rydal hall gardens
Situated in the heart of the Lake District UNESCO World Heritage site, the estate has developed from the 1600s until the present day with formal gardens, woodlands and iconic landmarks to explore.
The gardens and estate are open daily throughout the year. Entry is free, although donations towards garden maintenance and development are greatly appreciated.
Designed and built by renowned landscape architect Thomas Mawson, the formal gardens are a fine example of Arts and Crafts design in a wonderful setting.
The Grot, or grotto, was built in 1668 by Sir Daniel Fleming and designed as a place to frame and enjoy the spectacular Rydal Falls and it is one of Britain’s earliest examples of a viewing station. William Wordsworth is known to have been particularly fond of the Grot, writing about it in one of his earlier poems ‘An Evening Walk’ and visiting with his nephew shortly before his death.
The Quiet Garden is secluded area of woodland, with ponds and paths leading to the river. A place for peace and reflection, it is planned to join the Quiet Garden Movement from 2018.
Rydal Hall estate is part of the Red Squirrel Conservation Project and is home to a diverse range of plants and wildlife. One relic of the Rydal Hall estate - the sweet chestnut tree - is thought to have been part of the original plantings on the estate, dating back over 400 or 500 years depending on who you ask!
Rydal Hall has been generating its own hydro-electric power for over 100 years. The recent £2m project saw the turbine upgraded, enabling an display of part of the original turbine to be created, which illustrates our commitment to green energy long before it became fashionable.
There is a long history of art and artists being inspired by Rydal Hall and the surrounding valley. We have a range of sculptures and installations throughout the grounds which can be explored by wandering around or by following one of our sculpture paths, all of which mysteriously lead back to the Tea Shop!
Visitors can delve further into the history of Rydal Hall Gardens with a tour from one of our estates team who will discuss why the formal gardens are of historical importance, enlighten people about the cultural highlights of the Grot, the waterfall and the Quiet Garden, as well as giving an insight into the history of the Le Fleming family who, over centuries, built and redeveloped the buildings and the land. Garden tours are available on a pre-booked basis. Contact the Bookings Office for further information.