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Explore Giggle Alley
(Average user rating: 3 unrated 2.7/5)

Colour rating today: turned golden turned golden

On a low granite spur, which has its footage in the southern flank of Scafell, is a small woodland intriguingly known as Giggle Alley.

Hidden at the heart of this wood is the remains of a Japanese Garden. In addition to the garden the woodland is a great place for a short family walk where children can enjoy playing hide and seek.

Japanese Garden in Giggle Alley. CumbriaBlossom in Giggle Alley. Cumbria



The Japanese Garden was commissioned by Lord Rea and designed by Thomas Mawson's team of garden designers in 1914. At its heart are a series of pools (now filled only when it rains) surrouned by bamboo, magnolia and maples.

Spring picture of Giggle Alley. Cumbria  Azalea in Giggle Alley. Cumbria

The garden is being restored through a partnership between the Forestry Commission and the local community and is free to visit and open daily. The Post Office in Eskdale Green usually has a supply of guides for sale.

Ornamental Bridge in Giggle Alley. Cumbria

What do other visitors say?

2 Stars 2 Stars

Been on the La'al Ratty today, and saw in the timetable a japanese garden to visit. We eventually found what remains of the garden, no signs from the railway, and one impressive sign at the foot of the climb in to the woods, its a shame it was more impressive than the garden. It was very disappointing to say the least, there is hardly anything there. I could imagine it will be very nice if it was attended to but think this should be either fully explained or taken off the ratty brochures. We did pick lots of blackberries though on our way back to the train :o)

G Powell, 2/Oct/2015

We do appreciate that the gardens have become run down of late. A very committed and enthusiastic volunteer group used to care for the gardens but have unfortunately not had the capacity recently to continue with the upkeep. A local school have recently started to carry out practical conservation work at Giggle Alley which will help the children to complete the John Muir Award programme. We also have plans to help reinvigorate the volunteer group and hope that we can work towards returning the gardens to their former glory in the near future.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Visited this example of a Thomas Mawson designed landscape whilst camping at nearby Fisherground. Appears to be an extension to the larger private gardens to nearby house. Credit to FC and local community's hard work.

Anonymous, 14/Jul/2014
1 Star 1 Star

We made the trip on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway to view Giggle Ally but unfortunately it was closed to prevent spread of disease to the Rhododendrons. This could have been made clear at the entrance rather than half way up the path!

Robert Prew, 13/Jul/2014

Thanks for your feedback, we will pass on your suggestion to the local ranger team. More information about the disease and why it is important we prevent it from spreading can be found on the following website:

Forestry Commission Response
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What's Here?

  • Dogs on lead
  • Walking
  • Arboreta
  • The japanese Garden is fantatstic all year round but the colors are at their best in Spring and Autumn.
  • Information
  • Ste Begas church in the village has a wonderfull free exhibition open all year round which includes the istory of the Japanese Garden
  • Parking
  • Limited free parking within Eskdale Green
  • Shop
  • Eskdale Green has a great little village shop.
  • Toliets
  • Free public toilets available within Eskdale Green near the entrance to the woodland.
More about what's here


Map showing the local area
OS Grid ref: NY141002

Get directions


Gareth Browning
Beat Forester
017687 76816

Opening & Parking

Limited free parking within Eskdale Green
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified