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St Paul's Walden Bury

Spectacular formal woodland garden, Grade 1 listed, laid out 1720. Long rides lined with clipped beech hedges lead to temples, statues, lake and a terraced theatre. Seasonal displays of snowdrops, daffodils, cowslips, irises, magnolias, rhododendrons, lilies. Wild flowers are encouraged. This was the childhood home of the late Queen Mother. Children welcome.

10 June, Open Garden combined with Open Farm Sunday with free tours of the farm.

Opening for NGS:
Sunday 15 April, Sunday 13 May, Sunday 10 June (2 - 7pm). Admission £5.00, child £1.00. Home-made teas.

Simon & Caroline Bowes Lyon

For other opening times and information, please email or visit

Wheelchair access to part of the garden. Steep grass slopes in places.

How to find us

St Paul's Walden Bury, Whitwell, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 8BP

5m S of Hitchin. On B651; ½m N of Whitwell village. From London leave A1(M) J6 for Welwyn (not Welwyn Garden City). Pick up signs to Codicote, then Whitwell.

More about St Paul's Walden Bury

The spectacular garden at St Paul’s Walden Bury, Grade 1 listed, was laid out between 1720 and 1730, when the house was built. The same family has lived here since then. It was the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The formal woodland garden, covering about 60 acres, was much influenced by French tastes, and is one of the few surviving examples of gardens of this genre, based on a patte d’oie (goose foot) design. Long rides lined with clipped beech hedges lead to temples, statues, lake and ponds, and to a terraced outdoor theatre. The temple by the lake was designed by William Chambers. At the far end of the long ride opposite is another temple influenced by a design of Wyatt's. There are seasonal displays of snowdrops, daffodils, irises, magnolias, rhododendrons, woodland paeonies and lilies, shrub roses. Many of the rhododendron species from the Himalayas and SW China make an impressive sight in a good flowering year. Wild flowers are encouraged: banks of cowslips above the lake and bluebells in the woods make a beautiful show, and spotted orchids thrive. They are allowed to seed before the grass in which they grow is cut, so there is a natural look in some parts of the garden in early summer. There is plenty of space in the garden for lively children.