to help. Around the Hall the landscape architect Geoffrey Jellicoe laid out a formal terrace.

From the sophisticated pastels of the sunken garden through to the showier shades of the 60m long border, the garden leads you on a tour around the perimeter of a triangular walled garden. This secret heart is a relaxing space filled with traditional fruit and vegetables, cut flower beds and a restored vinery. The produce and cut flowers are sold in the Visitor Centre when available.

These overlays of history within the gardens contributed to the gardens listing by English Heritage as Grade II, a garden of national significance.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens website >

Kelmarsh Hall Gardens

Kirby Hall (English Heritage)

Kirby Hall has late-16th and 17th-century gardens, reconstructed in the late-20th century following the recovery of much of the original plan through archaeological excavation.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the English Heritage website >

Kirby Hall

Lamport Hall and Gardens

The Hall is set in tranquil gardens, enclosed by a spacious park. The design has been influenced by the interests and tastes of successive owners. One of the main changes of the 18th century was the planting of box edgings to seven groups of shrubs. Only one remains in the far corner and now encloses a summer house.

Sir Charles Isham is responsible for a remarkable rockery which is the earliest alpine garden in England and rises to 24 feet tall. It was peopled with the world’s first garden gnomes. The only remaining one is on view in the Hall.

Today the gardens include extensive herbaceous borders and shrubbery walks containing rare and interesting plants. The walled cutting garden was replanted in 2010 and is full of unusual tall perennial plants Thought to be one of the largest cutting gardens in England, a vibrant array of colour and variety of plants are intersected by gravelled pathways.

To find out more, including opening times, visit Lamport Hall & Gardens website >

Walled cutting garden at Lamport Hall

Lyveden New Bield (National Trust)

Set in the heart of rural Northamptonshire, Lyveden is a remarkable survivor of the Elizabethan age. Begun by Sir Thomas Tresham to symbolise his Catholic faith, Lyveden remains incomplete and virtually unaltered since work stopped on his death in 1605.

Discover the mysterious garden lodge and explore the Elizabethan garden with its spiral mounts, terracing and canals. Wander through the new orchard, containing many old varieties of apples and pears, or explore the Lyveden Way, a circular path through beautiful meadows, woodland and villages.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the National Trust website >

Lyveden New Bield – a National Trust property

The Old Rectory Gardens, Sudborough

The focal point of the gardens is the striking Georgian Grade II listed house, which was built in the early 19th century, with additions dating from around 1830. Harpers Brook, a tributary of the River Nene, runs through the bottom of the gardens. These include the Rose Circle, Rectory Border and Long Border. Hidden beyond the Potager (the old walled kitchen garden) is the Twisted Hazel garden and, over the bridge, is a short Woodland Walk created from an old iron ore railway cutting.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Old Rectory Gardens website >

The Potager (old walled kitchen garden)

Prebendal Manor Gardens

Alan Titchmarsh described the gardens as a "stunning example of a recreated medieval garden". ( Royal Gardeners Pub., BBC, 2003).

The gardens were established to represent both the practical and decorative features that could be found in a high status garden between the 13th and 15th centuries. They are best seen in late May and June.

To find out more, visit the Prebendal Manor website >

Rockingham Castle Gardens

The Castle stands on the edge of an escarpment giving dramatic views over the Welland Valley and five counties. The Castle architecture has examples from every period of its 950-year history.

Surrounding the Castle there are some 18 acres of gardens largely following the foot print of the medieval castle. The vast 400-year old Elephant Hedge bisects the formal 17th century terraced gardens.

To find out more, including opening times, visit the Rockingham Castle website >

The 400-year old Elephant Hedge

Sulby Gardens

An interesting and unusual property, on the Leicestershire border between Welford and Husbands Bosworth, covering 12 acres comprising working Victorian kitchen garden, orchard, and late 18 c. icehouse, plus species-rich nature reserve including woodland, feeder stream to River Avon, a variety of ponds and established wild flower meadows.

To find out more, visit the National Garden Scheme website >

Sulby Gardens Apple Juice on sale at their October Apple Event