Walkden Gardens take its name from Harry Walkden who lived in the detached red brick house called ‘The Raft’ which is still standing today adjacent to the gardens on Derbyshire Road. He owned and ran a plant nursery, ‘Moorside Nurseries’, on the present site. The gardens, a little over 5 acres, were inspired by the famous 20th century garden at Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire.
Long alleys with vistas, a series of smaller garden ‘rooms’ (some originally intended for individual plant species) and the unique and beautifully proportioned Theatre Lawn – a large enclosed space that can seat up to 500 people, are all surrounded by tall beech hedges. The Japanese Garden is an unusual but beautiful addition to the gardens. For many years, the gardens have retained the prestigious Green Flag award, the latest awarded in 2018.