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Crake Valley Garden Tours

Thursday 12 September 2019, 1.30pm - 5.45pm


£15.00 per person (includes minibus transport and refreshments), £8.00 per person for Local Residents*


Behind the Ruskin Museum
Yewdale Road
Coniston, LA21 8DU United Kingdom


Emma Sumner
07930 651889

Join local artist, film-maker and gardener Karen Guthrie on a guided tour of the Crake Valley’s celebrated and hidden horticultural gems. Transported by minibus, you will meet and learn about what and who grows well in our special Valley, stopping at various locations from Coniston to Penny Bridge. The tour will finish at Lawson Park (Grizedale Arts’s headquarters) where Karen is Head Gardener, closing with tea and home-baking in the spectacular setting of Lawson Park’s new panoramic Ruskin Window overlooking Coniston Water.

Advance booking essential. Book your tickets through Eventbrite –HERE.

Please Note: we recommend that you bring wet weather outer-wear and sturdy footwear. Please also advise of any special dietary requirements when making your booking.  

*ACCESSING LOCAL RESIDENT DISCOUNT TICKETS: All residents of Coniston, Torver and the Crake Valley can access discounted £8.00 tickets by sending their address and postcode details to – – or calling 07930651889.


Tour Schedule: 

1.30pm, Ruskin Museum Meadow, Usher Miniature Village 

Karen will highlight the recent refurbishment of this much-loved local attraction, and introduce the Coniston Institute’s plans to redevelop the landscaping around the Museum’s entrance area into an outdoor learning and relaxation space with improved access.

2.00pm, Coniston Village
The tour will then take in several notable Coniston Village gardens and an allotment – some of which have been in the same hands for generations – highlighting plants that will succeed in local conditions while discussing each gardens’ evolution through time and taste with their owners.

2.45pm, Monk Coniston

The tour will move onto Monk Coniston’s gardens where productive allotments have been added to the historic Walled Garden and a notable 18th/19th century collection of mature exotic trees thrives.

3.15, Into the Valley

Moving along East of Coniston Water, Karen will highlight her favourite local gardens along the Crake Valley, including Brantwood’s Hortus Inclusus (, a native herb garden initiated by their talented head gardener, the late Sally Beamish, and examples of the topiary for which the area was once famed.

4.15pm, Lawson Park

The tour will culminate at Grizedale Arts’ headquarters, Lawson Park (, a hill farm which was once part of Ruskin’s Brantwood estate, and where, since 2002, Karen and partner Adam Sutherland have created a 4+acre garden on the fellside. Vegetable and fruit gardens are maintained via the no-dig system, and two large polytunnels produce year-round food for resident artists and volunteers, and cultural projects across the world. The tour will also take in the garden’s terraced Paddies (landscaped by Japanese farmers) and the Union Orchard, a collection of heritage fruit from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England. New garden projects launched in 2019 include a Shu-sugi-ban shed (a traditional Japanese technique of weatherproofing wood by charring it), a small hydro-electric scheme and a new herbaceous border where the driveway once was.

5.00pm, Tea and Home-Baking with a View

The tour will conclude with tea and home-baking (please advise of dietary requirements when booking) at Lawson Park, after which guests will be transferred back to the Coniston Institute for 5.45pm.

Supported by Arts Council England and Grizedale Arts