Barnsdale Gardens



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Our View

Originally developed by BBC Gardeners’ World presenter, the late Geoff Hamilton, Barnsdale became familiar to many viewers over the years. Today, the garden’s team continue to follow Geoff’s principles of implementing organic and peat- and chemical-free techniques. The many individually designed gardens here were created for the different gardening programmes he presented over the years with the aim to inspire enthusiasts whatever the size and shape of their own gardens. Included in the long list of areas to visit and admire are the stream and bog garden, allotment, Japanese garden, woodland garden, formal pool and knot garden, rose garden and a memorial garden to Geoff featuring a rose named after him and some of his favourite plants and trees – it is a charming and quiet spot whatever the time of year. In 2016, on the 20th anniversary of his death, a new winter border was created, featuring plants donated by colleagues, friends and family. There is also a tea room and nursery; courses, guided walks, talks and demonstrations are held throughout the year. Photo credit: main pic - Hemant Jariwala; lavender, nesting day & winter frost - Hamilton Photography.

Awards, accolades and Welcome Schemes

Quality Assured Visitor Attraction
Barnsdale Gardens
The Avenue, EXTON, LE15 8AH
Phone : 01572 813200


  • Parking onsite
  • Cafe
  • Fully accessible
  • Facilities: Disabled parking, hire of mobility scooter
  • Accessible toilets
Opening times
  • Opening Times: Open Mar-May & Sep-Oct, 9-5; Jun-Aug, 9-7; Nov-Feb, 10-4

About the area

Discover Rutland

Measuring less than 20 miles (32.4 km) across, Rutland has a resident population of around 37,000, and apart from Oakham and Uppingham most of its inhabitants live in tiny villages and hamlets like Exton. 

The county’s name possibly derives from the 11th-century word ‘Roteland’, denoting the red colour of the soil in the east of the region; or it could have been part of the estate belonging to an early landowner called Rota. Whatever the origin of the name, one thing is certain, and that is that this tiny county has had a complicated history. The modern bit starts in 1974 when it was dissolved into Leicestershire. After more than 20 years of protest by unrepentant Rutlanders the county was happily reinstated in 1997.

The major tourist draw of Rutland was created in 1975, and is Rutland Water, a body of water which, at 5,000 acres, is the largest man-made reservoir in Europe. As well as a mass of wildlife and water pursuits such as windsurfing and sailing, Rutland Water also has its own church, which is now a museum, sitting on an outcrop that juts out into reservoir.

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