Beautiful Gardens
Willow Chair in the meadow
Beautiful Blossoms
Beautiful Garden
The Rill Garden
comma butterfly

We were looking forward to welcoming you to the garden this spring - with a mild winter both the garden and the plants in the nursery are looking stunning.

But the Coronavirus restrictions have changed all of that.

Good to Go logoWe were pleased that the nursery and garden were able to open in May and June and delighted that as of the 4th July everything will be open, including the tea room. You can be confident in the new measures we have in place for cleanliness and social distancing as we have been awarded the Visit Britain "We're Good to Go" consumer mark. We ask you to respect both staff and other visitors by hand-sanitising on request and observing social distancing to keep us all safe and the garden open.

Our planned art exhibitions for the rest of the year will be going ahead, including the sculptures in the garden in August. Most of the workshops scheduled for the rest of the year will also be going ahead, including some of them that were postponed. Some of the workshops may well have reduced numbers to enable social distancing, so early booking is recommended.

Season tickets purchased this year will now be valid for both 2020 and 2021.

We will, of course, let you know if we have to make any further changes due to updated guidance. We would recommend checking our website and social media if you are planning to travel here.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

An introduction to the garden

Stillingfleet Lodge Garden and nursery is a wildlife friendly family garden close to York. Described as a quintessentially English garden, it is first and foremost a family garden, lovingly planted-up over 40 years by owners Vanessa and John Cook.

It is a fine example of how a relatively small space can be planted up to encourage wildlife whilst retaining all the beauty of a cottage garden. The four acre site comprises a series of themed areas surrounding the traditional farmhouse plus a pond, meadow, vegetable garden and a very well-stocked plant nursery.

You will see first-hand the many ways that the garden is managed organically, giving you inspiration to take home and turn your garden into a wildlife haven too.

We purposefully leave seed heads as food for birds and limit cutting back to provide habitat for insects and places for hedgehogs to hibernate.

After you have explored the garden, finish the day with a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the attractive Tea Room and enjoy the art exhibitions.

Our entire ethos is one of sustainability – not just in how we manage the garden, but also in the tea room and plant nursery.

Opening Times 2020

Please click the calendar to enlarge it.


We love sharing the garden with visitors, but please note our opening times are 1:00pm to 5:00pm on the days shown on the calendar.

You are welcome to picnic at the tables in the car park if you arrive early, but you will not be admitted to the garden or plant nursery until 1 O’clock.

White Rose Awards 2020 Finalist logo
Selby Business Awards 2020 winner's certificate

Featured Workshop

Plant Nursery

Courtyard Tea Room

Wildlife in the Garden

Workshops and Events

Art Exhibitions

Find Us

By Car:

Stillingfleet Village lies 6 miles south of York on the B1222.   If approaching from Naburn, once in the village turn right opposite the church, following the signpost to “Lodge Nurseries”.

If approaching on the A19 south of York, once you have passed through Escrick, follow the brown signs and turn right and follow the road for approximately 2 miles, then turn right into Stillingfleet village immediately before the Cross Keys Pub.  Cross the bridge in the village and turn left following the signs for “Lodge Nurseries” opposite the church.

By Bus from York:

Arriva no 42, York to Selby bus – runs hourly – view the timetable here

422 runs from York to Sherburn in Elmet – view the timetable here
Bus route takes approximately 20 minutes and stops at Stillingfleet church (5 minutes walk to Garden).

By Bicycle:

Take Route 65, trans-Pennine trail towards Selby (access at the Millennium Bridge or The Knavesmire in York) and leave the route at Naburn, then take the B1222 into Stillingfleet and turn right opposite the Church. We have bike racks.

A Word from Vanessa.....

Welcome to Stillingfleet Lodge Garden and Nursery, our family home since the 1970s. John and I moved here in 1974 with our young (and growing) family. Our aim was to be organic and self sufficient.

For 10 years we used land to produce our own meat and vegetables. As the children grew older we began to convert the garden into a plant nursery and later into the wildlife-friendly garden you see here today.

It is still very much the family home and you are likely to meet our dog, Flops and Donald the cat. Our children, grand children and great grand children still spend a lot of time enjoying the fruits of our labour of love.

You can read more of our story here

By visiting Stillingfleet garden I hope you will be inspired to garden for wildlife and to grow your own food.



Here's what you can expect.....


 “Worth a long journey to visit” – RHS Gardens.

“One of the best cottage gardens” – Gardens Illustrated.

“Inspired plant combination… a tranquil delight” – Daily Telegraph.

“At Stillingfleet Lodge nature and nurture combine to create a harmonious whole” – The Garden Magazine.