York Gate is a magical one-acre garden created by the Spencer family between 1951 and 1994. Frederick and Sybil Spencer along with their son Robin, laid out and nurtured what is now one of the finest small gardens in the country. The design of ‘rooms’ interlinked through a succession of vistas and executed with meticulous attention to detail owed much to the Arts and Crafts movement, complemented by Sybil’s skills as a plantswoman. Unfortunately, Fred died suddenly in 1963, as did their son Robin in 1981. During the next twelve years Sybil cherished the garden, adding to the already considerable plant collection. In accordance with Sybil’s wishes, on her death in 1994, York Gate was given to Perennial. The garden is now maintained and developed in sympathy with the Spencers’ design and will continue to attract visitors for both education and pleasure.
York Gate has undergone extensive development works to offer wonderful new facilities so that a whole day can be lost in the enchanting surroundings of York Gate.
York Gate Cafe
Our new cafe serves wholesome homemade food, reflecting the seasons and promoting local produce. Our menu includes savoury delights, light lunches using handpicked produce from our vegetable garden as available, freshly prepared sandwiches, homemade cakes, and a selection of teas and freshly brewed coffee. Sit on the wonderful new sun terrace overlooking the newly created sunken Mediterranean garden. There is also a private dining room you can book for special occasions. The cafe is open Wednesday to Sunday all year round.
The traditional wildflower meadow is open for families to enjoy the wilder areas of York Gate. Mown paths lead you through the tall grass, interspersed with winter flowering fruit trees with the ancient Adel woods as your backdrop. Swathes of pignut take hold in May, followed by knapweed, vetches and achillea throughout the summer.
Our new larger plant centre will help you turn your garden inspiration into reality. We offer a wide range of plants including those propagated from plants in the garden and grown on site by our Head Gardener and team.
The Gift Shop
The perfect place to find something special including gifts for the home and garden. We stock a large range of contemporary giftware, cards, stationery and gifts for gardeners.
Meet the Team
We have eight full time staff that run the garden and visitor element of York Gate and over 100 volunteers that care for the garden and look after our guests during the open season.
How Perennial Helps
Perennial is the UK’s only charity looking after people in horticulture and their families at any stage of life. If you work with flowers, plants, trees or grass, our friendly and experienced team are here to deliver completely free, confidential and personal support. We understand the devastating impact unexpected personal challenges and financial pressures has on lives. If you need help or know someone who does please contact us on 0800 093 8543 or visit perennial.org.uk.
We love our one acre gem – but don’t just take our word for it. Have a look at our TripAdvisor reviews.
We’re delighted to reopen York Gate on 4 July.
To maintain social distancing, we need to limit the numbers in the garden, so you’ll need to book your slot before you come and pay on entry at the garden. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy York Gate at its best and its quietest!
The garden will be open from 11am – 4.30pm | Wednesday – Sunday.
You can book a slot at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm or 3pm
To book your slot, click here or call 0113 733 3753.
Please note, payment will be taken on entry at the garden. The garden will be operating a cashless system, so please bring your card and use contactless payments where possible.
The brand new York Gate Cafe and Gift Shop will be opening on 22 July.
For full terms and conditions, click here