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.  In accordance with Sybil’s wishes, on her death in 1994, York Gate was given to Perennial. York Gate has been granted Grade II national heritage status in a list of post-war gardens and landscapes for England. It is an amazing garden, and it should be protected. It’s not a stately home, it’s a family home. It would have meant a lot to Sybil, to see the family name and legacy live on.  Ben Preston, Head Gardener.


York Gate Snowdrop Week
15 – 20 February 2022 

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Meet the Team

We have eight full time staff and over 100 volunteers that look after the garden and our visitors.

York Gate Cafe

Our new cafe serves wholesome homemade food, reflecting the seasons and promoting local produce.

Breakfast Menu 

Lunch Menu

Drinks and Cakes Menu

Sit on the wonderful new sun terrace overlooking the newly created sunken Mediterranean garden. The cafe is open all year round | Wednesday to Sunday | 9am – 3.30pm. Please note, last orders in the cafe are at 3pm and we are unable to take bookings.

Plant Nursery

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, during April to November. 

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.

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.

  • TripAdvisor

With special thanks to John Whitaker, Clare ForbesJonathan Ward, John Glover, John Heald, Carole Drake and Ben Charles for the photography used on these pages.


Snowdrop week 

15-20 February 2022 | 9am – 4pm 

For more information click here.

Winter Opening Times

Garden, nursery and shop are now closed for the winter.

Cafe open  | Wednesday – Sunday | 9am–3.30pm  


2022 Season Opening Times 

1 April – 30 October 2022


Click here to find out more about York Gate’s specialist workshops. 

York Gate’s policy of asking people to wear masks inside enclosed spaces will continue. 

Unfortunately we are unable to allow dogs or any other pets at York Gate, apart from assistance dogs.

For full terms and conditions, click here. 

Click here to download your copy of Perennial News.


Download 2021 leaflet

York Gate Garden digital archive