Gardens

Visit us

Spend a couple hours or stay the whole day. With 190 acres to discover, it is perfect for a family day out with lots of space for kids to run around and explore. Dogs on leads welcome. Garden tickets can be bought on-site in the Bakehouse.

There are weddings on the weekend at Ashridge House and we ask that you please be mindful and respectful to keep distant from the wedding party when in the gardens.

Opening times

The garden is closed Saturday, June 22, due to a private function.

Monday - Sunday

9am - last entry 4pm

Gardeners World members 2 for 1 Garden Day Pass tickets can be purchased at The Bakehouse café in our courtyard. You must present your membership ID to redeem.

Purple floral vines over the exterior of a building drape over benches and shrubsPurple floral vines over the exterior of a building drape over benches and shrubs
Spring flowers bloom in the sunshine near trimmed shrubbery Spring flowers bloom in the sunshine near trimmed shrubbery
Colourful flowers bloom in the Italian garden with Ashridge House in the backgroundColourful flowers bloom in the Italian garden with Ashridge House in the background
A pathway in front leading down into Monk's garden with trimmed shrubbery and flowers on either sideA pathway in front leading down into Monk's garden with trimmed shrubbery and flowers on either side
A paved pathway with flowers on either side and stone archway on the rightA paved pathway with flowers on either side and stone archway on the right
Colourful rhododendrons under a blue skyColourful rhododendrons under a blue sky
Purple floral vines over the exterior of a building drape over benches and shrubsPurple floral vines over the exterior of a building drape over benches and shrubs
Spring flowers bloom in the sunshine near trimmed shrubbery Spring flowers bloom in the sunshine near trimmed shrubbery

Seasonal views

No matter what time of day or year you visit, there is always something to take your breath away. It may be the avenue of rhododendrons and carpet of bluebells in the spring, the formal bedding in the summer, the glorious autumn hues or the snow covered winter wonderland.

Aerial external view of Ashridge House and gardens with autumnal coloursAerial external view of Ashridge House and gardens with autumnal colours

The Gardens

Photo of the Italian GardensPhoto of the Italian Gardens

Italian Garden

Dating from the Mid-19th Century when Italianate gardens were very fashionable, this garden was designed by Lady Marian Alford. The Garden was removed and laid to lawn in the 1950s and reinstated in 2000.

Ancient Yews & Princess Victoria Oak

As depicted in Repton's original plans, a line of yews believed to date back to the early 17th century still stands today. Together with the shrubberies, they complement and impressive oak planted by Princess Victoria in 1823 to commemorate her visit.

Rosary

Eight rose beds arranged around a central fountain are surrounded by a yew hedge and climbing roses. Jeffry Wyatville adapted Repton's original plans around 1820, and it was restored in 1999 and replanted in 2014.

Monks Garden

The garden seen today was developed in the mid-19th century from Wyatville's original plan. it displays an armorial design representing the four families that have been associated with Ashridge. Clockwise from the top left the arms represent Egerton, Brownlow, Compton, Cust.

Fernery & Garden

Designed by Mathew Digby Wyatt in 1864 to replace an old glasshouse, it was dedicated solely to growing ferns which were very fashionable in the Victorian era. Created at the same time as the Fernery, the garden is planted with seasonal bedding displays twice a year.

Liquidambar Walk

The original trees were planted in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George VI, although parts of the avenue were replanted in 1996. This unusual avenue of trees makes for an extremely impressive display of autumnal colour.

Photo of Skating pond & MoatPhoto of Skating pond & Moat

Skating Pond & Moat

Constructed in the 1870s on the site of a former fishpond, the skating pond is a distinctive feature of Lady Marian Alford's extension to the gardens. The moat next to the skating pond was originally filled with water but is now intentionally left dry.

Photo of HERB GARDEN & BEECH HOUSESPhoto of HERB GARDEN & BEECH HOUSES

Herb Garden & Beech Houses

Created in the late 19th century as a lavender and herb garden, it was redeveloped in 2005 in memory of Kay Sanecki (Ashridge Archivist) using the pattern Repton had proposed for the Rosary. Today it is planted with a variety of herbs to provide bees with sources of nectar. Next to the garden are two impressive Beech Houses.

