We know that Yorkshire has an outstanding heritage of gardens and landscaping and, having completed our own project, we appreciate the skill, effort and vision that goes into transforming grounds into a beautiful garden or developing the aesthetic potential of natural features.
There is something very relaxing about being in any garden but when someone else is maintaining it you really get to enjoy the surroundings without being distracted by what may need to be done. A gentle walk in beautiful surroundings is a great way to spend time on a romantic break and we have some suggestions for places you may like to visit. If you have discovered any special gardens during your time here please let us know in the comments section - we would love to go and have a look at them.
Book your romantic short break with us now - we are happy to make suggestions for great places to visit while your'e here.
RHS HARLOW CARR If you're a gardener you'll know about Harlow Carr - it has a reputation for its glorious gardens, development work and regular appearance on TV. This is an inspirational place of different areas to explore and get in touch with the surroundings. If you're not a gardener it is like walking in a really good painting - the colour, texture and form combinations are fantastic - and is a really lovely place to share with your partner.
If you visit on a Sunday before 28th August there's live music in the garden to add to the enjoyment and if you are of a more dramatic nature there's an open air production of Much Ado About Nothing on 25th August. For September visitors there's the Real Ale and Cider Festival on the 10th and 11th of the month. If you work up an appetite there's a branch of the Yorkshire favourite "Betty's" Tearooms on site. There's something special about a lunch or high tea made with top quality ingredients which are served by beautifully dressed and exquisitely mannered staff.
Photo courtesy of www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr
THORPE PERROW ARBORETUM There's much to love about Thorpe Perrow. Firstly it's one of those gardens that fell into decline and was then recovered. How romantic is that? It is also a testament to the vision and a sense of heritage from the Ropner family that this ravishing garden will continue into the future. The arboretum is 100 acres (so a good walk there) with the finest private collection of trees and shrubs in the country. Originally the "secret garden" of the father to the current owner it did fall into a decline. The new generation have secured funding and it's now a truly beautiful place to visit all year round, with plenty of activities for all ages and it's also very welcoming for those with limited mobility (see their website www.thorpeperrow.com). Coming in autumn? - then book in for a Fungus Foray - fascinating and you get to pick fungus and mushrooms under expert guidance. Our favourite thing about Thorpe Perrow is the real sense of this still being a much loved family home that really welcomes guests. It may be worth mentioning that they also have a very good tearoom/cafe.
Photo courtesy of www.thorpeperrow.com
PLUMPTON ROCKS Situated between Harrogate and Knaresborough this is another of the "Lost Gardens of Heligan" school of lost, discovered and restored glorious gardens and pleasure grounds. This was a favourite of Queen Mary who described it as "heaven on earth". Another beautiful site that fell into decline it was re-opened to the public on 31st July 2016 and it looks stunning - be one of the first to visit in this opening year.
To see the full former glory a visit to Harewood House will reveal two oil paintings which were painted by Turner (his first commissioned works) at the request of the then owner, the 1st Earl of Harewood.
Photo courtesy of www.plumptonrocks.com
HACKFALL WOODS A huge hit with our guests and one of our favourites. Hackfall regularly features in the press as one of the hidden woodland gems in the country and despite that publicity it can still feel like you are the only person there, even if the car park tells a different story. Beautifully tended and restored by the Hackfall Trust and the Woodland Trust this is a fantastic location on the side of the stunning River Ure. In a valley with engineered water features, stepping stones and more follies than you can shake a stick at, it reminds us of Narnia. A lovely walk (stout shoes please) with benches strategically placed to gain the most from some of the really lovely views. Hackfall was visited by both Turner and Wordsworth so good recommendation there. Open all year round there's no tearoom at this one, but the Crown Inn at Grewelthorpe is a nice place for a drink or lunch and you're welcome to use the car park here as well as the one on the road to Masham.
Photo courtesy of www.mypennines.co.uk