Ness Botanic Gardens

Ness Botanic Gardens: Hours, Address, Ness Botanic Gardens Reviews: 4.5/5

Ness Botanic Gardens
4.5
10:00 - 17:00
Monday
10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday
10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday
10:00 - 17:00
Thursday
10:00 - 17:00
Friday
10:00 - 17:00
Saturday
10:00 - 17:00
Sunday
10:00 - 17:00
About
The superb gardens at Ness on the Wirral Peninsular, overlooking the Dee Estuary were founded in 1898 by Arthur Kilpin Bulley; a Liverpool cotton merchant with a passion for gardens and plant collecting. Today the stunning 64 acre gardens have won a succession of awards including Large Attraction of the Year for Cheshire and Liverpool City Region and coveted RHS Gold Medal display garden at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park. The Horsfall Rushby Visitor Centre provides a warm welcome to this Cheshire Garden of Distinction. Ness Botanische – display garden by TV presenter and garden designer Chris Beardshaw and Making Waves garden by award winning designer Pippa Probert. Our newly launched restaurant The Garden Kitchen serves quality locally sourced food along with the Garden Grub kiosk in the garden. An extensive events programme runs throughout the year.
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4.5
528 reviews
Excellent
291
Very good
147
Average
52
Poor
22
Terrible
16

kasay100
1 contribution
Nice enough, visitor centre and cafe shut early, get your take away in before 15:15
Jun 2021
The gardens are mature and lovely and the views with well positioned seats to take the best advantage of them.

Some of the beds are so overgrown it is hard to tell if it is just weeds and others do need work. The potager was really sparse for June, I know it's been cold but hardly anything was growing. The majority of plants are not labelled so you can't take ideas home. There was some lovely planting with very architectural blue flowered spikes absolutely awash with bees, no idea what they were. There were lots of bees which was great to see.

Parking was unpleasant, we arrived 14:00 and had to drive around until someone left.

The welcome in the visitor centre was brief and purely Covid focussed, she wanted to make sure we checked in which we had already. No information on the loos or where to pick up a map (the map was pretty basic) we saw someone pick one up otherwise we wouldn't have known. We were not told any practical information such as when the centre shut (16;00 which seems very early) and that the cafe shut by 15:30 with last orders for coffe and cake 15:15, which meant by the time we had walked round and come back for a drink on a hot muggy day the cafe was shut. Hot and bothered would be a good description of how I felt at the end of the visit.

We were so fed up we didn't bother with the shop and we went home really thirsty, and as we weren't local no idea where to go for a drink.

Then to top it off the traffic home was awful.

Not a very enjoyable afternoon on balance so it is unlikely we'll go again, we'll go to the new RHS Bridgemere garden and watch it mature.

If you live locally and know about the early close of the cafe so you can get your takeaway it would be fine. 15:15 for last orders of coffee and cake seems ridiculously early.
Written 7 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lyncarolmold
Mold20 contributions
Absolutely wonderful ! Beautifully maintained!
Jun 2021 • Solo
Absolutely wonderful- well worth a visit !
I’m just sitting in the car park having visited these superb gardens which are and have been maintained so beautifully ( even during lockdown ) . I live in north Wales so it is always a treat to come over and now that we can cross over into England it’s been even more of a treat! Many thanks to all the fantastic gardeners who make this place SO special ! Every member of staff on duty greets you with a smile - and actually remembers you !!! There is something for everyone here from cultivated to wild, and the detail of each part has been so carefully considered. It was great to see people ( even socially distanced) being able to return to these much loved snd very famous gardens ! The colours are spectacular ! Many thanks and congratulations to all concerned ( the cafe is good too - don’t forget to order something there - it’s lovely !) a fabulous morning which will stay in my mind until my next visit .
Written 3 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Trisha K
Bromborough, UK488 contributions
Frail, infirm, or just needing to feed the baby - be aware that during lockdown the benches have been taken out of use
Feb 2021
Husband and I, living locally, have just this minute received our February 2021 Members newsletter which informs us the garden benches have been taken out of operation due to 'groups gathering around seating areas'. (Make of that what you will.) Apparently there are two dedicated rest and breastfeeding areas and you should ask staff for details on arrival.

Too bad this information isn't on the website (at the time of writing) and was not made available to us in advance of our thoroughly dispiriting visit yesterday. I use a walking stick and need to sit from time to time; we soon gave up and went home, glad that, as members, at least we hadn't paid to get in. Evidently the message at Ness is now that if you happen to be frail, infirm, disabled or might just need to feed the baby, you would be better taking your daily exercise elsewhere, till lockdown is over. As a member, I don't think that's good enough.

