Helmsley Walled Garden


The Garden

Built in 1759, Helmsley Walled Garden is a five acre garden sitting beneath the imposing ruins of Helmsley Castle. It provided the vegetables, fruit and flowers for the table of Duncombe Park until just after World War 1 when it was leased as market garden. Abandoned after it closed its doors for the final time in 1984, it fell into dereliction. Restoration started in 1994 and since then the Garden has gone from strength to strength through the dedication and care of staff and volunteers.

Visitors can now enjoy restored glasshouses full of colour, a double herbaceous Hot Border running the length of the Garden or sit and enjoy the tranquillity of the Garden of Contemplation. A Clematis Garden showcases over 100 different clematis varieties and in the vegetable patch, a new attraction is the edible flower garden, showing some of the flowers that can bring new colour and style to salads and other dishes.

Vegetables and fruit from the Garden go into the delicious dishes prepared in the Vinehouse Café. Visitors sit beneath Victorian vine cultivars to enjoy soups, salads and open sandwiches as well as delicious cakes and desserts.

The Plant Centre sells a wide selection of herbaceous perennials, some of which visitors will find on display in the Garden. Staff can help visitors with any questions about what might go well in their gardens. The Garden shop also sells a range of useful garden sundries such as gloves, string and seeds as well as gifts such as jams, chutneys and biscuits. Other items available include a range of heritage tools and garden artefacts.

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The Gardener

In the 1990′s Alison Ticehurst felt that this garden should be used for local people and she had a vision to make it a healing garden offering horticultural therapy and a tranquil environment for those who need it. 

The garden you visit today is the result of a great deal of hard work over a long period of time by a large number of volunteers, friends, supporters and staff.

It also employs a head gardener and assistant head gardener. 

Individuals have moved on but the garden ethos remains. It has always sought to retain serenity, be a reflective space and use gardening for its restorative qualities.


Garden Details

Cleveland Way, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5AH, United Kingdom.
Helmsley is situated 25 miles north of York (on the A170), 14 miles from Thirsk and 16 miles from Malton. Follow the signposts from the Cleveland Way car park in Helmsley, located on the north side of the castle.
01439 771427, (+44 (0) 1439 771427 outside uk)
Contact Person
Mike I’Anson or Lindsay Tait
April 1st to October 31st Daily: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Group visits by prior arrangement (daytime or evenings)
Garden Size
Five acres
Adults: £6.00
Children under 16: Free
The Helmsley Pay and Display Car Park is situated 300m away in Cleveland Way. Free Parking for evening groups is available. Please ask for further details.
Disabled toilet facilities are located in the Vine House Café
Cafe/Resaurant Available
The Vine House Café is open from April 1st to October 31st 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (last food bookings at 4.45pm)
Group visits wishing to dine in the Vine House Café need to pre-book in order to ensure all meals can be accommodated at busy periods. Please call Will on 01439 771194 to make bookings for café meals.
Wheelchair Access
Full wheelchair access is available throughout the garden, mainly along Bredon gravel paths. Assistance is often available for visitors in wheelchairs but must be arranged in advance. Disabled parking is available outside the garden entrance. Disabled toilet facilities are located in the Vine House Café.
Dogs Allowed
Dogs on leads are welcome in the garden and drinking water is provided. Dogs may also sit with their owners in the outdoor seating area of the Vine House Café as well as in the first indoor seating bay.
Children Allowed
Plants/Other Sales
Plant Centre Shop: We sell a wide range of garden tools, irrigation products, fertilisers, compost, garden products, garden artifacts, greetings cards, jams, chutneys and honeys.
Plant Sales: We have a plant centre stocking a wide variety of herbaceous perennials, shrubs, bedding plants, herbs, climbing plants etc at very reasonable prices.
Guided Tours
Guided Tours are available, by prior booking, for groups who wish to visit the garden. The garden tours begin with an introductory talk. Tours take approximately 1.5 hours (2hrs with refreshments), however, it is strongly recommended that you allow longer than this for your visit. After the tour visitors are then free to spend further time in the garden if they wish. Special interest groups, for example art groups, are welcome.
Other Facilities
The Garden also works as a social enterprise, providing social and therapeutic horticulture to people with a wide range of difficulties and disabilities. Specialist therapists provide a structured environment for supported volunteers to gain skills and self-confidence whilst undertaking horticultural tasks in a safe environment.