Northamptonshire has a wealth of beautiful gardens to visit, ranging from those restored to Elizabethan style as at Kirby Hall, to the wonderful 20th century feature of Orpheus sitting in the 17th and 18th century landscape at Boughton House.

Some of the gardens listed below are open on a restricted basis and you should visit their individual websites for further details and specific details of opening.


The gardens of the Old Rectory, Sudborough have been developed predominantly, by two successive owners and now by the current owners who took over the gardens two years ago.  The focal point of the gardens is the striking Georgian Grade II listed house, which was built in the early 19th century, with additions dating from around 1830.  Harpers Brook, a tributary of the River Nene, runs through the bottom of the gardens which include: the Rose Circle, Rectory Border, Long Border, Twisted Hazel Garden and a short Woodland Walk.  See much more information on the Old Rectory Gardens, including opening times, on the interactive website

BOUGHTON HOUSE – Boughton House has extensive remains of formal gardens dating from the late-17th and early-18th centuries. The gardens surround a country house rebuilt at the same time, set in a park developed from a late-medieval deer park. Beyond the park are avenues and rides, also part of the landscape of the late-17th and early-18th centuries.  The current Duke of Buccleugh was passionate about adding a 21st century “edge”. He wanted a creative endeavour that would compliment and enhance the triumphant landscapes of his ancestors. So he commissioned Kim Wilkie to design a striking new landform, Orpheus which is named after the famed musician of Greek mythology who, when his wife Eurydice died, went down into the underworld to try and reclaim her.  Orpheus takes the form of an inverted pyramid, sunk into the earth and open to the elements, reflecting the mound on the opposite side of the lake.  It seems to invite you to descend into its depths and enjoy the tranquillity. – See more at:

UPDATE: Orpheus has recently had some repair work carried out and part of it is fenced off whilst the grass regrows, but the main feature is still accessible.


CANONS ASHBY – (National Trust)  The parkland at Canons Ashby is a wonderful place for a stroll.  The formal gardens are an excellent example of early-18th century garden design with well maintained topiary and a fruit and vegetables garden.


CASTLE ASHBY – an Orangery, designed by architect Matthew Digby Wyatt dating back to 1872; a butterfly garden where the plants have been specifically chosen to attract butterflies, bees and other insects.
A Maltese Cross which is best seen during early June when the silver, blue and white plants are in full bloom.  Behind the Maltese Cross is the Rainbow Border. Planted in blocks of colour ranging from whites, yellows, reds, pinks and blues; and the Arboretum and Nature Trail dating back to the 1860’s.


COTTESBROOKE – The formal and ‘wild’ gardens surrounding and adjacent to the house have been mainly developed during the 20th Century and these developments continue today.  A number of distinguished landscape designers have been involved – Robert Weir Schultz, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe and Dame Sylvia Crowe to name but a few.


COTON MANOR – Originally laid out in the 1920’s by the grandparents of the present owner, the garden has been developed and extended by successive generations capitalising on its natural setting, attractive views and abundant water. The 17th century manor house acts as a central focus for the garden, its walls supporting many roses and shrubs, while the surrounding terraces are populated by numerous colourful pots and containers.
KELMARSH HALL – An 18th century setting, the gardens are largely inspired by Nancy Lancaster who  drafted in the garden designer of her day, Norah Lindsay, to help.  Geoffrey Jellicoe, the landscape architect,  laid out a formal terrace.
KIRBY HALL (English Heritage) – Kirby Hall has late-16th and 17th-century gardens, reconstructed in the late-20th century following the recovery of much of the original plan through archaeological excavation.


