Leeds recommends: Best gardens to visit

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Summer’s here and our gardens are in full bloom. We asked the #Leedsrecommends community to suggest the most impressive gardens within easy reach of Leeds that are open to visitors.

Ross Harrison. Lotherton Hall’s gardens are beautiful. Some really distinctive areas, like the walled rose garden and the rockery, and the bird garden is worth a look too.

Angela Ashwell. Harewood has to be the best. I like the Himalayan garden, and there is so much produce grown in the vegetable garden. Also known for its great rhododendrons!

Sue Letts. Temple Newsam’s rhododendron displays are stunning at this time of year and there are a lot of rare plant species on show there to interest gardeners.

Mike Tarry. It’s definitely a hidden gem, but York Gate in Adel is amazing. It’s behind the church and is only an acre in size, but it contains a great variety of stunning planting and is a really beautiful, peaceful spot.

Stephen Andrews. The Red House in Gomersal is probably most visited because of its links to the Brontes, but the garden is definitely worth going to. The garden is fantastically well-preserved as it would have been in the early Victorian period.

Alice Maguire. It has to be Harlow Carr! Not only is it an incredible garden, it’s also an all-round day out, with loads of activities and exhibitions throughout the year. We go to the family activities but there are also workshops for serious gardeners.

Tim Hughes. A bit further afield but Thorp Perrow Arboretum near Bedale. The trees look amazing all through the year, but the colours in autumn are lovely so that’s probably the best time to visit. Also they run activities such as falconry.

Lucy Gosling. I’m a big fan of the Lavender Garden, which is at Terrington, between York and Malton. The smell is beautiful! There’s a maze to explore and lots of other gardens too, so not too much lavender. You can play snakes and ladders and there’s a good sculpture park too.

Anne Oliver. As a keen gardener, I find Harlow Carr is a great place to visit. Not only is it inspiring, but they run a lot of events and demonstrations which are really informative and useful. The staff are so knowledgeable and keen to advise, and it’s easy to pick up ideas for your own garden.

Michael Risley. I think Golden Acre Park has fine gardens, as does Roundhay. There are some fascinating plant collections at Golden Acre, and of course there’s a good cafe too.

Jane Sheldon. You can’t beat Harewood’s gardens - they’re fantastic. There’s so much to see there, I particularly like the tropical plants and the orchids, while the kitchen garden is very well-preserved and a good example of its kind.

Gillian Rolfe. Oakwell Hall near Birstall - the house itself is interestng to look around due to its Civil War past, but the 17th-century walled gardens have been restored and are just stunning.

Ben Welby. Castle Howard has a huge expanse of gardens, with follies and little hidden corners to discover. Their history is amazing, there are fine views over the Howardian Hills and there are some peacocks to make friends with too.

George Sinclair. Temple Newsam is a Capability Brown landscape, and there’s a lot to catch the eye there.

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