Ness Botanic Gardens
- The Ness Botanic Gardens are an expansive horticulture collection in Cheshire featuring splendid show gardens and seasonal flowers.
- Overlooking the Dee Estuary, these award-winning botanical gardens have been flourishing on the Wirral Peninsula for over one hundred years.
- Featuring a glorious Alpine house, a picturesque Victorian kitchen garden and hundreds of ever-changing diverse plants, the University of Liverpool's Ness has become one of the best botanical gardens in the UK.
Founded in 1898 by a man who wanted to share his love of plants with the world, Arthur Kilpin Bulley, the Ness Botanic Gardens offer a collection of the most beautiful and diverse plants from around the world. Spread across 64 acres near the English and Welsh border at the Wirral Peninsula, the Ness Gardens cultivates and maintains the best tree and plant life to be admired and explored by the public. Following much-dedicated work by Arthur Kilpin Bulley and his daughter, care of the Ness Botanic Gardens was handed over to the University of Liverpool who still maintain it today. Though it's under the care of the University of Liverpool, it's actually in Cheshire!
From its home on the Dee Estuary, this stunning open space in Cheshire offers marvellous views of the landmark River Dee and adjacent landscape of North Wales. The Ness Botanic Gardens is committed to year-round conservation and making the most of each season’s natural beauty, which is reflected in their ever-changing and cyclical plant collections. From magical Snowdrop walks in the winter months and flourishing Magnolia trees in spring to the most vibrant Wildflower Meadows come the summer season, the Ness Gardens document the fascinating life cycles of the plant world for you to experience all year round. There are tons of things for families to do as you soak in the horticulture around you; step into the stunning Alpine greenhouse, marvel at the delicate Victorian-style potager, explore the intriguing shaded Woodlands, visit the charming Rock Garden to catch sprouting Crocuses and Daffodils, or set up a picnic on the deck chair lawn in summer. You can also enjoy guided walks of the gardens to see all of the best sights of the season and learn about the plants as you go. To refuel in the stunning green surroundings, the Botanic Kitchen Café serves eclectic family-friendly menus using local produce in their indoor and outdoor terraces. During your visit, make sure you also pop into the wonderful Gift Shop on-site for locally handmade jams and preserves, the best horticulture books, seasonal cards and gifts and gorgeous woven accessories made from British wool. If you’ve been truly inspired by the horticulture you’ve seen, you can even pick up your own unique plants and flowers to take home with you from the Plant Sales area on-site.
Nestled in a picturesque corner of England, the Ness Botanic Gardens is one of the best places to go in the Wirral with kids amongst other much-loved family attractions such as the Neston Recreation Centre, the Manley Mere adventure centre, Wirral Country Park and the fabulous Chester Zoo. Today, Ness Gardens is dedicated to the development and preservation of the world’s natural botanical beauty, and its outstanding horticulture collection only continues to grow.
What to know before you go
- From March to October, the Ness Gardens Wirral is open from 10am to dusk and from November to February opening times are 10am to 4.30pm.
- There is a gift shop and plant sales area on-site, featuring local jams, seasonal gifts, books, cards and plenty of unusual plant varieties to purchase for yourself.
- The Ness Gardens have a delightful eatery on site - the Botanic Kitchen Café - which serves hot drinks and hot and cold food using locally sourced produce. They have great child-friendly menus, as well as gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, and highchairs are available for families. There are also some family-friendly pubs and restaurants nearby including The Wheatsheaf, the Royal Oak and Elephant Bank on your way into Neston.
- There is an accessible route around the gardens for buggies and wheelchairs which is outlined on their visitor map (although a few areas do remain inaccessible), and there are approximately 200 benches located at regular intervals around the parklands. Wheelchairs are also available to pre-book if you contact the gardens directly.
- Accessible toilets can be found in the Visitor Centre and the Herbaceous Area within the gardens.
- Assistance dogs are welcome in all areas of the gardens and their buildings.
- Other pets are only allowed within the Botanic Kitchen Café’s outdoor patio area.
- Baby changing facilities can be found in the Visitor Centre toilets.
- If travelling by car, the Botanic Gardens are signposted with brown signs via the M53 and A540. There is a free car park on site, which includes accessible parking spaces.
- The nearest train station to the gardens is Neston Station, which is a short bus ride away via the 487 or 488 routes.
- Buses 487 Arriva and 488 run from Liverpool to the Botanic Gardens, and the number 22 runs from Chester to Little Neston, which is just under a one-mile walk away.
- The Ness Botanic Gardens are also just off of the National Cycle Route, and bike racks are available on site.