LAMPORT HALL – The Hall is set in tranquil gardens, enclosed by a spacious park.  The design has been influenced by the interests and tastes of successive owners.  One of the main changes of the 18th century was the planting of box edgings to seven groups of shrubs. However, all but one have been removed and that remains in the far corner and now encloses a summer house.  Sir Charles Isham is responsible for a remarkable rockery which is the earliest alpine garden in England and rises to 24 feet tall. It was peopled with the world’s first garden gnomes. The only remaining one is on view in the Hall. Today the gardens include extensive herbaceous borders and shrubbery walks containing some rare and interesting plants. The walled cutting garden was replanted in 2010 and is full of unusual tall perennial plants, many sourced from Piet Oudolf’s nursery.  Thought to be one of the largest cutting gardens in England, a vibrant array of colour and variety of plants are intersected by gravelled pathways. Hidden doors and relaxing benches can be found.



Set in the heart of rural Northamptonshire, Lyveden is a remarkable survivor of the Elizabethan age.
Begun by Sir Thomas Tresham to symbolise his Catholic faith, Lyveden remains incomplete and virtually unaltered since work stopped on his death in 1605.
Discover the mysterious garden lodge and explore the Elizabethan garden with its spiral mounts, terracing and canals.
Wander through the new orchard, containing many old varieties of apples and pears, or explore the Lyveden Way, a circular path through beautiful meadows, wooodland and villages.

SULBY GARDENS – On the Leicestershire border between Welford and Husbands Bosworth, covering 12 acres comprising working Victorian kitchen garden, orchard, and C19 icehouse, plus nature reserve including woodland, ponds, stream and wild flower meadows.
Features include: snakeshead fritillaries, cowslips, bluebells, wild flower meadows, butterflies, dragonflies, aquatic plants, Apple Day, display of apples with origin information, new season’s Sulby Gardens Apple Juice for sale, and apple-themed cakes, followed towards the end of the year by a glorious display of autumn colour.

The dates for 2017 are:

Thursday 27 April 2-5pm Snakeshead Fritillaries and Cowslips,

Thursday 22 June 2-5pm Wildflower Meadows

Thursday 24 August 2-5pm Ponds, Butterfly garden and Wildlife

Thursday 12 October 1-4 pm and Friday 13 October 11-4pm. Sulby Gardens Apple Event – expanded from one day to two days!

Thursday 16 November  1-4pm Late Autumn Colour

Homemade teas available, Sulby Gardens Apple Juice, plants, jam and chutney available while stocks last.  Stout footwear recommended.

Sulby Gardens, Sulby, Northants NN6 6EZ

SULGRAVE MANOR – Sulgrave Manor garden sits within four acres of land and remains true to the original plans of Sir Reginald Blomfield who was entrusted with its design in the 1920s.
From the Courtyard a path leads to an open grass area, ideal for picnics, parties and playing. The flower beds are predominantly herbaceous and mixed with varieties of subtle lavender.The formal structure is produced by the yew hedges and topiaries, gifted to the Manor over the years.
A Rose Garden of eight beds, with a central feature of a sundial, dated 1579, is to the east of the House and there is seating in the shady areas for visitors to take their ease.
Orchard The Orchard comprises of forty two fruit trees, predominantly old varieties of apple. Presiding over all is ‘King Lod’, a Loddington apple tree thought to be 180 years old.  In spring the orchard is underplanted with daffodils, narcissi and delicate fritillary.  In May grasses and buttercups are allowed to flourish before being mown for the summer.  In autumn visitors walk under an arch of glossy red apples!
Tudor Garden A replica forge has been built in a south west corner and beside this is a typical Tudor peasant’s garden full of the types of vegetables and plants that would have been grown in the sixteenth century.
Herb Gardens The Manor is also home to the growing beds of the National Herb Society.   There are domestic, culinary and medicinal herbs some that were taken to America, others that were introduced from America.



The newly created medieval style garden was a community project initiated by the Higham Ferrers Tourism, Business and Community Partnership funded by a National Lottery Community Spaces grant and the generosity of the local community.

The garden is still very much a ‘work in progress’, to become a place for contemplation, recreation and education for the local community, as well visitors to the College.



Photographs of the garden at Southwick Hall can be found on the website below: