We stumbled upon Ness Botanic Gardens several years ago and since then we’ve been visiting several times a year. It’s about half way between Chester and our relatives in Hoylake so it makes a lovely spot for a peaceful walk on the way to a family get together.

You can easily spend an hour or two just strolling around the beautiful gardens – there are over 60 acres to explore. You’ll discover rock gardens; lily ponds; formal gardens; wild flower meadows; woodlands; and wide open spaces with sweeping views across the Dee valley to the hills of North Wales. Or just pick a spot and enjoy a picnic – there are plenty of benches and shelters or you can bring a rug and spread out on one of the lawns and just soak up the atmosphere.

There’s so much space that even on busy days it doesn’t feel crowded (apart from maybe the café if you arrive at a Sunday lunch time – we won’t do that again!). I love the tranquility – such a complete contrast from the hustle and bustle of Chester city centre!

Photo: A robin in amongst the blossom
Photo: Spring blossom

The gardens are open all year round and there’s always something different to see – the last time we went there was a mass of blossom on the rhododendrons, magnolias and fruit trees. Before that the drifts of snowdrops were just breaking through.

Photo: Views across the Dee to North Wales
Photo: Magnolia blossom

What’s on?

There are occasional horticultural exhibitions throughout the year and family activities during the school holidays.

Ness Gardens is part of the University of Liverpool so there are plenty of learning opportunities – how about taking a workshop in floristry, fruit pruning or botanic illustration or maybe have a go at Nordic walking?

Photo: The children's play area with climbing equipment and mini tractors
Photo: Ness Gardens in the winter

Visiting Ness Botanic Gardens

The gardens are on the Wirral, about 20 minutes drive from Chester. They’re open most days of the year, only closing if particularly bad weather is forecast.

Facilities include a café and gift shop and a play area for younger children.

The gardens are fairly accessible with plenty of wheelchair and buggy friendly paths and lots of benches and shelters.

Find the gardens at Neston Rd, Little Neston, Ness CH64 4AY

Find out more about visiting Ness Botanic Gardens on their website:

www.liverpool.ac.uk/ness-gardens/

And on social media:

www.facebook.com/NessBotanicGardens

Or call them on 0151 795 6300 (10am-4pm)

Photo: Snowdrops at Ness Botanic Gardens
Photo: A thatched summer house by the pond