Images of The Houghall Plant Centre

The Houghall Plant Centre, Durham

Open to the public, the plant centre at our Houghall Campus in Durham sells a wide selection of plants - as well as offering top gardening advice - and also has a lovely coffee shop serving a range of delicious hot and cold snacks and drinks.

Aerial image of the Houghall Plant CentreThe Plant Centre

Nestled in the heart of Durham, the Houghall Plant Centre offers a range of beautiful plants, hanging baskets, trees and shrubs - as well as delicious cakes, snacks and great coffee at our cafe. We are also a great location for a number of beautiful walks around Shincliffe and Durham City.

Set in the grounds of East Durham College's Houghall Campus, the plant centre specialise in trees, shrubs and fruit and provides a large choice of varieties and rootstocks, bare root in autumn and containerised in the spring.

We grow many of our plants from seed, so you can be sure of the quality of our produce. You'll be spoilt for choice.

Throughout the year we stock a good selection of plants, including:

  • Bedding plants
  • Fruit trees
  • Herbs
  • Specialist chilli plants
  • Shrubs
  • Herbaceous plants
  • Alpines
  • Houseplants
  • Seasonal plants, include over 10 varieties of Fuchsia, 8 varieties of Begonia as well as Pansies, Lobelia, Marigolds and Petunia
  • Seasonal hanging baskets
  • Christmas poinsettia and wreaths

winter pansy magic blotch mixed.jpg
Our own grown Winter Pansies
Magic Blotch Mixed

Our Staff

Being a college with a great reputation in horticulture training, you can be sure our helpful and friendly staff are the idea people to ask for any advice or tips on all things gardening related.

We pride ourselves on our staffs' knowledge and customer service.

The Secret Garden Coffee Shop

Looking for somewhere to enjoy a hot drink and bite to eat in Durham? Then why not head down to The Secret Garden Coffee Shop, based in The Houghall Plant Centre.

The Secret Garden Coffee Shop LogoLovingly run by Tracy Toulmin, The Secret Garden Coffee Shop offers a very warm welcome for you to relax and unwind. It's the perfect place to meet friends or chill out after having a look around our plant centre. The coffee shop welcomes everyone, whether you’re shopping at the plant centre or not.

The coffee shop has a fantastic reputation for excellent homemade food of outstanding quality and value. We serve a wide selection of mouth-watering hot and cold food, drinks and freshly prepared snacks. Delicious, freshly-made cakes and scones are served daily.

There is an outside decking area, with seating and umbrellas, which is perfect for an al fresco bite to eat on a sunny day.

The Secret Gargen Coffee Shop collageJoin The Secret Garden Coffee Shop on Facebook to find out what's on the menu and the latest news and offers.


The Houghall Plant Centre host a number of events throughout the year.

Houghall Pant Centre Christmas Fayre.jpgIn March the college holds its annual Lambing Sunday event and in May the Houghall Spring Fayre - both events are fantastic family days out and there are always extra activities going on at the plant centre as part of those events. Please check the Events Section of the website for more details.

The Plant Centre also hold a number of its own events, including the Blooming Marvellous Spring Bank Holiday event, Haunted Halloween* event and a Traditional Christmas Fayre*

*Entry fees applies, please check the The Houghall Plant Centre Facebook page for full details.


The Houghall Plant Centre and Coffee Shop is located next to the banks of the beautiful River Wear. It's a great spot for walkers and the Houghall Discovery Trail.

Shincliffe Walks - Walk 1: Old World Charm, Woods and a Racecourse

Shincliffe Walks - Walk 2: The Waggonway Walk

Shincliffe Walks - Walk 3: Schools, Collieries and Lepers

Shincliffe Walks - Walk 4: Railway, Watermill and Woodland

Shincliffe Walks - Walk 5: Walking the Bounds

A circular walk from the centre of Durham to Shincliffe

Plant Centre & Coffee Shop Opening Times

The Plant Centre will officially close for the Season on Friday 3rd August 2018. We currently do not have a date for our reopening.

During our seasonal opening, we are open Monday to Sunday from 10AM to 4PM.

Open bank holidays (excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day).


Situated just less than half a mile out of the City of Durham, the Houghall Plant Centre is located in the grounds of East Durham College's Houghall Campus, but should be accessed from Farm Road, DH1 3PJ.

Please take the next right turn passed the main college entrance if you are driving out of Durham towards Shincliffe. The car park is located at Amaani (at The Pump House). Click here for a Google map.

For more details, please call the Houghall Plant Centre on 07968 911 471 or the Houghall Campus reception on 0191 375 4710.

Houghall Plant Centre
Farm Road
Co. Durham

The Houghall Plant Centre is on Facebook

Please join The Houghall Plant Centre on Facebook for all the latest news, events and offers.