Ten glorious gardens to visit in and around Cheshire

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caption in jpeg - Credit: Archant

The list of gorgeous gardens in and around Cheshire does not begin and end with Arley and Tatton. Here are ten places to visit which are just blooming lovely

Walton Hall and Gardens The Grade II listed Walton Hall was built in 1838 for Sir Gilbert Greenall. The house and gardens were inherited to his son, Gilbert, and after his death in 1938 the estate was later sold by auction in 1941, with Warrington Borough Council acquiring ownership of the hall and gardens. The hall boasts award winning Green Flag ornamental gardens and 32 acres of mature parkland. Ideal for a family day out, it also has a children’s zoo and crazy golf course. Free, car park charges apply Walton Lea Road, Higher Walton, Warrington, WA4 6SN Tel: 01925 262 908, www.warrington.gov.uk/waltongardens

Abbeywood Gardens Nestling in the Delemere countryside, Abbeywood is a 45-acre estate which has been home to the Rowlinson family since 1987. Take time out in their Garden Café before exploring the extensive grounds which include a 2km wildlife walk, six acres of informal and formal gardens and a seven acre arboretum with rare deciduous and evergreen species. These picturesque gardens are an ideal way to escape the stresses of everyday life. Admission charges apply Abbeywood Estate, Chester Road, Delamere, CW8 2HS Tel: 01606 888251, www.abbeywoodestate.co.uk

Norton Priory Norton Priory has a picturesque 18th century walled garden, which is the home to many of the garden’s hidden gems. Look out for the National Collection of Tree Quince and the Ice House, as well as exploring the ornamental boarders and rose walk. At the museum and priory ruins there is also plenty to see from the medieval herb garden and laburnum arch to the stream glades and rock garden. Admission charges apply Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn, WA7 1SX Tel: 01928 569895, nortonpriory.org

Jodrell Bank Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is not only great for a scientific day out, but its gardens are also perfect for a beautiful walk or picnic. The site spans across 35 acres and includes the Galaxy Gardens, planted to the design of TV gardener Chris Beardshaw, the arboretum and Space Playground. The arboretum holds the Lovell Tree Collection, which was started by Sir Bernard Lovell in 1972 and was opened to the public in 1976. Admission charges apply Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, The University of Manchester, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL (sat-nav: SK11 9DW)Tel: 01477 571766, www.jodrellbank.net

Adlington Hall Set in a picturesque 2000 acre estate, Adlington Hall is an impressive country house with beautiful gardens.  It’s thought that Charles Legh first landscaped these gardens in the 18th century, in the style of Capability Brown. There are plenty of seasonal colours and smells, from the carpet of bluebells in May to the stunning Rose Garden in the summer. If you’re on a family visit or just a big kid yourself, why not have a go of the maze? Admission charges apply Mill Lane, Adlington, Macclesfield, SK10 4LF Tel: 01625 827 595, www.adlingtonhall.com

Grosvenor Park The main ornamental park in Chester, this green space is a beautiful area to esacpe the bustling life of the city. Typically Victorian in layout, Grosvenor Park has a series of formal avenues lined with trees and large sweeping lawns bordered with ornamental shrubs and bedding. The park is also home to the Summer Music Festival and the Grosvenor Park Miniature Railway. Free Grosvenor Park Road, Chester, CH1 1QQ

Gawsworth Hall Built in 1480, Gawsworth hall is a Tudor manor house featuring fine paintings, furniture, sculpture and a beautiful pleasure garden. A flight of stone steps will lead you up to the ancient rookery and onto the Tilting Ground, which formed part of a vast Elizabethan pleasure garden built by Sir Edward Fitton in the late 1590s. In this formal 20-acre paddock, there is also evidence of an old maze. Admission charges apply Church Lane, Gawsworth, SK11 9RN Tel: 01260 223456, www.gawsworthhall.com

Hare Hill Something of a hidden gem, a peaceful woodland garden, at its best in early summer, with 70 varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas and 50 kinds of hollies. There is a path to Alderley Edge, just a couple of miles away, and a circular walk for which free maps are available. Admission charges apply Hare Hill, Over Alderley, Macclesfield SK10 4PY. Details of opening times at nationaltrust.org.uk/hare-hill or call 01625 584412

Quarry Bank Mill A living museum to the Industrial Revolution – a cotton mill with working waterwheel and machinery which evokes the clatter and din of factory life. But the mill’s founder Samuel Greg also created a place of tranquillity in Quarry Bank Garden. More utilitarian is the garden at the Apprentice House, tended in what little spare time they had by the youngsters who worked in the mill. Admission charges apply Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate, Styal, Wilmslow SK9 4LA. Details on opening times at nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank-mill or by calling 01625 527468

Little Moreton Hall Gardens just don’t come better manicured than the knot garden at Little Moreton Hall. The box hedge, based on the Tudor quatrefoil design, requires an annual 80 hours of clipping, by hand. A real labour of love, and a proper period detail for this timber-framed moated black and white manor house with its endearingly asymmetrical lines. Admission charges apply Little Moreton Hall, Congleton CW12 4SD. Details of opening at nationaltrust.org.uk/little-moreton-hall or ring 01260 272018.


Not forgetting...

It goes without saying that the following gardens remain as glorious as ever: Arley Hall, Northwich; Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield; Cholmondeley Castle Gardens, Malpas; Dunham Massey Gardens, Altrincham; Grappenhall Heys, Warrington, Ness Botanical Gardens, Wirral; Rode Hall, near Congleton, Tatton Park Gardens, Knutsford, Peover Hall, Knutsford and Biddulph Grange Garden, Buddulph.

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