English Gardens - North

Acorn Bank Gardens, Cumbria

Attractive gardens on the western edge of the North Pennines

These lovely gardens are set on the hillside above Temple Sowerby on the western edge of the north Pennines with views across to the Lakeland Hills.

The house is an elegant but very simple red sandstone building which was opened for the first time in 2014. The tickets and shop are in the main entrance hall which has a large fireplace. There is a ‘post card room’ asking visitors to pin a card to the walls with ideas about what they would like the National Trust to do with the house. The west wing is currently let out as self catering accommodation. The tea room is in the east wing.
Acorn Bank Gardens

An archway by the splendid dove cot leads into the gardens.

Acorn Bank Gardens

On the left a herbaceous border runs the length of house. At the end of August, this was full of colour with dahlias and sweet peas.

Acorn Bank Gardens

Acorn Bank Gardens

On the right is a walled garden which is now the herb garden with the largest collection of culinary and medicinal herbs in North England. Many are labelled. Some are old favourites but there were many new names. A leaflet is available with pictures and information about some of the herbs.

Acorn Bank Gardens

Beyond is another walled garden with a collection of apple trees. A board explains these are planted in natural grassland which is cut in mid July. In spring the grass is covered with narcissi and snakes head fritillary. In September/October it is covered with autumn crocuses.

A doorway through the wall leads to a smaller orchard newly planted with small apple trees. There are also runner beans and squashes being grown here.

At the back of the house is a delightful small sunken garden with steps leading down to a pond with a small fountain and white water lilies.

Acorn Bank Gardens

A small gateway in the hedge leads to the wild garden on the sides of Crowdundle Beck. Footpaths through ancient oak woodland lead past a pond to a restored watermill. This is open at weekends and staffed by volunteers. Flour ground here is on sale in the shop and is used in the tea room. 

This is a delightful place to wander and enjoy. It makes an excellent break if travelling along the A66 and the tea room is highly recommended, selling a range of very good home made cakes and scones.

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