Crook Hall Gardens

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Co. Durham

10–12 minutes walk from Durham Railway Station, close to city centre.

4 acres

01913 831832

Visit website

Opening Hours

10am–5pm, daily, 10 Feb–3 Nov; 10am–4pm, Fri–Sun, 8 Nov–15 Dec.


Please see website for admission prices.

RHS members

Free access (member 1 only for joint memberships) applies when open.


  • Accessible facilities
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children's activities
  • Dogs welcome
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets


  • Cottage planting
  • Pond or lake

About the garden

Owned by
National Trust

On a visit to Crook Hall Gardens, you’ll find a series of interlinked gardens, each with its own character. Intriguing paths lead to blooming borders, secluded walled gardens, an orchard and a tranquil moat pool. Sheltered spots tempt you to sit a while and soak up your surroundings. Views of Durham Cathedral are a reminder that this green oasis is close to the heart of the city.

With an assortment of styles, the gardens complement each other, while also differing in age and personality. Formal areas with neat lines and topiary hedges border traditional English cottage gardens, boasting a colourful medley of roses, wisteria, perennials, trees and shrubs. The serene moat pool is planted with water lilies, hosta and iris. The gentle sound of running water and views towards fields and woodlands beyond the gardens enhance its peaceful appeal.

A year-round feast for the senses, hellebores ease us out of winter, with snowdrops joining them as an early sign of spring. Bright splashes of anemones, cyclamen and crocus soon appear. The vibrant yellows of daffodils, forsythia and kerria bring sunshine on even the dullest day. Tulips, grape hyacinth and fritillaria help to add variety to the palette. A large magnolia in the shelter of the walled garden puts on a magnificent display of flowers, and a frothy mass of blossom makes the orchard an unmissable sight. Roses come into their own each summer, filling the gardens with their beauty and scent.

From June, phlox, oriental poppies and ox-eye daisies vie for attention in the walled gardens. The moat pool teems with life, including frogs, newts and dragonflies. The maze, a living puzzle planted mainly of cotoneaster, sports dark green leaves at the beginning of September; red berries soon appear and develop over the coming weeks. Elsewhere, beautyberry shows its vivid purple berries, while autumn crocuses provide unexpected pops of colour.

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Alliums
  • Autumn bulbs
  • Bluebells
  • Camellias
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Clematis
  • Conifers
  • Cornus (for winter stems or spring bracts)
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Dahlias
  • Delphiniums
  • Ferns
  • Fruit blossom
  • Fruit bushes/trees
  • Fuchsias
  • Heathers
  • Hellebores
  • Hostas
  • Irises
  • Laburnum
  • Lavender
  • Magnolias
  • Maple
  • Primulas
  • Roses
  • Spring bulbs
  • Sweet peas
  • Topiary
  • Vegetables
  • Waterlilies
  • Wildflowers
  • Wisteria

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.