But in any case, many areas were roped off and there was almost nothing in flower save the snowdrops. (Contrast that with Port Sunlight which has glorious displays of crocus and benches available.)
Written 26 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear Trisha, My sincere apologies for not responding sooner, we have been undergoing some radical changes to our operation since you posted your response. I completely understand the frustration, disappointment and inconvenience you experienced when you visited the gardens back in February. At that time we were still in the midst of the pandemic, with rising cases, strict travel restrictions and social gathering limitations. We had also received many complaints about groups of people gathering near seated areas not from the same household, which at the time, was prohibited. Our first priority is always to guarantee our visitors safety. During the pandemic era this took on even greater significance. As part of the University of Liverpool and as a visitor attraction, we had to ensure that we followed the government advice as closely as possible and that we limited the opportunities for some of our visitors to breach those regulations or face the possibility of being shut down. As a result of the complaints, our desire to keep visitors safe and the possibility of penalties if we failed to adhere to government advice, we decided that the best course of action was to temporarily upturn the benches to limit the possibility that groups would aggregate. I really do appreciate that this was not beneficial for those with mobility and health issues and once this was raised we made a specially designated area for those with the aforementioned issues to use in the event that they needed to rest. This was also implemented to enable those with young children to breastfeed in privacy. This policy was maintained for around 3 weeks until the regulations were eased by the government nationwide, and this then permitted us to allow low levels of social gathering and to reinstate the benches. Since this point we have continued to offer ample seating in all parts of the gardens as we had done previously. Your feedback has been really helpful in developing our policies and we appreciate the comments we received from yourself and other visitors. In particular, this helped us to establish the specially designated seating area for those who breastfeed or had mobility/health issues. It also helped us to adapt our website and we have made our accessibility offers more clear and concise. You can find out about this on our webpage below; https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/ness-gardens/plan-your-visit/ You will be pleased to know that the gardens are currently open, with the visitor centre, cafe and gift shop all in operation. You no longer have to pre-book and you can sit inside, as well as outside. We hope you decide to visit us again as I am sure you would leave with a much better impression. All the best, Thom Williamson
Written 25 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sue mcgarry
Ellesmere Port, UK1 contribution
Ness in Lockdown
Feb 2021 • Couples
First time this year I'd been to ness . Whilst I understand we are in lockdown consider it unnecessary to upend or tape off every bench thereby preventing anyone having a brief rest . Especially as most ness members are in the senior category. Bit of overkill I think !
Written 21 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear Sue, My sincere apologies for not responding sooner, we have been undergoing some radical changes to our operation since you posted your response. I completely understand the frustration, disappointment and inconvenience you experienced when you visited the gardens back in February. At that time we were still in the midst of the pandemic, with rising cases, strict travel restrictions and social gathering limitations. We had also received many complaints about groups of people gathering near seated areas not from the same household, which at the time, was prohibited. Our first priority is always to guarantee our visitors safety. During the pandemic era this took on even greater significance. As part of the University of Liverpool and as a visitor attraction, we had to ensure that we followed the government advice as closely as possible and that we limited the opportunities for some of our visitors to breach those regulations or face the possibility of being shut down. As a result of the complaints, our desire to keep visitors safe and the possibility of penalties if we failed to adhere to government advice, we decided that the best course of action was to temporarily upturn the benches to limit the possibility that groups would aggregate. I really do appreciate that this was not beneficial for those with mobility and health issues and once this was raised we made a specially designated area for those with the aforementioned issues to use in the event that they needed to rest. This was also implemented to enable those with young children to breastfeed in privacy. This policy was maintained for around 3 weeks until the regulations were eased by the government nationwide, and this then permitted us to allow low levels of social gathering and to reinstate the benches. Since this point we have continued to offer ample seating in all parts of the gardens as we had done previously. Your feedback has been really helpful in developing our policies and we appreciate the comments we received from yourself and other visitors. In particular, this helped us to establish the specially designated seating area for those who breastfeed or had mobility/health issues. It also helped us to adapt our website and we have made our accessibility offers more clear and concise. You can find out about this on our webpage below; https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/ness-gardens/plan-your-visit/ You will be pleased to know that the gardens are currently open, with the visitor centre, cafe and gift shop all in operation. You no longer have to pre-book and you can sit inside, as well as outside. We hope you decide to visit us again as I am sure you would leave with a much better impression. All the best, Thom Williamson
Written 25 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chris F
1 contribution
Covid over reaction.
Feb 2021 • Couples
Arrived at about 12.30 today. All seats and benches have been overturned or have red hazard tape applied to stop people from sitting down......in an open air location! Place looks like a crime scene. Been a member for years but will not be renewing. A ridiculous, ridiculous action by Ness Gardens Management.
