Lawson Park Open House and Gardens

Join us to celebrate ten years of life and work in our unique headquarters, the iconic Lake District hill farm, Lawson Park. A decade on, we launch an exciting array of new projects on site, opening the extensive gardens to the public for the first time in a decade.  

“This garden is a triumph”
Eric Robson (Broadcaster, writer & presenter of BBC R4 Gardeners’ Question Time)

This historic farm dates from the 14th century and was redesigned internally by acclaimed architects Sutherland Hussey Harris in 2009, winning a Royal Institute of British Architects Award and rescuing the barn and farmhouse from dereliction. Ranging from a vast new picture window onto the awe-inspiring Old Man of Coniston and Coniston Water, to a new outbuilding using the ancient Japanese preservative technique of wood charring (‘Shou-Sugi-Ban’), new features add to existing attractions such as the Lawson Park Library (and extraordinarily wide-ranging cultural reference library with bespoke furnishings) and the Lawson Park Collection, a working collection of British 19th and 20th century domestic design and craft curated by Grizedale Arts’ director of twenty years, Adam Sutherland.

Documenting this new era is a re-launched, immersive website - - featuring a unique searchable library of the 400+ plants introduced to the 4-acre Lawson Park Gardens by resident Warden, Head Gardener and artist Karen Guthrie. These include many seed-grown rarities from Russia, China, and Japan, growing alongside deep borders of European perennials and British native plants selected for their beauty and tenacity in this demanding location. Adopting garden guru Charles Dowding’s ‘no dig’ cultivation system, Lawson Park’s extensive fruit and vegetable areas (including two polytunnels) showcase this environmentally sustainable and labour-saving method.

Other highlights will include: 

  • Guided expert tours (booking essential, see below).
  • Exhibition of 'The Black Shed' architectural project showcasing the comprehensive research undertaken by the project’s all-women team, transforming the space into an interactive workshop and exhibition space. 
  • The Lawson Park Wildflower Meadow, a varied and species-rich ancient
    upland meadow. Do not expect daisies and poppies. Includes ‘Robert’s Walk,’ a favourite route named in honour of the late Robert Woof, former director of The Wordsworth Trust and a great supporter of Grizedale Arts and its ambitions.

Refreshments by Fairland Collective will be served throughout the day. On the menu are a variety of garden teas and cakes, ice creams (yuzu, fig leaf and good old strawberry), and rainbow soup and bread.

Donations at the gate to support the work of the Stroke Association, in memory of Ann and Ian Guthrie, Head Gardener Karen's parents. 


Lawson Park is situated up a Forestry Commission track with extremely limited parking on site. We therefore provide a free minibus shuttle (10.45am - 4pm) to and from Machell’s Coppice car park on East of Lake road (LA21 8AD) all day, or invite access on foot or bicycle.

On site parking is reserved for disabled visitors only.
Advance booking is available by emailing No coaches

Lawson Park’s main house is wheelchair-accessible, but large areas of the gardens are not.

No dogs, or unaccompanied children, are permitted in the garden.  

All event enquiries to

pdf – 2.90 MB



Lawson Park
East of Lake
LA21 8AD
United Kingdom

+44 (0)15394 41050