The sunshine has finally arrived in the UK, and what better way to celebrate then by getting out and enjoying some of the fabulous gardens dotted across our beautiful county?
From peaceful water gardens, to the spectacular grounds of stately homes, there is an entire world of beauty just waiting to be explored in Norfolk. To help you find your way, we've picked out five of our favourite Norfolk gardens to visit.
The walled garden, in the spectacular grounds of Houghton Hall, is one of the finest gardens in Norfolk. After falling into a state of disrepair, Lord Cholmondeley set about restoring the old kitchen garden at Houghton Hall in 1991, as a memorial to his grandmother. The result is a series of ornamental gardens in various styles, created by Lord Cholmondeley in collaboration with head gardener, Paul Underwood and award winning designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman.
The 5 acre walled garden was the winner of the Christie's Historic Houses Association 'Garden of the Year' in 2007, and remains one of Houghton's most popular attractions.
Located along the River Wensum, Pensthorpe Natural Park is home to three delightful gardens. Created by award winning designers, the three gardens - the Wildlife Habitat Garden; Wave Line Garden; and the acclaimed Millenium Garden - make for a perfect family day trip when the sun's out.
The Blickling Estate, once home to the Boleyn family, boasts 55 acres of stunning gardens, comprising herbaceous borders, verdant lawns and lush topiary. The gardens abound throughout the seasons with spring bulbs, bluebells, hellebores, primroses, azaleas and rhododendrons, and also features such delights as a Doric Temple and a Secret Garden. Take a stroll through the Victorian Sunken Garden, or take the trail along the Formal Wilderness Garden on a summer's day and soak up the scents as well as the sun.
A visit to the Queen's country residence at Sandringham House is one of the most popular attractions in Norfolk, but it is the gardens, even more so than the spectacular house, which are the real showstoppers. The sixty -acre gardens are a sight to be savoured all year round. From the woodland walks and immaculate gardens, to the spectacular lakes and vast rock garden, the Sandringham House Garden really is a must visit.
Described by Country Life as 'perfect in every detail', Hindringham Hall Gardens are picturesque. The hall itself boasts one of the few complete moats in the country, and the gardens add to the fairy-tale feel of the place. Wonderfully diverse, the main features of the gardens include the nut walk, a wild garden, a stream garden, the nut tunnel and a daffodil walk that links up with the medieval moat.
Are you planning on visiting one of Norfolk's beautiful gardens this spring or summer? Enjoy a two-night break with breakfast both mornings at Heacham Manor, a luxury hotel based on the North Norfolk coast from £130 per person.
Call 01485 536030 today to book your stay.