Visit Heritage properties and gardens now open to visitors
In accordance with government COVID-19 safety guidelines, many Visit Heritage properties and organisations up and down the UK have now re-opened their indoor spaces and gardens.
Of course the safety of visitors is foremost, therefore the the majority of properties are asking people to pre-book to control numbers, and social distancing must always be observed. It's best to check with each individual property prior to visiting in order to avoid disappointment.
Situated just north of Oxford, Rousham Gardens represents the first phase of English landscape design and is one of the few gardens of this age to have escaped alteration, with many features which delighted eighteenth century visitors to Rousham still in situ. When you visit Rousham you will find it uncommercial and unspoilt with no tea room and no shop. Bring a picnic, wear comfortable shoes and it is yours for the day.
Landscaped in the manner of Capability Brown the gardens are laid out in a horseshoe below Minterne House. The trail is around a mile in length with benches at regular intervals so you can sit and enjoy the peace and tranquility. Minterne hosts a world renowned and completely unique collection of Himalayan Rhododendrons and Azaleas, with Spring bulbs, Cherries, Maples and many fine and rare trees. The gardens boast many other picturesque features with a chain of small lakes, waterfalls and streams.
Twenty minutes' from the coast, Chillingham Castle is known as Britain's most haunted historic castle. The garden is a rare survivor from 1828 and is the work of royal designer Sir Jeffry Wyatville, fresh from his royal triumphs at Windsor. The famous herbaceous border is the longest in Northern England. The far wall, fifteen feet thick, was a jousting “grandstand” in ancient days and it once extended around the castle grounds. With idyllic grounds, the castle boasts commanding views of the surrounding countryside with local farmsteads and the scenic grandeur of the Cheviots. There are lakes, wildlife and important and well-recorded trees for the experts and sometimes, you see the famous herd of Wild Cattle in the distance.
Although the main house remains closed for the time being, the gardens filled with romantic moats, extensive lawns, walled gardens and giant cedars await guests. There are over 30 acres of tranquil space, with a surprise to delight the senses around every corner.
Raby Castle is surrounded by 200 acres of lush green parkland, where herds of red and fallow deer live wild. Explore the park and amble around the ponds to spot plenty of wildlife that inhabit this remarkable setting. There are 5 acres of traditional 18th century ornamental Walled Gardens which include fabulous yew hedges, a fig house, rose garden, trees, plants and ornamental features.
Little Malvern Court is nestled amongst 10 acres, with the magnificent views to enjoy over the Severn Valley. Visitors should look out for the giant lime tree, sadly now damaged by storms over the past decade, but still standing for over 250 years as well as the topiary yew hedge, planted by William Berington in the early years of the last century. There are magnificent cedar trees, planted from seeds brought back from the Holy Land by Charles Michael Berington. The chain of lakes, formerly fish ponds for the monks, follow the layout from a plan dated 1720 and, like much of the present garden, were restored in the 1980’s.
With 1,000 acres of parkland to explore, Castle Howard is a haven of peace and tranquility with extensive woodland walks, temples, lakes and fountains. The monumental landscape offers breathtaking views at every turn, taking in the countryside of the Howardian Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Newby’s award winning gardens, mostly created in the early 1920s, have evolved over the years making a major contribution to 20th century gardening. Owned by Richard and Lucinda Compton, the gardens are visited by around 140,000 people every year and often feature on film and TV. They are located at the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales and are filled with rare and beautiful plants and shrubs in 14 stunning garden ‘rooms’, as well as boasting one of the longest double herbaceous borders in the UK, two heritage orchards and acres of woodland.
Discover magnificent award-winning gardens set in 125 acres of glorious grounds at Hever Castle. Marvel at the Pompeiian Wall and classical statuary in the Italian Garden; admire the giant topiary chess set and inhale the fragrance of over 4,000 rose bushes in the quintessential English Rose Garden. The Loggia, overlooking the 38-acre lake, is the perfect spot to relax before exploring the many cascades, grottoes and fountains. A stroll through the Tudor Garden, Blue Corner or Rhododendron Walk, provide colour and interest throughout the year.
Only an hour by train from London, Goodnestone Park Gardens is one of only three gardens in Kent to be awarded the coveted two stars in the Good Garden Guide. Covering approximately 14 acres, the garden has a formal area around the main House, with a small box parterre, planted to celebrate the millennium. The Walled Garden is Goodnestone’s most renowned and popular area, and many visitors think that the central view through the succession of mellow brick-walled enclosures to the church tower is one of the best in any English garden.
Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland No visit to Northumberland is complete without setting foot inside one of Britain’s best-loved fortresses. Bamburgh Castle has been awarded VisitEngland's 'Good to Go' award, demonstrating that the nine-acre site has carried out Covid-19 risk assessments with processes in place to allow people to visit its grounds and staterooms safely.
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