Alnwick Garden Tree House
Alnwick Garden Tree House

Gardens of Northumberland

4 days From £795

2 June 2019

The largely rural county of Northumberland is home to a range of individual and imaginative gardens, with each one giving an unusual insight into the pleasure of gardening in this most beautiful and tranquil corner of England.

In the pretty village of Whalton, we find all kinds of interesting plants at the Manor House, whose history features contributions from Jekyll and Lutyens. Herbaceous borders and beautiful plantings of mature shrub roses, peonies, wisteria and clematis are key characters in a garden framed by the most elegant architectural features. Ginny Fairfax, a natural artist, created Mindrum, a large and generous garden with skill and verve. Colours are soft and subtle and the garden is rich in roses, scented plants, wild flowers and remarkable trees. A few years ago her son took over at Mindrum and she set about creating a new garden at Kirky Cottage, a gravel garden in cottage garden style, filled with her favourite plants from Mindrum and many others.

Crook Hall provides a little oasis of colour and tranquillity in the heart of the city of Durham, with a dozen different gardens set around a medieval manor house, each one imaginatively planted to reflect a particular theme. In Whalton, one of Northumberland’s prettiest villages, we find Manor House, a charming English country house garden with a history which features a contribution from the dream team of garden design, Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens. Newbiggin House, in the equally pretty village of Blanchland, offers us delightful old-fashioned herbaceous borders, while by way of contrast, the Alnwick Garden, whose inspiration stems from the unbridled passion of the Duchess of Northumberland, gives us a garden for the 21st century, full of innovative features and bold planting.

NB: there is no single room supplement for the first 10 rooms. Thereafter a supplement of £120.00 will apply

What's included?

  •  Accommodation
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
Book Now £795 Deposit: £100

Tour highlights:

  • Visit Mindrum, a garden created with great skill and verve
  • Wander Alnwick Garden, one of the world's most ambitious new gardens
  • Marvel at interesting specimens at the Manor House in Whalton with contributions from Jekyll and Lutyens.

Tour details

Dates 2 June 2019 - 5 June 2019
Duration 4 days
Cost £795 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: $TBC
Balance due by 10 March 2019
Activity Level Easy-Going
Tour code BWGNO19A

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

2 June 2019: Itinerary

We depart mid-morning by train from London Kings Cross to Durham, where on arrival, we will be met by our comfortable coach.

We then travel the short distance to Crook Hall Gardens in Durham. Crook Hall is a Grade I listed Medieval Manor House with a banqueting hall which is at least 13th century. The gardens include a Secret Walled garden with ancient fruit trees, the Shakespeare Garden, devoted mainly to plants from the Bard's time, such as lovage, borage, and meadowsweet, and the Cathedral Garden, which takes its inspiration from Durham's show-stopping skyline of Castle and Cathedral and has flower beds designed to represent the cathedral's stained glass windows.

We continue to our hotel where dinner is served this evening.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County

Following breakfast we travel through the wild and rugged landscape of north Northumberland, almost as far as the Scottish border, for our visit to Mindrum. This a large and generous garden cascading down a hillside, where paths wind round sunlit borders, through a shady woodland and down to a clear stream. Colours are soft and subtle and the garden is rich in roses, scented plants, wild flowers and remarkable trees. The garden was created with great skill and verve by Ginny Fairfax and is now looked after by her son Tom.

We then transfer to the new garden Ginny created a few years ago at Kirky Cottage. This is a gravel garden in cottage garden style, with her favourite plants from Mindrum and many others, which have matured beautifully. It is an abundant garden, full of interesting plants. A light lunch is included on arrival here.

We then return to our hotel in Durham with some free time to explore this historic little city, dominated by the Castle and Cathedral, before dinner is served at our hotel in the evening.

All meals included

Hotel: Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County

After breakfast we will travel to Alnwick for a visit to the Alnwick Garden, one of the world’s most ambitious new gardens. The Duchess of Northumberland’s vision for a forgotten plot is now a truly 21st century experience full of imagination, inspiration and fun. Designed by Jacques and Peter Wirtz, The Garden is a wonderful combination of spaces, themes, quirkiness and play. From the tranquillity of the Cherry Orchard, the excitement of the Grand Cascade and the mysteries of the Bamboo Labyrinth, to the Serpent Garden’s spell-binding water sculptures, the intrigue of the Poison Garden and one of the world’s largest tree houses – there is plenty to surprise and delight. The Garden is a space designed to be enjoyed by all your senses, with a collection of over 4,000 plant varieties to discover and thousands of seasonal blooms. Lunch is available here (not included).

Our second visit today is to the garden at the Manor House. Here in Whalton, one of Northumberland’s prettiest villages, we find a charming English country house garden with a history which features a contribution from the dream team of garden design, Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens. Herbaceous borders and beautiful plantings of mature shrub roses, peonies, wisteria and clematis are key characters in a garden framed by the most elegant architectural features. Penny Norton has inherited all kinds of interesting plants – tender and hardy – which she has succeeded in multiplying in quantity through her particular passion and skill, propagating in her greenhouse for her fragrant garden.

Dinner will be served back at our hotel in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County

Following breakfast we travel to the Northumberland / Durham border at the upper end of the Derwent Valley to Blanchland, which has been described as a ‘perfect English village’. Here we visit Newbiggin House, a 5-acre landscaped garden at 1000ft started in 1996 by Daphne Scott-Harden which has matured beautifully. We can see old-fashioned herbaceous borders, peonies, shrubs, roses, a bog and wild garden including a wild rose walk. There are also magnificent collections of unusual trees and shrubs.

Following this, our final visit, we return to Durham railway station for our mid-afternoon train back to London Kings Cross, where the group will disperse or make onward connections.

Meals include: Breakfast

2 June 2019: Additional Info

2 June 2019: Accommodation

Centrally located in the historic city of Durham, Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County boasts views of Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle and is situated on the banks of the River Wear.

Each room at Durham Marriott Hotel features a flat-screen TV and complimentary access to the leisure centre. Some rooms offer views of the River Wear and upgraded bathroom facilities.

Market Kitchen restaurant serves a buffet-style breakfast and dinner. The Brew Bar, along with the Terrace, serves an extensive selection of breakfast items, sandwiches, mains, sides and desserts along with traditional and bespoke afternoon teas, classic and contemporary cocktails, wines, spirits and soft drinks.

There is a Starbucks store situated on the ground floor, which serves a wide variety of teas, coffees, sandwiches and pastries throughout the day. The hotel’s leisure centre boasts an indoor swimming pool, a gym, spa bath, sauna and a steam room.

2 June 2019: Enquiries

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