History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Cubby Acland lived at Stagshaw, and in 1959 he began a decades-long project to transform an 8-acre area of Skelghyll Wood into a woodland garden, traversed by meandering trails. Acland's skill as both a forester and a gardener helped him blend rare and brightly coloured plants amongst the tall trees of this steep site. He created a garden with blocks of colour arranged around a series of glades, drawing a viewer's eye to carefully planted specimen trees.
The focus of the garden is on spring-flowering shrubs, with over 300 azaleas and rhododendrons scattered around the wooded site. Many of these plants are old or rare specimens. One highlight is Royal Glade, planted with purple azaleas and rhododendrons. Just south of Royal Glade a bench is arranged to give wonderful views out over Lake Windermere to the Lakeland fells on the far bank.
The lowest section of the garden is a bank planted with snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils, making for colourful viewing in late winter and early spring. Below the bank is a veteran oak tree thought to be over 300 years old.
Near the garden entrance is a bench given to Cubby Acland by the National Trust to mark his retirement in 1973. The bench is immediately beside the Artist's Palette, a glade planted with colourful shrubs in the shape of an artist's palette, complete with a 'thumbhole' created by dwarf rhododendrons and azaleas. To one side of the glade is Stencher Beck, where a miniature waterfall tumbles down the slope between banks planted with zabel laurel.
At the very top of the garden is a stand of bamboo bordered by a wild garden. A gate in the garden fence gives access to a path leading up to Jenkin's Crag.
There are lovely walks from Stagshaw through neighbouring Skelghyll Woods, with further access onto the Lakeland fells. There is seasonal opening in spring and early summer, and admission by appointment through the end of October. See the National Trust website for full details.
Stagshaw Garden is signposted at the southern edge of Ambleside on the A591. Look for a small National Trust sign on the first bend just as you leave the village. The lane gives access to a small parking area between the garden and Skelghyll Woods. Parking is free and there is no charge to enter the garden.
About Stagshaw Garden
Address: Ambleside, Cumbria, England, LA22 0HE
Attraction Type: Garden
Location: At the southern edge of Ambleside on a lane off the A591
Website: Stagshaw Garden
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Skelghyll Wood - 0.2 miles (Countryside)
Ambleside Roman Fort - 0.5 miles (Roman Site)
Bridge House - 1.2 miles (Historic Building)
Wray Castle - 1.2 miles (Historic House)
Stock Ghyll Force - 1.4 miles (Countryside)
Brockhole Gardens - 1.4 miles (Garden)
Townend - 1.8 miles (Historic House)
Holehird Gardens - 2.3 miles (Garden)
Nearest Accommodation to Stagshaw Garden:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts