Garden gates: 11 garden gate ideas and tips for a stylish exterior

A great garden starts with great garden gate ideas. Take a look at these beautiful entrances – including Monty Don's gorgeous garden gate

Garden gate ideas
(Image credit: Little Greene)

Looking for some gorgeous garden gate ideas? Whether it forms the entrance to your home, is located at the back or side of your plot, or leads from one zone to another, a garden gate can be a fabulous garden feature in its own right. In other words, think of it as merely functional, and you’re missing a trick. 

Want some inspiration? We’ve put together some brilliant garden gate ideas you can use in your own space whether it‘s large or small, and whether you live in urban surroundings or in the country (or want the country look in any case). We were inspired by Monty Don's lovely gate – you can see it below, too.

For more great ideas for your outside space, head over to our garden ideas feature... and scroll down for ideas for a gorgeous garden gate. 

1. Paint a tall garden security gate to make pretty feature of it

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back gate of Regency townhouse

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

You might need a garden gate that’s actually a door for reasons of security, but that’s no reason for it to look forbidding. So copy this garden gate idea: choose a bold shade that draws the eye and you’ll transform it from barrier to beauty. Which colour to choose? You can’t go wrong with a tone of blue or green in the garden as it will be in harmony with its surroundings, or how about a sunny yellow?

Can you fit a padlock or smart lock (check our buyer's guide for the best)? If so, consider how post might be delivered, and how you will be able to identify and admit visitors from inside the house. Adding lighting around a locked gate will help you with identifying visitors and provide extra security, too.

As well as keeping intruders out, consider whether your gate needs to keep pets and children safe, which might mean that you simply position any latch too high for little ones to reach.

2. Choose a wrought iron gate for country cottage appeal

gate into cottage garden with bird house and rambling ivy

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

The advantages of a wrought iron gate? They have classic style you won’t tire of, yes, but the other big plus point is that as well as creating an elegant entrance, it doesn’t form a solid barrier. Instead, you’ll get tantalising glimpses through to the garden beyond. The result is that choosing one of these can create excitement about exploring even the most modestly sized of gardens. That's a garden gate idea we're on board with.

3. On a budget? Pick a wooden garden gate

wavy top fence and gate

When you need to combine a low fence with a gate, this Hampton design, H100 x W100 x D4.5cm from Forest, creates a pretty effect, £103.99

Creating a country cottage garden? An intricate metal or simple timber garden gate will suit and won't be too expensive. Contemporary home? Think flush finish, streamlined and crisply painted. Urban period terrace? Look for something that reflects what might originally have been at the top of your garden path.

4. Pick a Mediterranean shade to add a splash of colour

Little Greene exterior paints

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If you've planted your garden with bright, pretty blooms, pick a garden gate idea that can stand up to them. An easy way to do this is with paint: pick a bold, Mediterranean shade (pink, yellow, orange) to match your blooms and brighten up your garden in an instant.

5. Want a smart look? A metal garden gate complements red brick beautifully

Spear top wrought iron gate in brick wall

Secure a side path with this elegant Montford tall gate. H183.5 x W77 x D2cm, it’s topped with a classic arrowhead design, and galvanised and powder coated for resistance to corrosion, £84.49 from Grange Fencing

If you're looking at garden fence ideas as well as garden gate ideas, ensure the two complement each other. It will give your garden a smart appeal. If matching materials don't work, consider whether what you choose to have your gate made from can still complement your boundary's material. Cast iron gates look fabulous matched with period-style brick walls, for example, and wooden gates work well with wicker fencing panels. 

6. Want a rustic look? Cope Monty Don's garden gate idea

The Orchard Monty Don

A photo posted by @themontydon on Jun 27, 2020 at 11:53am PDT

Think about how your gate complements the style of the garden – or the part of the plot – to which it leads. The gate that goes to the Orchard in Monty Don’s garden is rustic in style and complements the well-established trees and long grass beyond. Just picture a brand-new looking gate here; it just wouldn’t look as good.

Floranica Treated Wood Garden Gate, £64.99

Floranica Treated Wood Garden Gate, £64.99

Designed to develop a silver-grey patina after a year or so, this gate design has rustic charm.

7. Match the gate to the front door colour

18th century cottage

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

A garden gate painted in the same colour as the front door creates a smart entrance. What’s more, it’s a look that works as well for old cottages like this one, as it does for townhouses. If the gate and path lead straight to the front door, it can be an especially impactful choice, but even with a gate to one side, it’ll help give your home kerb appeal. 

8. Frame the view of your garden gate with a hedge

flowers for sale on table at entrance to summer garden

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

With a gate below and an arch above you can make going through the entrance to your garden feel like a step into another world. You could grow a hedge above as here, but for a far more speedy solution, simply choose a gate and arch combination. You can then grow climbers around it that will soften the lines and bring fragrance and colour.

9. Remember your garden gate may require planning permission

black wrought iron gate

The Sheshan range of gates from The Wrought Iron Gate Company are available in

Particularly if you live in a Conservation Area, it's always worth checking first that the gate you're planning to buy will be accepted by your local planning authority. 

10. Don't forget the posts for your garden gate

period style wrought iron gate and fence

Commission a bespoke creation from Rayment Wire. This wrought-iron gate has been handcrafted from British steel to fit the space. H90 x W100 x D5cm, it is finished in Antique Etch on galvanised steel, £700

Ensure that the gate posts or structure that will support the gates is strong enough for the purpose, and if not upgrade them. Use quality fixtures and fittings designed for the purpose.

11. Your gate will need maintenance

wooden oak gate set in a hedge

Use a gate to create a focal point with this bespoke seasoned oak example from Garden Trellis. H210 x W100 x D20cm (plus frame), it costs around £5,000, including posts and arch

At least once a year, clean and grease the hinges of your garden gates to keep the mechanism moving freely. Take care of the gate's material, too. It will need painting and staining to keep it sounding and looking as good as new.

Check out our pick of the top fence stains that you can use to maintain wooden gates. If you have chosen metal garden gates, head over to our guide to cleaning, repairing and repainting old iron railings gates

More on sprucing up the garden:

Pippa is Style Editor for Period Living magazine and spends many a weekend exploring the Cotswolds for decorating shoot ideas. A collector at heart, she is currently looking for a vintage cabinet to store her favourite wares.