Not just blessed with coast and countryside Northumbria is also home to some really beautiful gardens which are well worth a visit during your stay. Whether you are looking to be wowed by a stunning collection of shrubs and ornamental gardens or just looking to get out in the fresh air in beautiful surroundings then a visit to any of these will not disappoint you.
Starting with the most obvious The Alnwick Garden is one of the top attractions in Northumbria and is winner of numerous travellers’ choice awards. The gardens are described as a garden for everyone and this evident in the huge numbers of people who visit each year to enjoy not just the flora and fauna within but also the stunning central cascade waterfall , the poison garden and cherry trees which are at the best between April and May. The gardens are family friendly and provisions have been made for easy travel for buggy’s wheelchairs and motability scooters.
The gardens are open March to September and are worth a visit – booking in advance during peak times is essential.
For more information please visit: www.alnwickgarden.com
Not too far away and between the coastal villages of Craster and Boulmer, Howick Gardens and Arboretum is the ancestral home of the Earls Grey – famous for their tea. The beautiful hall, gardens and woodland cover the whole 65 acre estate and visits are strongly advised if you enjoy displays of spring flowers like Snowdrops, Crocuses, Daffodils and Bluebells. Howick Hall also includes rare plants and specimen trees in their collection.
Whether you are elderly or have mobility issues, access has been provided so that all can enjoy the hall and surrounding gardens.
There is a visitor centre to explore and find out how the garden and arboretum came to be and you will find the highlight is a hand drawn illustration of the Howick Estate by Sarah Farooqi depicting the key areas you can enjoy during your visit.
For more information please visit: www.howickhallgardens.com
For those willing to travel South then a visit to Belsay is highly recommended. This English Heritage owned property is truly enchanting. There are 30 acres to explore and even a unique quarry garden with micro climate amongst the many things to see and experience.
There is a grand Grecian Hall, Medieval castle and 2nd hand bookshop all within the same setting making it a very special day out for the family.
Relax and have fun the fresh air and enjoy your time being outdoors in the finest gardens Northumbria has to offer.
For more information please visit: www.englishheritage.org.uk
Further down the A1 nearer Newcastle is the National Trust’s Gibside which is described as a Georgian landscape forged in an industrial past with strong links to coal mining. The estate was commissioned by George Bowes to impress his guests. Gibside offers up the story of Mary Eleanor Bowes as well as a glimpse into the past with 18th century designed landscapes which promise to bring the wow factor with spectacular views over the Derwent Valley and memorable picture perfect moments. The estate offers landscape gardens, ancient woodlands to explore, open spaces for fresh air, play areas for the children and coffee to go for that much needed pit stop. Families wishing to bring a picnic are welcomed.
Booking during peak times is essential even for non-members.
For more information please visit: www.natioanltrust.org.uk/gibside
Heading North up the A1 towards Berwick is one of Northumbria’s most famous landmarks of Holy Island and Lindisfarne. Crossing the causeway to Holy Island feels like an adventure in itself especially if you get your tide timings wrong so make sure you know it’s safe to cross before heading out. Amongst the many things to see and do on Holy Island you will find Lindisfarne Jekyll Garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll as a small flower garden for her client Edward Hudson in 1911. Edward Hudson was at the time the owner and publisher of Country Life magazine. The garden offers lovely examples of a cottage garden style but with the uninterrupted view over to Lindsifarne Castle this is not an average cottage garden at all.
If you are heading over to Holy Island be sure to take some time to have a look and explore this rather unique English Garden.