An Afternoon at Ness Gardens

A trip to Liverpool will usually mean taking in the world-famous waterfront, a trip to the cathedrals, the two football clubs, ‘shopping ‘til you drop’ then a good old fashioned night on the tiles – but while you’re in town it would be remiss not to take a ferry ‘cross the Mersey to see what Wirral has to offer.From beautiful beaches to country pubs, wonderful art galleries, Wirral has it all to offer. One of the must-see attractions is the beautiful Ness Gardens.

Take in the beautiful botanicals

The botanicals at Ness Gardens is a top family day out and should be top of every Wirral visitor’s wish list – with spectacular views across the Dee estuary to the hills and mountains of North Wales and some of the most fantastic flora and fauna on show, an afternoon in Ness will live long in the memory.

Set in 64 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and natural countryside, the gardens were founded in 1898 by Arthur Kiplin Bulley, a Liverpool cotton merchant with a love of gardens and plant collecting, and more than 100 years later welcomes visitors from all over the world, offering something for everyone no matter what time of year they visit, from star-gazing to nature trails.


One of the many herbaceous borders in Ness Gardens (Norman Caesar) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Seeing the seasons at Ness Gardens

The garden calendar begins in February with spectacular snowdrop displays and continues into spring with camellias, magnolias, and rhododendrons.

Into summer and the herbaceous borders spring into life in the Victorian-style vegetable garden, while the WilderNess project sees over 600 species of birds, mammals, bees, butterflies and insects thrive in four hectares of wildflower meadows.

The change to autumn brings a spectacular show of colour as leaves turn and berries blossom on the garden’s trees and shrubs, which includes a National Collection of Sorbus (rowans and whitebeams), and beautiful bark and foliage of birches and maples.

A fantastic family day out

An afternoon at Ness doesn’t have to be spent walking the gardens, for younger ones there is a play area with a climbing frame, tyre swing and log walk, toy tractors to drive, a grass labyrinth to run around in and family fun trails.

And when you need to take a break from all that running around, check out the hidden corners like Woodhenge to enjoy the spectacular views or sit back and relax in one of the many picturesque picnic areas.

Enjoy a walk with the Friends of Ness Gardens

Become a Friend of Ness Gardens and you can enjoy some privileges not open to other visitors, notably the Summer Supper and Walk on which you can enjoy an evening meal in the Hulme Conservatory overlooking the herbaceous borders before taking in a guided after-hours walk around the gardens to take in some of the amazing plants and wildlife visitors often miss.

What else to see in Wirral

If you’ve any time left while on the Wirral, there are so many more things to see and do.

Take a trip down to the beautiful beaches at red rocks and West Kirby before walking over to the bird sanctuary at Hilbre Island to see seals in their natural habitat and for some spectacular views along the Dee Estuary.

Take a trip out to picture-perfect Port Sunlight Village and the Lady Lever art gallery, or down to the historic Birkenhead Priory where monks of the Benedictine monastery launched the first every regulated ferry across the Mersey back in the 12th century.