Discover delightful north Norfolk gardens

Discover delightful north Norfolk gardens

With the onset of spring, is there anything better than a stroll around a beautiful garden, enjoying the glorious colours and heady scents of the season?

Here in North Norfolk, we’re lucky to have some of the finest gardens in the country, from relaxing water gardens to the magnificent landscaped grounds of stately homes.

Here are some of our favourites.

Gooderstone Water Gardens

There’s a charming story behind the origin of Gooderstone Water Gardens. Retired farmer Billy Knights started creating them after his son joked the ground was too wet to graze cattle on. By the age of 93, Billy had created an enchanting garden that’s a haven for wildlife lovers and those seeking some respite from modern life.

Here you can wander around along the trout stream, navigating a maze of waterways, ponds and bridges. The grounds are filled with mature trees and shrubs, and lined with colourful borders. There’s a nature trail to follow; if you’re lucky you may even spot the brilliant-blue flash of a kingfisher diving for food.

There’s also a tearoom serving delicious homemade cakes and a shop selling plants should you fancy trying to recreate part of the garden for yourself!

Delightful north Norfolk gardens near The Lifeboat Inn, Thornham Delightful north Norfolk gardens

Pensthorpe Natural Park

One of Norfolk’s most popular attractions, Pensthorpe Natural Park is a delight for garden lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Here you’ll find four of Norfolk’s most striking gardens in one place, ensuring there’s beauty to be found throughout the year.

The popular Millennium Garden, designed by renowned gardener Piet Oudolf, is a riot of colour and texture in the spring, its grasses and flowers cascading in bold drifts. The ravishing wildflower meadow flourishes in springtime, its mix of orchids and wildflowers irresistible to wildlife. As is the wildlife habitat garden, home to an assortment of birds, bats, dragonflies, bees, butterflies and reptiles.

There are also woodland walks, a stunning lake, and a huge adventure playground for the little ones.

Pensthorpe Natural Park
Pensthorpe Millennium Garden 

Hindringham Hall Gardens

Historic Hindringham Hall dates back to Tudor times. This impressive flint house is surrounded by a 12th century moat and medieval fishponds, while its gardens have been described as a ‘blossoming romance’, and ‘one of Norfolk’s secret places’. Shhh!

There’s a walled vegetable and herb garden that supplies fruit and vegetables for the house, an atmospheric water garden that blooms with hellebores, primula and lilies in the spring, and a formal garden next to the moat.

A carpet of daffodils surrounds the medieval ponds in early spring. But don’t worry if you’re too late. There’s a charming wild garden to explore, along with formal herbaceous borders that flourish from April through to September. If you’re in need of refreshments, treat yourself to tea and cake in the café.

Hindringham Hall Gardens near The Lifeboat Inn, Thornham Hindringham Hall Gardens

Houghton Hall Walled Garden

A regular winner of ‘Garden of the Year’ awards, the walled garden at Houghton Hall is a delight. The current owner of the Hall, Lord Cholmondeley, created the garden as a memorial to his grandmother from an old kitchen garden that had fallen into disrepair.

There are several ornamental gardens to explore, arranged so there’s always something in bloom. Wander around the magnificent herbaceous borders, enjoy the heady scent of over 150 rose varieties in the rose parterre, marvel at the stunning Italian garden, and explore the orchid collection in the greenhouses. There’s also a sunken pool, a rustic temple, and several statues and fountains dotted around.

All of these gardens are within easy distance of The Lifeboat Inn in Thornham, where a delicious home-cooked meal and refreshing drink awaits at the end of the day, along with a comfortable bed.

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