The Lake District never looks more lush than springtime when the buds begin to bloom and the mountains, forests and grasslands glow vibrant green in the sunshine. This is the perfect time to explore beautiful public gardens near The Pheasant Inn. Here are our local favourites - a take a picnic and a book and lose yourself in a peaceful spot among the flowers:
These gorgeous gardens near Windermere have almost five acres of diverse greenery set in to the hillside, looked after by Lakeland Horticultural Society volunteers. The walled garden is a colourful spectacle of herbaceous borders and island beds surrounded by the original Victorian wall. The upper garden is filled with rhododendron and magnolia beds and the lower garden features woodlands, water features and the much-photographed Hydrangea Walk. Holehird has plants for sale, a refreshments area and guided walks once a week. Admission is by donation.
Don’t miss: The Dale Panorama, the best place to see incredible views across Windermere to the Langdale Pikes and surrounding Lakeland Fells. The panorama is located to the right of the Gunnera Pool near the car park.
Brantwood House and Gardens is the former home of John Ruskin - the great artist, architect, poet and political thinker of the Victorian age - so naturally the gardens are nothing short of spectacular! The beauty of Brantwood is how the gardens melt in to the surrounding mountains with beautiful views over Coniston Water. John Ruskin’s experimental land management and horticulture is on display in the eight estate gardens including the dramatic ‘ziggy zaggy’ entrance, the Professor’s Garden containing plants to benefit the body and soul and a maze of over 250 different British Ferns. Garden admission is £5.35 for adults.
Don’t miss: a photograph or moment of quiet contemplation in ‘Ruskin’s Seat’ – a chair made of stone in the heart of Brantwood’s woodland.
Brockhole on Windermere is one of the most popular attractions in the Lake District with everything from treetop activities and watersports to exhibitions, nature trails and pony rides. It’s also home to scenic gardens for all seasons. The 30-acre arts and crafts garden was designed by prolific Edwardian landscaper Thomas Mawson – take a stroll along the terraces to see bright displays of magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias and marvel at how the gardens shift from cultivated flowerbeds to wild woodland and rustic meadows as they reach the shores of Lake Windermere.
Don’t miss: the magical Handkerchief Tree with its delicate white flowers, located in the arts and crafts garden.
Muncaster Castle Gardens
Muncaster Castle at Ravenglass lies in 77 acres of historic gardens described by John Ruskin as the ‘gateway to paradise’. May is one of the best months to visit Muncaster as rhododendrons and azaleas thrive in the hillside gardens, or stop by from mid April to catch the blanket of bluebells in the high woodlands near the Castle. Garden admission is £11.50 for adults.
Don’t miss: the Sino Himalayan Gardens. Standing almost at sea level, the experience is similar to being 11,000ft high in the Himalayan foothills surrounded by plants from all over the world with incredible views out over the Lakeland fells.
Our Two and Three Nights Treats offers give you plenty of time to explore the nearby gardens and enjoy our legendary hospitality this spring. Click here to find out more.