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Gardens & Architecture of Northumbria

5 days

  • Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens - © English Heritage

Overview

Explore the rolling countryside and spectacular coast of Northumberland. The gardeners in the area have learnt how to make the most of the landscape through terracing hillsides and often using the wonderful architecture as a backdrop to some incredible gardens. The area offers something for everyone and our tour offers a great contrast in the garden visits and historic houses.

Hotel

Holiday Inn Gosforth Park

The Holiday Inn Gosforth Park occupies a rural setting surrounded by 16 acres of countryside, located 6 miles from Newcastle and this is the main base of our tour. Bedrooms are spacious and equipped with television, WiFi, hairdryer, air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom. The hotel has a heated indoor swimming pool, a relaxing recently refurbished lounge, plus a bar and restaurant. Rooms are located on the ground or first floor.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – We depart, by coach, for the journey northwards to The Parlour at Blagdon for a light lunch. After lunch we make our way to Seaton Delaval Hall (NT). The landscape here was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, the year round structure of the parterre and rose gardens and the colourful herbaceous borders combine to make a stunning garden. We then continue to Northumberlandia, a country park covering 46 acres incorporating a landscape sculpture known as the Lady of the North, a stunning human landform sculpture of a reclining lady. Made of 1.5 million tonnes of rock, clay and soil, she is 100 feet high and a quarter of a mile long. After our visit we continue the short distance to our hotel. Dinner at our hotel.

Day 2 – After breakfast we travel to Cragside (NT). The gardens here incorporate a Pinetum and Europe’s largest Rock Garden, with a collection of heathers, shrubs and azaleas, plus plantings from Europe and New Zealand. The Victorian Formal Garden is laid out over three terraces, with the lower level, the Italian Terrace as its centrepiece. The house itself has an interesting history and was the first in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. In the afternoon we continue to Belsay Hall, where the vast and varied grounds and restored heritage gardens, plus the unique Quarry Garden; at its best in spring and early summer. Return to our hotel for dinner.

Day 3 – Our first visit today is Howick Hall Gardens and Arboretum. The extensive grounds offer a stunning variety of unusual plants throughout the seasons. BBC Gardeners’ World magazine included the gardens in a list of the top five coastal gardens in the country, and The Independent newspaper voted it one of the best ten gardens to visit in spring. A light lunch here can be included before continuing to the beautiful coastal village of Bamburgh, dominated by a magnificently striking Castle which can be seen for miles around. There will be time at leisure here –an opportunity to relax in one of the traditional tea rooms, or perhaps visit Bamburgh Castle or the RNLI Grace Darling Museum. We return to our hotel for dinner.

Day 4 – We depart our hotel and travel to Herterton House Garden, an intimate garden covering an acre, meticulously planted by Frank and Marjorie Lawley. There are five gardens – a flower garden with stunning perennials, a nursery garden, a formal topiary garden, a physic garden, and a fancy garden with a two-storey gazebo, housing a small exhibition of the garden planting plans and photographs of its construction. We continue to Kirkharle, the birthplace of Capability Brown, where a light lunch in the Coffee House can be arranged. This afternoon our visit is Wallington House Garden (NT), home to generations of the unconventional Trevelyan family. There will be an introductory talk on arrival and free time to explore at leisure. The house is surrounded by an informal landscape of lawns, lakes, woodland, parkland and farmland, including a hidden walled garden, nestled in the woods. It was beloved by Lady Mary Trevelyan and remains a beautiful haven whatever the season. Return to hotel. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 5 – Checking out of the hotel, we travel to Wynyard Hall Gardens. The Walled Garden here is home to 3,000 beautiful roses plus a selection of shrubs, trees and water features. There is also an Edible Garden which grows an array of produce, plus a Victorian Glasshouse. There will be free time to explore and obtain lunch (not included) before continuing the homeward journey.

The exact order of excursions may be subject to change and can be tailored to suit your group.

To Book

Any of our tours can be tailored to suit your particular groups requirements.

For further details please contact one of the team on 01225 764205 or sales@successtours.com