Gooderstone Water Gardens

Dog/Pet friendly
Visit Website


There's a lovely story behind the creation of Gooderstone Water Gardens near Swaffham in Norfolk. Retired farmer Billy Knights began creating the gardens at the age of 70 back in 1970 after his son joked that the land there was too wet for cattle to graze and only fit to be a water garden. Setting out his plans on the back of a piece of wallpaper, Billy's imagination was fired and he set about getting the diggers to work on the meadow. By the age of 93, he had created a haven for garden lovers with a natural trout stream, four ponds, waterways, 13 bridges, mature trees and shrubs, borders rich in colour and a kingfisher hide. After his death, the garden fell a little into disrepair but in 2002 his daughter Coral breathed new life into the site, adding an eight-acre nature trail and a lovely refurbished tea room and gallery. There has since been the addition of a bird hide, bamboo grove, scented arbour, plant sales and a rustic roundhouse.


I am not a great garden lover, but this place is super. It seems to be relatively undiscovered, and therefore very peaceful. It is slightly less manicured than some gardens and being independent it does not have the National Trust or English Heritage style. There is a good variety of plants, many with informative labels along with benches and huts to rest and relax. The tea room is comfortable and offers an interesting range of cakes. There is a nature trail and bird hide, and though we saw very few birds on our visit there was a sighting of a kingfisher logged in the visitors book. Having lived not far away for many years, this was our first visit, but now we have discovered it, I hope it won't be our last. It provides a peaceful contrast to the bustle of the nearby Oxborough Hall.


We arrived here expecting to walk around for an hour or two, but ended up staying most of the day. The gardens are fantastic and captivatingly beautiful. Some fantastic photos taken! The most surprising part of the visit though was that my normally fussy and uber picky kids really enjoyed themselves and immersed themselves into the botanical wonder that the gardens provide. The fact that the weather was fantastic only added to what is a great day, and the café is highly recommended for tea and cake! This would be the most fantastic place to stage an outdoor wedding, my wife and I would love to have our marriage blessing here.


We had travelled from St. Neots to see Oxburgh Hall and were hugely disappointed - as photographers we didn't realise the place was undergoing some building work so the scaffolding got in our way! We saw the signs for the water garden and decided to give it a go. I have never been somewhere so tranquil, beautiful and just outstanding. So lovely, not too busy as to not be enjoyable and just genuinely breathtaking. I was so happy we stumbled across this beautiful place, and will 100% return. A real photographers paradise. Also, the cake in the tea-room is to die for. So much selection, cheap and so so tasty!


For years I have been wanting to see Gooderstone Water Gardens and today with a friend in tow and my 4 year old we finally managed to stroll and enjoy these lovingly planted and landscaped gardens. I was worried it would all be a bit too much to explore but the size of it all was just perfect. There is a big nature trail to explore if you choose to do so, but we managed to pass 4 to 5 hours with just walking around, sitting down, listening and generally enjoying the peace! We will be back


Gooderstone Water Gardens is close to Oxburgh Hall in West Norfolk (PE33 9BP). It is a peaceful place, perfect for an after-lunch stroll. There is a café, shop, a woodland walk and a bird hide where, if you're lucky, you can see Kingfishers flying past. The gardens are beautifully kept and separated by stretches of water crisscrossed by many bridges. Entrance fees are modest and parking is free.


Beautiful water gardens , near Kings Lynn, off the beaten track. Wonderful mature trees, quiet waterways with plenty of seating around to rest on. Good cake in the tea room . Flowers, bees, swans, dragonflies, beautiful birdsong and the chance to see kingfishers out in the fen area. Longer trail for those wanting to do a longer walk.


We stayed at cottages a couple of miles away and were told to take a trip to these enchanting gardens, they were beautiful and amazing wildlife we went into a shed and sat very quietly and got some amazing pictures of a kingfisher


With a huge range of flora, Gooderstone Water Gardens is wonderful. First time visiting with my parents, would 100% go back and plan on doing so! Really wonderful and relaxing place to walk around.


Beautiful, peaceful watergardens. Lovely to stroll round. Great cakes in the tea room. Worth spending quiet time in the hide and looking out for Kingfishers.

View all Submit Review

Facilities & information


Child friendly

Dog/Pet friendly



Extra info

Garden Acreage: 6.5
Parkland Acreage: 8
Open Times: All year, Daily. 10:00-17:30 (or dusk if earlier). Last admission 16:00.
Price Details: Adult £7.00, Child (accompanied only) Free, Senior Citizen £6.50 Gooderstone resIdents £3.50, Users of Electric Wheelchair or Buggy £3.50, Wheelchair user and carer charged as one

Arrival information & directions

Address: The Street, Gooderstone, King's Lynn, Norfolk, King's LynnPE33 9BP, United Kingdom

In the village of Gooderstone PE33 9BP. Brown signed from Oxborough and London Street, Swaffham. In West Norfolk 6 miles southwest of Swaffham, between the Iceni Village at Cockley and the National Trust's Oxburgh Hall at Oxborough.


View videos


View events

Special offers

View special offers

Travel Inspirations

View travel inspirations

View others nearby

View others nearby
This website uses cookies. Click here to read our Privacy Policy.
If that’s okay with you, just keep browsing. CLOSE