Lea Gardens is a Rhododendron Garden just outside the village of Lea, close to Matlock in Derbyshire. The Garden covers approximately three and a half acres. It is situated within a woodland area, with access paths which allow visitors to see the 500 or more varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas and other plants.
The garden was established by John Marsden-Smedley (of knitwear fame) in the 1930s and was inspired by visits to Bodnant and Exbury Gardens. The garden has grown and the number of species added to over the years and a tea shop was also added which you really shouldn’t miss – the cake selection is amazing!
The Garden is open to the public for viewing and plant sales (and you do not have to enter the garden to access the tea shop). Parking is free, and well-behaved dogs (on a lead) are welcome in the Garden.
The gardens are very close to Lea Bridge and Cromford, which are part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.