The best garden days out in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire
For the first time in its 108 year history, the esteemed RHS Chelsea Flower Show has moved to autumn due to the pandemic and although we’re sure many of you can’t wait to see what a September show has to offer - we also know there’s a hole in the horticulture calendar for many of you.
That’s why we’ve decided to showcase some of the best alternatives across our region, with a range of exciting floral displays and locations on offer, we’re sure you’ll find something to enjoy.
The Winter Garden, Sheffield
The Steel City might be known for the many great bands it has produced, the Crucible and an industrious past - but did you know it also houses the largest urban glasshouse in Europe?
A true oasis located in the centre of the city, the garden features an impressive 2,500 plants from all over the world and was officially opened by the Queen in 2003.
Inside, you’ll not only find a tropical paradise, but several retail units including Sheffield Makers Shop that stocks a variety of crafted gifts and trinkets made by the lovely people of Sheffield, perfect if you’re looking for a present.
The Garden is free to enter and fully open again after a period of being closed during the pandemic, it’s a short walk from Sheffield station and with plenty of other activities and places to visit, why not make a day of it in the city?
If you’re a keen gardener and susceptible to greenhouse jealousy, then the 450 foot (130m) long glasshouse at Clumber Park gardens will certainly have you swooning with envy!
A beautiful National Trust location situated just outside of Worksop, Clumber Park has unfortunately lost its main house after fire damage in 1938, but still retains a fantastic set of grounds including the four acre walled kitchen garden.
The huge glasshouse is the standout feature for any keen horticulturist, featuring stunning cast iron detail and decoration. Originally warmed with underfloor heating to sustain the temperatures needed for grapes, peaches, figs and much more. You can also find a range of sheds and outbuildings that were used in the past for potting, growing mushrooms and storing fruit. These have now been converted to contain a ‘museum of gardening tools’ which includes a wide range of wonderful gadgets from days gone by, including a cucumber straightening jar!
The closest station to Clumber is Worksop.
Lea Garden, Matlock
Nestled in the Derwent Valley village of Lea you can find this delightful Rhododendron Garden that has been described by one reviewer on TripAdvisor quite aptly as “blooming lovely” - and we couldn’t agree more.
In a secluded location on a slight hillside, you’ll be amazed that so many colours can be found in one garden as you stroll through the well-kept paths and spaces. The garden itself was founded back in 1935 by John Marsden-Smedley who acquired a variety of rhododendron and azaleas from growers from all over the country to fill his garden. Later on in the 1960’s, the gardens were acquired by the Tye family who continue to run them today and have also introduced a further 200 varieties into the collection.
The gardens have a great fort play area for children and a tea room providing delicious local cakes, drinks and ice creams for those sunny summer days.
The closest station is Cromford and although the gardens are just under an hour's walk from the station, we couldn’t think of a more perfect summer day than a journey to Cromford with a walk in the sun to explore the gardens and then back again.
Cascades Gardens, Matlock
If your garden is a space of relaxation and mindfulness, then this next selection is perfect for inspiration if you’re looking to create a haven of complete zen and wellbeing.
The garden owner, Alan Clements, created the space after a family bereavement led him on a journey of discovery that included Japanese gardens, Zen meditation and a meeting with the Dalai Lama. All of this culminated in what is a true corner of tranquility within the Peak District in the grounds of a ruined corn mill.
With water flowing gently throughout much of the gardens, and several relaxation rooms for you to close your eyes and forget about the worries of the world, after the past year we’ve had - Cascades Gardens sounds like the perfect destination.
If you’re looking to take a snippet of Zen home with you, Alan now also runs a small nursery on the site where you can pick up a bonsai tree or a range of Hostas, Ferns, Grasses and much more.
Matlock Bath station is the nearest to Cascades and the centre is just under an hour's walk from the station, making it another perfect day out to include as part of a hike around Matlock and the surrounding countryside.
Travel with Confidence
Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, the safety of our customers and our colleagues has been our biggest priority. Now that legal social distancing restrictions have been lifted it's only natural to feel uneasy, especially when travelling close to others. Rest assured we’re continuing to do everything we can to make your journey as safe as possible and help you to travel with confidence.
We are continuing our enhanced cleaning regimes in our stations, on our trains and across our depots. We are particularly targeting those areas which are regularly used by customers and staff, such as gate lines, ticket vending machines and doors.
We're continuously analysing customer travel patterns and how busy our trains are and use this information to keep our Seat Finder Tool updated. You can use the tool to quickly check how busy your train is likely to be based on recent averages.
For more information about what we’re doing to ensure the safety of our customers and staff, visit our coronavirus travel information page.