11 Reasons to Visit Great Dixter

great dixter

Great Dixter is an iconic medieval manor house in North East England, home to one of the finest gardens outside London.The garden at Great Dixter has been called ‘the best example in the country of a particular kind of English garden’. Every time I visit it seems more impressive than before and I always find something new to admire or enjoy. Here are eleven reasons why you should add a trip here to your next itinerary:

1. The house

A group of people standing in the rain

The house which is usually open to visitors popularly known as Great Dixter. It’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in historical houses both domestic and professional, the arts & crafts movement or sustainable architecture to explore one of the most influential homes of the 20th century.

2. The garden

A person riding on the back of a car

The Garden at Great Dixter attracts many thousands of visitors every year who are fascinated by its unique design and planting style created by Folliott Sanderson. There are over 10,000 species planted in it! The garden is laid out in a series of ‘rooms’ with each area having its own ambience and character. This provides visitors with many different experiences on their journey round – from tranquil spaces through to areas full of activity. The garden is also a wildlife reserve.

3. Events

You can meet Folliott Sanderson’s son Christopher at our annual plant fairs in Spring and Autumn, as well as other events throughout the year including talks by world-leading horticultural experts. Check out our What’s On pages for details.

4. Teaching Opportunities

There are opportunities to study plantsmanship with Jonathan Hewlett who has been Head Gardener here since 1987, as well as courses run by Great Dixter Educational Trust . The gardens are used regularly by professional horticulturalists for training purposes or simply to marvel at plantsmanship of an exceptional standard. We also offer ‘behind the scenes’ tours where visitors can see how Great Dixter works behind the scenes to maintain one of the most visited gardens in the country.

5. Plant sales

Great Dixter’s plant sales are legendary! We hold two fantastic fairs every year – spring and autumn. Check out our Facebook page where we post photos of plants currently for sale. The plants are grown on site by Great Dixter’s own team of gardeners, plus many plants are grown by volunteers who spend time here with us during the summer months. We also have an online shop selling plants grown at Great Dixter that you won’t find anywhere else online or in another nursery.

6. Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering opportunities for those interested in horticulture gardening can be found both here at Great Dixter and at other gardens in our project network. Volunteers are welcome to come here during the summer months to share their skills with us. Whether you’re a professional gardener or simply interested in plants, please contact us to find out more.

7. Accommodation

There is a comfortable guesthouse on site catering for visitors who wish to stay overnight or perhaps longer. We also have a well-equipped self-catering cottage available for those wishing to bring family and friends along for a holiday. All of our accommodation options can be booked online through this website.

8. Membership

Great Dixter welcomes members from as little as £12 per month – there are various levels of membership which offer benefits such as free entry to the garden and reduced rates on our events, plus discounts in our shops. Find out more here .

9. Shop

We stock a wide range of books on plants, gardening methods and local history; plus practical things like seeds, organic fertilisers and garden tools. We also have our own line of Great Dixter tea towels , mugs, badges & gifts which you can buy online or in-store! You can also get books signed by world-renowned horticulturist Matthaei – just ask for details.

10. Cafe

Our cafe serves delicious hot lunches (including vegetarian options), cakes and teas! It’s open to visitors but if you’re staying overnight at the guesthouse or are a member, you can also use the cafe. We serve our own range of Great Dixter Teas.

11. Garden Tours

Come along to one of our garden tours and meet the team behind the scenes that work tirelessly to maintain this beautiful place throughout all four seasons of the year. Tours are free and take place between 11am and 3pm on Saturdays throughout the summer.


Great Dixter is a charity run by volunteers who dedicate their time to upkeep this beautiful location for the public. If you are interested in plants, wildlife or want to learn more about horticulture then Great Dixter is the place for you! With something new happening all of the time there will never be a dull moment walking around this beautiful garden.

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