Named after the Scottish word for rocky upland pastures, The Fells is situated on a nearly 1,000-acre hillside overlooking scenic Lake Sunapee. It is the former lakeside summer home of American writer and diplomat John M. Hay (1838-1905). Hay’s son Clarence inherited the property and along with his wife Alice Appleton Hay, transformed the rock pasture into extensive formal and informal gardens. They traveled extensively and the series of formal gardens that they built after visiting Italy and France exhibit the best of the 1920's and 30's garden styles.
Historic guided tours of the gardens are conducted once daily at 11am, Wednesday through Sunday, mid-June through mid-August. Garden tours are included in the price of admission. The gardens are open during regular hours year-round for self-guided tours and leisurely strolls.