Northumberland in bloom
If you enjoy exploring gardens, there are lots to keep you occupied during your visit to Northumberland. Here are some for you to explore:
Alnwick Garden (01665 511350) - Now a large visitor attraction, and vision of the Duchess of Northumberland - The Alnwick Garden is gardening on a grand scale, and it's something you have to do, although it feels more like a tourist's garden than a gardener's garden.
If you're really into gardens, you might prefer these little-known but absolutely fantastic 'gardener's gardens':
Our favourite is Howick Hall Gardens. Howick has been owned by the Grey family, of Earl Grey tea fame, since 1319. Earl Grey also became Prime Minister - it's a fascinating story which you can read something about here. It has a delightful tearoom, as you might expect. Howick's arboretum is of international importance, containing plants collected from all over the world.The gardens are about 15 mins drive from St Cuthbert's House, and are one of our very favourite 'hidden gems'. You won't be disappointed.
Our favourite walled garden is at Wallington Hall, which is about an hour away. It would make a very (very) full day, but you pass by Cragside's entrance on the way to Wallington.
Cragside is famous for its gardens and makes a super day out. It's about 40 minutes from St Cuthbert's House.
Chillingham Castle has an interesting garden designed in 1828 by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville.
The formal gardens at Belsay Hall are splendid, having been tended by the same family since the 13th Century, and by two great gardeners in particular.
Chipchase Castle Nursery is about an hour's drive from us, through beautiful countryside.
You can visit the Gertrude Jekyll Garden on Holy Island, complete with its original planting scheme from 1911.
Stanton Hall gardens and plant centre is about 7 miles from Morpeth and can be reached in about 45 mins.
Bide-A-Wee is a little gem, near Morpeth, 45 mins away.
Herterton House is in Cambo, near Morpeth. It's a modern walled garden belonging to a 16th Century farmhouse, and it gets lovely reviews from garden lovers.