What's On

Summer Fun in the Garden

Every Plant that Peeps up is a Treasure’ wrote Elizabeth Gaskell about her garden in Manchester and this summer we are taking families out into the garden to discover these treasures for themselves.

The Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Family Garden Trail will launch on Wednesday 20 July and run throughout the school summer holidays on open days.

The new trail will entertain families with fun facts, discoveries and things to do as you make your way around the traditionally planted Victorian garden.  Awaiting exploration are colourful herbaceous borders, daisy scattered lawns, a carefully cultivated vegetable patch and a rose and clematis covered pergola. 

QR codes along the trail will activate the different elements and there will also be a paper version of the map available. Weather permitting we will also have a selection of traditional Victorian garden games like croquet, skittles, quoits and skipping ropes to have fun with on the lawns, where you can also enjoy a picnic.

children counting wildflowers in the lawn
Counting wildflowers in the lawn at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s favourite writing spot overlooks the garden, which is full of roses, peonies, hollyhocks and hardy geraniums – it’s where she wrote some of her most famous novels.  Beyond this you can see the coach house from where the Gaskell’s coach and pony would have been kept and further beyond this there would once have been a paddock, where a cow, a pig and poultry would have been kept.  The Family Garden Trail will illuminate fascinating stories about the Gaskell household in Victorian times and introduce characters like Tommy the pony. 

Scan the QR codes around the garden to discover fun facts and ideas to try at home

The trail also highlights facts about sustainability and shares take home ideas about reducing carbon emissions.  And to spread this message even further, whilst stocks last, families will also be able to take home a special pack of Elizabeth Gaskell House wild flower seeds.

All of the research that has gone into bringing the Family Garden Trail to life has been carried out by Elizabeth Gaskell House’s Under 25 Volunteer Group and it has been supported by Arts Council and Museum Development North West. 

The Family Garden Trail is a free activity for visitors to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, which is open every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11:00am to 4:30pm.  Entry is £6.50 for adults and free for children under 16, when accompanied by an adult.  Tickets can be pre-booked up to a month before.

20th July
21st July
24th July
27th July
28th July
31st July
3rd August
4th August
7th August
10th August
11th August
14th August
17th August
18th August
21st August
24th August
25th August
28th August
31st August
1st September
4th September

11am - 4.30pm

The guides brought the home alive. It was inspiring to hear about this woman and extraordinary family

Visitor to the House in 2021