In an index completed by Essential Living, these dog-friendly botanic gardens have been crowned the best in the North for strolling through the meadows with your four legged friends.
Essential Living has trawled the internet to see which public gardens around North England are the largest and most dog friendly, accessible, and have the best amenities such as local cafes and pubs.
Cholmondeley Castle Gardens
Cholmondeley Castle Gardens, based in Cheshire, took the top spot as the official best dog friendly botanic garden in the North. With 670 acres to let your dogs run free, a great accessibility score of 10/10, and 69 local pubs, this castle’s garden makes for a wonderful addition to the list. It’s also one of the most picturesque, with thousands of Tulips and Peonies having been captured over 4.7k times on Instagram. The location even hosts a yearly DogFest.
Crook Hall and Gardens
Coming in at number 2 on Essential Living’s index is Durham’s Crook Hall and Gardens, one of the most historic in the UK after being established in 1217. The garden also ranked 10/10 in the accessibility score, thanks to an extensive number of steps taken to be as diverse and inclusive as possible – such as free entry for carers and wheelchair friendliness. The stunning location is also used as a popular wedding venue.
Fletcher Moss Park and Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park and Botanic Gardens is a 90 acre attraction located in Didsbury, Manchester. It is part botanical garden and part wildlife habitat, but also offers recreational facilities such as tennis courts, rugby and football pitches, and a family-run café. You’ll find that parking here is available at The Didsbury pub, a quaint dog friendly pub right near the Fletcher Moss Park and Gardens entrance.
Wordsworth Daffodil Garden
Wordsworth Daffodil Garden is located in Cumbria’s small village of Grasmere. The idea of this dog-friendly garden is to raise funds to promote the heritage of the Vale of Grasmere and its traditional ways of Lake District life. The owners work with The Lakeland Housing Trust – as so many local houses are snapped up as holiday homes, it becomes more and more difficult to find affordable housing for locals. The Trust buys and lets homes to young families at a subsidised rent.
Belsay Castle and Gardens
Prepare to be enchanted by Belsay’s Castle and Gardens Grecian architecture, mediaeval castle, and 30 acres of stunning gardens for you and your dog to lose yourself in. Located in Northumberland, roam through the unique microclimate of the Quarry Garden with exotic plants around every twist and turn, and enjoy the quirky open spaces around the Hall and the castle.
Birkheads Secret Gardens
Located in Newcastle, Birkheads Secret Gardens is one of the smaller on the list, boasting 3 acres. That doesn’t mean the area lacks plenty to do, with 273 local cafes nearby and 63 pubs, this Geordie spot is the perfect summer day out for you and your dogs. The wildflower meadow showcases plenty of purple & white massed Snakeshead fritillaries, red & yellow cowslips & lilac lady smock with English bluebells & Camassias waiting to be captured.
Dilston Physic Garden
Last but not least on the list is another Northumberland gem, Dilston Physic Garden. One of the most modern on the list as it opened in 1990, this location is a unique medicinal garden on the banks of a meandering river. Explore plants used as medicines throughout history, used as efficacious medicine today to treat a range of everyday conditions from anxiety to IBS. Experience the ultimate relaxation garden with your pooch.