The hidden oasis with unique 'gardens within gardens' just 60 minutes from Liverpool

Walkden Gardens
-Credit: (Image: Vincent Cole - Manchester Evening News)

While Liverpool has many of its own unique beautiful green spaces, sometimes it is nice to venture a little further.

Greater Manchester is home to lots of lovely parks, gardens and green spaces. While some of them, like Heaton Park or Fletcher Moss, might be regulars on your list, there is one really special place that may have slipped beneath the radar.

Walkden Gardens is a compact yet beautifully curated haven nestled off Marsland Road in Sale. The gardens are divided into distinct 'rooms', each boasting a variety of unique features, forming a collection of 'gardens within gardens'.

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Perhaps the most eye-catching feature of them all is the wisteria arch, which spans over 70ft long, offering a breathtaking covered walkway that immerses you in nature. The garden also features a 'Theatre Lawn' used for events, including performances of plays like Macbeth and a Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

There's the Fuchsia Garden, framed by neatly trimmed box hedging, the Conifer Garden and the Dovecote Garden, which houses the romantically styled Dovecote structure. This structure originally stood within the grounds of Sale Old Hall but was left standing when the hall was demolished in the 1920s.

Following the expansion of the M60, it was relocated and rebuilt at Walkden Gardens, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Another 'room' is the Japanese Garden, maintained with the help of the Japanese Garden Society. It's split into three sections, separated by bamboo screens and archways, and includes a dry landscape garden where rocks and gravel symbolise islands and a lake.

There are several 'garden rooms' to explore
There are several 'garden rooms' to explore

Walkden Gardens, owned by Trafford Council and maintained in partnership with the Friends Group of volunteers, is named after Harry Walkden who once owned a plant nursery at the current site. The gardens draw inspiration from the renowned 20th-century garden at Hidcote Manor in Gloucester.

During the summer months, the gardens are open from 9am until 7.30pm (be sure to check the opening times as they are locked at night). Access to the free car park is via Derbyshire Road, and there are bus stops on Marsland Road.

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