Photo of WELLINGTONIA AVENUE & RHODODENDRON WALKPhoto of WELLINGTONIA AVENUE & RHODODENDRON WALK

Wellingtonia Avenue & Rhododendron Walk

The avenue of Wellingtonias was planted in 1858 on the axis with the house and has as its focal point the prospect mound believed to date from Tudor times.

Photo of REPTON'S ARBOURPhoto of REPTON'S ARBOUR

Repton's Arbour

Repton's Plan for a 'rustic seat in a grove' was not implemented by Wyatville. Based on a drawing in the red book for Ashridge, the Arbour was constructed in 1998 using yew from the garden and larch from the estate.

photo of flower gardensphoto of flower gardens

Flower Garden

Intended as a private garden for the countess of Bridgewater, this garden partially replicates the early 19th century planting style proposed by Repton. The Garden is over looked by a replica statue of Bacchus that stood in the garden until 1928 when the contents of the house were sold off.

History

"Of all the subjects on which I have been consulted, few have elicited so much interest in my mind as the Plan for these Gardens." -Humphrey Repton, 'Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening,' 1816

In March 1813, Repton presented his proposals for Ashridge to the owner, the 7th Earl of Bridgewater, who wanted to create a garden to compliment the extensive mansion he was building. Repton’s designs included a Rose Garden, Monks' Garden, and Herb Garden, and were later enhanced with the addition of the Italian Garden which was drawn up in Thomas Wright's 1871 garden plans.

A page fron Humphry Repton's book with drawings and notes of garden designsA page fron Humphry Repton's book with drawings and notes of garden designs

Volunteer

Work alongside our gardening team and help tend to the historic gardens and grounds at Ashridge House. We host a plant fair annually to sell plants that are lovingly grown by the gardens team volunteers throughout the year. If you are interested in joining and volunteering please email gardens@ashridge.hult.edu to learn more.

Three people tend to flowers in the garden while smilingThree people tend to flowers in the garden while smiling

Sustainability

The gardens are managed to encourage the biodiversity and sustainability of our natural environment, a core part of Ashridge's commitment to the conservation of these historic gardens. All our propagation and growing uses peat free compost, and we recycle rainwater from the roof, as well as use the original water tanks for irrigation during the hotter summer months.

There are beehives in the gardens and we partner with local beekeepers to produce our own Ashridge honey. We have placed nesting boxes for bats across the gardens, and they roost in the old Ice House. Red Kites, which were once endangered in the UK, are now nesting in our gardens. Our trees are home to the most successful breeding pair in Hertfordshire.

A person holds a slab of honey comb near a wooden beehive box while fully clad in protective gearA person holds a slab of honey comb near a wooden beehive box while fully clad in protective gear

Tickets

Two people walk under a canopy in the gardensTwo people walk under a canopy in the gardens

Open daily

Garden Day Pass

Daily tickets for the gardens at Ashridge House are available to purchase online or at the Bakehouse. Garden entry time is from 9am with the last admission at 4pm.

12 to 16£5

Adult£9

A field of rhododendrons in the sunlightA field of rhododendrons in the sunlight

Open daily

Garden Annual Pass (Individual)

If you are a frequent visitor to the Ashridge House gardens, an annual pass is perfect for you. Price also includes 10% off purchases from the Bakehouse. Garden entry time is from 9am with the last admission at 4pm.

Adult£40

A field of rhododendrons in the sunlightA field of rhododendrons in the sunlight

Open daily

Garden Annual Pass (Disabled)

If you are a frequent visitor to the Ashridge House gardens, an annual pass is perfect for you. Price also includes 10% off purchases from the Bakehouse. Garden entry time is from 9am with the last admission at 4pm.

Ticket includes 1 free carer

Disabled Adult£40

Two children run through the Italian gardensTwo children run through the Italian gardens

Open daily

Garden Annual Pass (Family)

Our annual pass makes a great addition to family outings. The family pass includes up to 2 adults and 2 children (16 and under), and 10% off purchases from the Bakehouse. Garden entry time is from 9am with the last admission at 4pm.

Concession£70