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DUNCOMBE PARK

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Helmsley
York
North Yorkshire
YO62 5EB

Off A170; signed from Helmsley.

35 acres

Tel
01439 770213

Visit website

Opening Hours

Daily, 10.30am–5pm, 18 Apr–31 Aug.

Admission

Non-member adult £5.

RHS members

Free access (Member 1 only) - applies when open.

Facilities

  • Accessible garden
  • Dogs welcome
  • Free carer entry
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Toilets

Features

  • Champion trees
  • Woodland

About the garden

Owned by
Jake Duncombe

A largely unaltered designed landscape created for Thomas Duncombe in the early 18th century, and attributed to either Stephen Switzer or Charles Bridgeman, the terraces at Duncombe Park sit atop a steep wooded escarpment overlooking the Rye Valley, which may explain why Pevsner refers to them as ‘one of the most extensive and boldest landscaping enterprises of England’. 

At either end of the main east terrace, visitors will discover Ionic and Tuscan Temples, both recently and extensively restored, along with the vistas that have been re-established over surrounding parkland and down to the River Rye. The historically unmown banks along the shorter south terrace provide an impressive display of bluebell, primrose and early purple orchids in the spring, while snowdrops line the woodland paths that run through blocks of mature woodland either side of an extensive main lawn. 

Later Victorian additions include ornamental parterres and a conservatory. The garden and surrounding 103ha (255 acre) parkland are designated a National Nature Reserve for the rare insects and fungi that thrive on the dying limbs of ancient trees. Visitors are welcome to explore the parkland by means of two signposted walks. While the house is no longer open to the public, the Duncombe family remains in residence. Admission for both garden and park are at the National Centre for Birds of Prey in Duncombe Park.

Please note: Dogs are not allowed in the formal garden.

Plants of special interest

  • Clematis
  • Daffodils
  • Lavender
  • Snowdrops
  • Topiary
  • Wildflowers

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.