Step into The Walled Gardens
An exciting project is underway at Holkham to restore the 6½ acres of walled gardens which were originally laid out by Samuel Wyatt during the late 1700s. The restoration project is now in its fifth year. You can follow the restoration work as it progresses by visiting our online diary.
Visitors are invited to see how the work is progressing. Their first step will take them through Italian iron-work gates which were brought from Venice in 1908 and into one of the seven sections, known as ‘rooms'. The walls within the gardens act as a windbreak and reflect the sun to create a gentle microclimate. In Victorian times these gardens would have provided a constant and varied supply of food and decoration to the hall, ranging from vegetables and flowers to a wide variety of both common and exotic fruits.
There is a spectacular stand of large Victorian greenhouses which have been renovated back to their original splendour with the help of English Heritage. There are also sunken greenhouses designed to be at a lower level to avoid extreme temperature fluctuations; these are scheduled for renovation in the near future.
The trained pear trees here date from the original Victorian plantings and on the garden walls are a number of fig varieties and an olive tree which enjoys the warmth provided. These are joined by banks of wavy topped yew hedging. In the 'Arena of Plants' visitors will be greeted with a variety of blooms and range of colour, with the added opportunity to buy from a selection of propagated plants. A working area designed to become the vegetable garden will hopefully once again provide produce for the family’s kitchen, for entertaining and any surplus food will be used at The Victoria Inn. At the far end of the gardens, an open area designated for weddings and other events will be left and also a perennial meadow to give a spectacular display throughout the year, as well as providing the perfect place for wildlife to enjoy cover and seed heads.
What's at its best
April - See the gardens spring into life with a much awaited display of spring bulbs, snowdrops and our Wintersweet shrub. Our Heavily scented Edgeworthia, Ceonothus and Magnolia are at their best in April, along with the glorious sight of the pear and plum blossoms.
May - Enjoy the purple haze of the Wisteria against the walls as you pass through the doorways. A chance to see the vegetable patch, planted and growing, in anticipation of some delicious produce to savour.
June - Although designed to flower throughout the season, our densely stocked 'Arena of Plants' is at its best during June with masses of colour from the herbaceous perennials. There's even a place to sit and take in the beauty and tranquility.
July - Enjoy the sights of swelling and ripening fruits including our old Mulberry tree in the Events Room it's claimed to be over 100 years old.
August - It's harvest time and a chance to reap the fruits, flowers and vegetables for use across the estate.
September - Join us in the walled garden as we host our annual Plant Fair and see our grapes and figs ready for the picking.
October - Enjoy the autumn hues of the deciduous plants as they slow down and bed in for winter. With Halloween approaching, it's time to harvest and prepare the pumpkins we've grown.
Please click here for details of opening times and admission.
Holkham Plant Fair in the Walled Gardens will be on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September and is an opportunity to find something special for your garden from regional nurseries with a tempting range of plants, shrubs and herbs as well as other gardening essentials and a variety of artisan stalls.
Tickets: Adult £2.50 Child (5-16 years) £1 - cash only at the gate.
Alternatively a ticket to include a visit to the walled gardens, museum and/or hall can be purchased from our Ticket Office.
The Walled Gardens are situated to the west of the hall, approximately ¼ mile following the hardcore road and grassed parkland. Car parking is limited and is only available for disabled visitors. We operate a free buggy service from the courtyard near to the Ticket Office for visitors who would prefer not to walk.
Public access arrangements to view the glasshouses
The glasshouses in the walled gardens are available to be seen by appointment. Please write to the Estates Director, David Horton-Fawkes, Holkham Estate Office, Wells-next-the-Sea,
NR23 1AB or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment.