Coronavirus: Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park to reopen

Coronavirus: Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park to reopen

Published by May Norman at 11:02am 1st June 2020.

Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park opens to visitors

  • One of Harrogate's tourist attractions is due to reopen.
  • Visitors will be able to go to the Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park from Tuesday (2 June).
  • Bosses have stressed there will be social distancing rules in place.

Yorkshire’s award-winning Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park opens Tuesday (June 2) with social distancing rules in place.

Naomi Hutchinson, Operations Manager at the gardens, said:

“We believe that being outdoors and in beautiful gardens is restorative and important for people’s wellbeing. It can be a source of much-needed tranquillity in these super anxious times, and with 45 acres, the Himalayan Gardens offers the open space needed. We are however mindful that the safety of visitors and our staff is our number one priority. We’re pleased to welcome visitors and that they won’t miss out on the final blooms of spring, but our re-opening depends on all following the social distancing rules.”

himalayan gardens, harrogate

Over 80 outdoor sculptures are set in the open-air gallery. The gardens feature works by internationally renowned artists, all inspired by nature. It is also home to the North’s largest collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias, with nearly 20,000 plants.

Science has proven a simple walk in the outdoors can help minimise stress, improve your mood, and your mental and physical wellbeing.

Naomi added:

“Thankfully, our attraction benefits from being in the great outdoors with plenty of space.  Our gardens have always been about enjoying the sunshine, taking a break from social media and world news, as a space to relax and enjoy the thousands of flowers which have bloomed - a sight I think all of us need right now.”

Although set in the great outdoors, the gardens have implemented additional staff training and measures, in light of the current environment, to ensure key points such as the visitors’ entrance and toilet facilities are safe.

The team at the gardens have used natural materials to make its one-way systems and safe distancing signs stress-free and to fit with the landscape.

Flowers in the gardens at Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park

Noami explains:

“We have a clear one-way system at entrances and exits. There will be some no entry signs to stop people crossing paths. We’ve used stones and plant pots as social distancing markers, with wooden signs to keep it natural. There will be social distancing for the public toilets, and visitors will have to buy tickets for a specific day in advance, from the website, with visitor numbers being limited each day.  Plant purchases can be made via card contactless payment.”

The gardens will also have a plant sale area, but its tearooms will remain closed for the first week.

Naomi concluded:

“We’re closely cohering to government guidelines and monitoring any changes in advice, and we expect the tearooms will open soon for take-away refreshments, but in the meantime, visitors should bring some water / refreshments. In these troubling times, we welcome visitors to boost their spirits. Our aim is to remain a place where people can come and safely enjoy the fresh air in a restorative environment.”

The gardens in Grewelthorpe near Ripon were donated in 2012 to a Charitable Trust, The Hutts Foundation, by Peter and Caroline Roberts. The charity aims to advance the arts, horticulture and the environment, including the cultivation of rare and endangered plants.

Recently, the attraction has won national acclaim. Shortlisted for the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2020, the gardens featured on BBC Countryfile’s autumn special last year, and were winners of the Yorkshire in Bloom Tourist Attraction Award in 2018 and 2019.

The Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture park will be open from the 2nd of June until 1st November, Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. For further details and to purchase tickets online please visit the website.