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.
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.
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 all year round | Wednesday to Sunday | 10am – 5pm. Please note, last orders in the cafe are at 4.30pm and we are unable to take bookings.
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.
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.
2021 Seasonal Opening Times
Nursery open from 11 March every Thursday and Friday | 10am – 4pm.
Garden open 14 April – 31 October | Wednesday –Sunday | 11am –4.30pm.
Cafe open and gifts available all year from 14th April | Wednesday –Sunday | 10am–5pm.
To maintain social distancing, we need to limit the numbers in the garden, so you’ll need to book your slot before you come. 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.
We kindly ask that you make your way around the garden during your allocated slot before visiting the cafe, gift shop and plant nursery in order for us to maintain social distancing.
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