Gardens around Keswick
When you think of Keswick and the Lake District the natural landscape of lakes and mountains instantly come to mind but we are lucky enough to also have some beautiful landscaped parks and gardens. Some you might already be familiar with but we hope we have included some hidden gems you might not have come across.
The gardens at Mirehouse are in a stunning setting between fellside and Bassenthwaite Lake. The tranquil walled garden is a haven for bees and butterflies. The Poetry Walk follows a gently meandering path onto the Victorian veranda where for the first time there is a display of poems by award-winning poet David Wright. Natural adventure playgrounds and children’s nature notes keep the young engaged and burn off any excess energy. Mirehouse Historic House and Garden is situated just 3 miles north of Keswick with parking in Dodd Wood car park just opposite.
Lingholm Walled Garden
The octagonal walled garden on the Lingholm Estate on the Western shores of Derwentwater was created on the site of the old Lingholm Kitchen gardens that Beatrix Potter cited as her inspiration for Mr McGregor's Garden in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The garden is built in a Victorian style using reclaimed red bricks with grand entrance doors which were the original doors to the main house. Four vegetable and salad plots make up the central area of the garden to allow for crop rotation. Herbaceous borders surround the vegetable beds with fruit trees planted on the south facing walls. The garden produce is served fresh daily in the cafe which has a 100ft long glass wall enjoying views over the garden. Within the Walled Garden is the gallery dedicated to Beatrix Potter's work in the Derwentwater area, much of it undertaken whilst she stayed at Lingholm.
Entry to the garden and gallery is free. Adjacent to the café is a wonderful old greenhouse dating back to the late 1800’s that has been carefully restored and is used as a part of the café. If you are arriving by car there is a free car park for customers. Alternatively catch the Keswick Launch to Hawes End jetty then follow the footpath, a 10 minute stroll to the estate, or a flat, gentle 35 minute walk from Keswick.
Lodore Falls Hotel Spa Gardens
Visit the magnificent Spa Gardens at the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa which are among some of the most beautiful landscaped gardens in the whole of the Lake District. Since the gardens officially opened back in 2019, they have become something of a tourist hotspot beautifully framing the hotel and spa complex. The gardens feature a Japanese-style rock garden with azaleas, bamboo and rhododendrons. A riverside walkway leads to a relaxed terrace within the rose garden with ample seating areas to appreciate the sights and scents of the glorious flowers and enjoy the 360-degree views of Derwentwater and the Cat Bells. The gardens perfectly compliment the Spa with Lakeland slate walls and scented rose arbours enclosing terraced patios and distinct planting styles.
On Wednesday 1st September there is the opportunity of a special tour of the gardens. The event is a must for anyone with green fingers, or even for those who are looking for some inspiration on what they could do with their own garden spaces. Afternoon tea served in the airy conservatory will follow the tour. At this time of year plants in bloom include roses, perovskia, sedum, rudbeckia, dahlias and echinacea. For more details click here. If you can't make that date why not just call in at the hotel one day for morning coffee or afternoon tea.
Hope Park has a delightful setting between the town of Keswick and Derwentwater and is surrounded by stunning views to the fells. The land was dedicated to the local community in 1927 by Sir Percy Hope. It was initially opened as a golf course and later as a park following the death of Sir Percy in 1974 with the formation of the Hope Park Trust which looks after it to this day. It was his wish that local residents and visitors alike could enjoy the park 'as a pleasure ground and garden for recreation and enjoyment'. The landscaped gardens are looked after by a dedicated team of gardeners and there is always something to see all year round. Enjoy wandering along the wonderful herbaceous borders filled with flowers. Take the woodland trail or stroll along the stream. Watch the birds in the hide or rest awhile on one of the many benches and watch the world go by. There are also park games such as pitch and putt, boules and crazy golf as well as Café Hope which serves light meals and refreshments.
At the other end of town don't miss a visit to Fitz Park located on either side of Station Road. The upper section of the park has beautiful formal landscaped gardens situated alongside the River Greta as well as an arboretum with a variety of shrubs and unique trees such as the monkey puzzle. Magnolias and rhododendrons make a splendid sight in the Spring moving onto a fine display of flowers and grasses in the Summer. Look out for the growing collection of carved animals along the way. Just outside Fitz Park, by the war memorial is the Sensory Garden. A sheepfold incorporating a stone seat is a lovely place to sit. Although only small the garden is a pleasure to walk round featuring a herb garden, rockeries and grasses with roses and other climbing plants growing over arches, all designed to appeal to the senses.
Keswick in Bloom
The Keswick in Bloom Committee of dedicated volunteers does a fantastic job of looking after various sites around Keswick, some of which you may have already come across. One of their projects is the box hedging KESWICK sign at the junction of Chestnut Hill as you come into town. Another major project was the development of the Lake Road Underpass area. The main bed on the town side of the underpass is on a tricky sloping site and was completely overgrown and in much need of attention. This has been completely restored and planted up. This year it is being assessed by Cumbria in Bloom as part of the RHS’s national award scheme “It’s Your Neighbourhood”. On the Hope Park side a stone seating area makes a lovely resting spot and is shaded by a cherry tree planted by Keswick in Bloom nearly 25 years ago.
In recent years, as awareness of the importance of sustainability has grown, Keswick in Bloom have been updating their many planters around town. They now all have water reservoirs, are filled up with peat free compost and use a more permanent planting mix with some seasonal bedding for summer colour.
Wordsworth House Garden
Wordsworth House and Garden, birthplace and childhood home of poet William is owned by the National Trust. It is located on the main street in Cockermouth. You can take the bus from Keswick or it's a 20 minute drive by car. The riverside garden that gave William a love of nature and lifelong inspiration is packed with 18th-century vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, and there is a mini flock of heritage chickens in the small walled garden. Take a stroll around the garden and enjoy the beautiful flowers.