Forestry Commission logo

Discovery Pass

Discover the
freedom of
the forest…
every day of the year…

Get free parking, discounts on events and much more with an annual Discovery Pass


The ultimate free guide to our forests

Forest Xplorer running on iPhone and Android devices

Explore Giggle Alley
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.2/5)

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?

5 Stars 5 Stars

I love to visit this garden while I am in the area, but haven't been for about 2 years. I visited again in early August 2016 & can see a great deal of growth has spread of the Sasa grass, Gaultheria & Bamboo. It is much more overgrown than I have ever seen it.

I visit relatives nearby for long weekends 3 or 4 times a year & would love to help clear up this garden if its possible for visitors to volunteer by turning up & just getting stuck in. I'd use my own tools & am an experienced gardener, but would need clarification on where to put cuttings & spoil for clearance by Forestry commission.

andrew blackwell, 7/Aug/2016

Thanks for getting in touch and for your kind offer of help. The local ranger will be contacting you via e-mail to discuss things further.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Visited the Japanese gardens today, the first day of Spring with blue skies and sunshine (pretty good for mid-March in the Lakes!). Though obviously well past their prime, it was clear that the gardens had at one time been something special. Good luck to the local community in bringing them back to their former glory.

Any idea on the origin of the name - Giggle Alley?

Rod Mitchell, 20/Mar/2016

Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit and that the weather was kind! The name Giggle Alley is a bit of a mystery, we've never been able to find conclusive evidence of the origin although it has been suggested that it means winding path between shrubs.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I live within a 100FT of giggle alley and would like to help look after the Japanese garden as I go there every single day and would love to help

Alan Day, 28/Jan/2016

Thanks for your offer to help at Giggle Alley, the local ranger will contact you directly to discuss things further.

Forestry Commission Response
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown

Last updated: 28th August 2017

Help us take care of your forest

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


OS Grid ref: NY141002

Get directions


Gareth Browning
Beat Forester
017687 76816

Opening & Parking

Limited free parking within Eskdale Green

Forest Plans

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.