The Gardens at Adlington Hall
Adlington Hall itself is an imposing and historically important building set in the heart of the beautiful Cheshire countryside, between Wilmslow and Prestbury, and well worth a visit. However one of it’s main attractions are the stunning gardens. There are 2,000 acres of land within the estate and more than 60 acres have been developed into landscaped grounds for visitors to enjoy in the open air, within the beauty of the English countryside. The Gardens were first developed in the middle of the 18th Century, in the style of Capability Brown, and were supposedly landscaped by Charles Legh, an ancestor of the Legh family who still own the house today.
The Rose Garden
Opposite the Hall is the Rose Garden, a riot of sights and scents in the summer. It is reached through a Laburnum Arch, which has six gothic sweeps making an impressive entrance to the Rose Garden. There are formal rose beds, but a visitor favourite are the rose swags over the gazebo in the centre and the rambling roses which swarm up the pillars, creating a marvellously tranquil area in which to enjoy their beauty. These roses bloom all summer long, from the first warmer temperatures of Spring.
Adlington Hall Maze
Just beyond the Rose Garden is one of the Garden highlights, the Maze. Built of English Yew, it is a challenge which both children and adults will love. The aim is to find the unicorn hidden in the centre. Once you have successfully found it, and found your way out again, look out for the painted Rhinoceros “Blossom” on one side of the entrance and the crafted bug hotel on the other, built into fallen trees the hotel has been developed by Adlington’s team of gardeners to encourage new wildlife.
Father Tiber Garden
On the other side of the house is the Father Tiber Garden. This was named after Tiberinus, the Roman river god who also gave his name to Rome’s river, and so has a water theme. A statue of Father Tiber himself presides over this, and there are ponds, rills, fountains and a water cascade to admire. This is another area in which visitors can relax, this time to the sound of water, providing yet another satisfying experience for the senses.
The Lime Avenue can be found from the front of the Hall, planted in 1688 to celebrate the monarchy, the avenue leads to the Wilderness, which is still being developed. Here you can see many different types of trees, from oaks and yews to more exotic cedars of Lebanon and redwoods. There are some later additions, including monkey puzzles and rhododendrons, which date from Victorian times.
The Buildings within Adlington Hall Grounds
There are also a number of buildings to discover on your walks round the gardens. There is Shell Cottage which is decorated inside, as its name suggests, with shells, pebbles and coloured mirrors. A Chinese bridge spans the River Dean. On the west of the wilderness is a Temple to Diana, the Goddess of the Hunt. The T’ing House is a brick pavilion with the striking black and white timberwork, and the Rat House is a brick structure without a roof, with gothic windows. In the former deer park area are the remains of a ruined sham castle.
The Gardens are a labour of love for the owner. They change with the seasons, from the first Snowdrops in March, the Laburnum is in full colour for Easter, with a carpet of bluebells in May, which is a regular attraction for many visitors. The roses, iris and lavender will be in full bloom until September. With so much to see why not reward yourself with a slice of homemade cake and a hot drink in the Hall tea rooms, before taking in the pleasures of the Hall interior on one of the guided tours.