Written 18 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear Chris, My sincere apologies for not responding sooner, we have been undergoing some radical changes to our operation since you posted your response. I completely understand the frustration, disappointment and inconvenience you experienced when you visited the gardens back in February. At that time we were still in the midst of the pandemic, with rising cases, strict travel restrictions and social gathering limitations. We had also received many complaints about groups of people gathering near seated areas not from the same household, which at the time, was prohibited. Our first priority is always to guarantee our visitors safety. During the pandemic era this took on even greater significance. As part of the University of Liverpool and as a visitor attraction, we had to ensure that we followed the government advice as closely as possible and that we limited the opportunities for some of our visitors to breach those regulations or face the possibility of being shut down. As a result of the complaints, our desire to keep visitors safe and the possibility of penalties if we failed to adhere to government advice, we decided that the best course of action was to temporarily upturn the benches to limit the possibility that groups would aggregate. I really do appreciate that this was not beneficial for those with mobility and health issues and once this was raised we made a specially designated area for those with the aforementioned issues to use in the event that they needed to rest. This was also implemented to enable those with young children to breastfeed in privacy. This policy was maintained for around 3 weeks until the regulations were eased by the government nationwide, and this then permitted us to allow low levels of social gathering and to reinstate the benches. Since this point we have continued to offer ample seating in all parts of the gardens as we had done previously. Your feedback has been really helpful in developing our policies and we appreciate the comments we received from yourself and other visitors. In particular, this helped us to establish the specially designated seating area for those who breastfeed or had mobility/health issues. It also helped us to adapt our website and we have made our accessibility offers more clear and concise. You can find out about this on our webpage below; https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/ness-gardens/plan-your-visit/ You will be pleased to know that the gardens are currently open, with the visitor centre, cafe and gift shop all in operation. You no longer have to pre-book and you can sit inside, as well as outside. We hope you decide to visit us again as I am sure you would leave with a much better impression. All the best, Thom Williamson
Written 25 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LesDauphins
Manchester, UK169 contributions
Winter peace
Dec 2020
A beautiful garden, even in December with views of the Dee .
Different gardens around the house with a reindeer exploring game for children. We will return in spring.
Written 10 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
LesDauphins - Thank you for your wonderful review. We do hope that you managed to visit during the |Spring as the Gardens where quite spectacular!
Written 24 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Amy Victoria
Birkenhead, UK21 contributions
Gardens exploding with autumnal colours!
Oct 2020
Ness gardens makes for a beautifully stunning day out, especially at this time of year (mid-late October) because of the beautiful autumnal colours. My only criticism is, unfortunately, the Botanic Kitchen Café. Although it states that it offers vegan options, I do believe that it can do better than just a jacket potato with beans as the only meal choice, especially when vegan ingredients are so easily accessible now. I was a little bit disappointed. I was able to have a vegan pre-packaged cake, but would have appreciated an actual fresh slice. My partner and I plan on getting married at Ness, and even looking at the wedding menu there seems to be no vegan option which is a concern.
Other than the Botanic Kitchen Café slightly lacking in their vegan options, the gardens are a delight and without fault. Highly recommend!
Written 25 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
amybanc123 - Thank you for taking the time to review Ness Botanic Gardens. Autumn is most definitely a beautiful time to visit. Please accept our apologies regarding the vegan menu options, we have offered a much reduced menu during the pandemic and are slowly but surely reinstating our full choice. We hope to see you again soon.
Written 24 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Helen M
Crewe, UK22 contributions
October 2020 visit to Ness Botanic Gardens
Oct 2020 • Couples
Superb day out earlier this month at Ness Botanical Gardens. Gorgeous views, interesting and diverse gardens including Rock Garden, wildlife, colours, plenty of benches, picnic area, well maintained, good parking, interesting gift shop.
2020/21 Gardeners World '2 for 1' card currently accepted, which is a boon.
Written 17 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you Helen M for your wonderful review.
Written 24 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jane W
North Shields, UK13 contributions
A beautiful visit
Sep 2020
a gem of a place with so much more than we anticipated. Beautiful walks through magnificent gardens and lovely views over to North Wales.
Written 19 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. We hope to welcome you back soon.,
Written 24 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Allbreeds
Halifax, UK535 contributions
Lovely well laid out gardens , nice for a couple of hours visit
Sep 2020 • Couples
We were staying overnight in the area so called in having read other reviews on TA. We arrived for 10am so it was still nice and quiet mid week. Good covid 19 precautions in place .

The gardens were lovely with different planting areas many, but not all , had the names of plants on show which is always helpful if you want to try some for your own garden .

It was easy to spend a couple of hours here & a good place for a picnic although I didn’t see any picnic tables but there are plenty of forms to sit on, which as a mature couple we were very grateful for .

We bought a couple of plants from the small plant shop , although not a lot of stock there now it’s September .

It’s only about 15 minutes from Chester Zoo so both attractions are do able on the same day if you wished.
Written 4 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for your kind review. We hope you will visit again soon.
Written 24 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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