Thornbridge Hall & gardens

A view of Thornbridge Hall from the gardens

On a bright summer’s day in July, on a rare morning with a few hours to spare we chose to visit Thornbridge Hall & gardens at Ashford in the Water (2 miles from Bakewell town centre), a place we drive past regularly on our way to collect some of our locally sourced breakfast produce.

On many an occasion we had said that we must try to find some time to go and explore for ourselves because it looked so lovely, so that we could recommend Thornbridge Hall & gardens as a place to visit for our guests.

And WOW – were we pleased to have found the time – it is simply stunning!

Thornbridge Hall & gardens has over 12 acres of gorgeous gardens to meander around, tended and curated carefully by the gardeners who can be seen working and are always happy to have a chat with visitors. They clearly take great pride in their work, and it really shows too.

The English formal gardens on display

On our way round we saw what were described as ‘quintessentially English formal gardens’ on display, having been designed in the 1890’s to create what is named as ‘a thousand shades of green’ that include several different areas, including an Italian garden, a water garden, a kitchen garden, grottos, a scented terrace, and a Koi -lake, amongst others.

The Koi Karp lake at Thornbridge gardens

There are gorgeous vistas to be seen too across the Derbyshire countryside.

Once inspired by a visit to Thornbridge Hall & Gardens we had a look at the garden nursery too, where they house a wide range of plants for sale, grown from seeds, cuttings, or divisions from the garden. We chose a Cotinus plant which is now growing well in our own garden as can be seen by the photo below.

The new home for our Cotinus plant purchased from Thornbridge gardens

We were also impressed by their ethos in that, in their words, ‘each visit to Thornbridge helps to fund underprivileged children who can’t afford to visit’.

We believe everybody should be able to enjoy such pleasures of nature and it reminded me of a poem by William Henry Davies – ‘Leisure’



What is this life, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Dreams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies

We certainly found a calmness and serenity to our visit and loved it here and would opt for a return visit as there is always so much to see. To find out more simply visit their website here.

Be inspired too by our other blogs here for even more ideas of places to visit whilst in the picturesque Peak District.

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