Places You Won’t Want To Miss
Snowdonia is a special part of the country with nine mountain ranges that cover approximately 52% of the park itself. People flock here to relax and enjoy the wide variety of leisure activities available and to take in the spectacular surroundings. From the bustling surrounding towns and villages, to cycling and climbing activities, and both mountain walks or leisure walks, the Snowdonia National Park has something for everyone. Take your pick from green valleys and waterfalls, oak, ash, rowan and hazel woodlands or sandy beaches along the coastline.
Grey Mare’s Tail (© APCE/SNPA)
The scenery surrounding Hadrian’s Wall is spectacular with sweeping views across the Northumberland National Park and the fascinating and world-class archaeology of the Roman remains. Walking the wall includes stunning views as well as unique flora and taking a southern trail from the market town of Brampton to the village of Corbridge is a particularly pretty walk. New for 2017 is the Hadrian’s Wall Cavalry where men on horseback recreate all the pomp and power of imperial Rome. Costumed regiments will be thundering down the 73 mile long site from Housesteads Roman Fort close to Brandon Mill and Chesters Roman Fort and Museum from 8th April to 10th September.
Sissinghurst is magical; made up of different garden ‘rooms’, each of which has a different planting scheme and style. There is so much to see including the beautiful white garden, the large circular rose garden, long borders leading to a cottage garden around Boat House all set against the castle tower backdrop. First created in 1930 by Vita Sackville-West and husband Harold Nicolson is still almost as it was designed, only more manicured due to high public interest.
The White Garden
Created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, there are over 100 acres of gardens full of plants from across the globe and a variety of areas to explore. The current owners have kept to the high standards, being named Gardeners’ World best garden 2010, but the large lake and surrounding woodlands are still fine examples of Browns work. Take a gentle stroll around The Terrace where you will find stately fountains and symmetrical flower beds and exotic climbing plants or go plant-hunting in the Himalayan Garden. Harewood House is also perfect for our small green fingered friends with the thrilling Adventure Playground, ice cream kiosks and the renowned Bird Garden, home to exotic species such as penguins, owls, flamingos and parrots.
The Himalayan Garden
The iconic glasshouse of the Royal Botanic Gardens is home to a huge collection of rare plants, art galleries and restaurants to explore. Spend hours exploring the Minka House, originating from a suburb of Okazaki City, and Bamboo gardens which now have up to 1,200 species of bamboo from across the world, or visit the 150 year old Bonsai trees in the Bonsai House. Take a steady stroll through the stunning foliage and walled garden of Duke’s Garden where seasonal beds of gold, orange and red plants framed the large and manicured lawns. Take a bird’s eye view of the crowns of lime, sweet chestnut and oak trees below and inspect insects, birds, fungi and lichen at close quarters on the Treetop Walkway.
The Bonsai House
Set within 500 acres of the 18th century designed Bretton estate, visitors can enjoy hours of Yorkshire countryside, exploring the relationship between the exhibiting art and the nature that surrounds it. The park now as five indoor galleries nestled within the grounds and countryside to discover and the carefully designed vistas in the parkland are perfect for catching your breath and taking in the stunning views.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
The Lake District National Park is famous for its scenery, the greenest countryside and the most breath-taking views for over 885 square miles, and has been protected since 1951. Experience and explore the lakes, woodlands, fells and valleys either on a leisurely bike ride or a day, or days, long hike, just be aware that that the weather is notoriously unpredictable and you could experience all four seasons in a day. There’s an abundance of pretty villages and towns to pick as a base; Keswick is to the north, Wasdale for exploring the west, Windermere and Ambleside are great bases to visit the main attractions.
West Water the Lake District
If it’s a romantic break with your other half you are looking for, as romantic gardens go, they don’t come much better than this. Set against the fairytale backdrop of the gothic ruins of the house, the sprawling gardens consist of far reaching parkland views, particularly from the bench at the Prospect, a beautiful circular rose garden and enchanting Wall Garden where you will find exotic plants from China and Chile. The garden holds the second largest collection of South American plants in the UK and continues to carry on the tradition started by Leonard Messel and James Comber, who. Along with the help of plant hunters Ernest Henry Wilson and George Forest, developed Nymans collection of rare plants from across the globe.
Wakehurst is set in 465 acres of country estate and boasts ornamental gardens, temperate woodlands, a nature reserve, and an Elizabethan mansion. There’s plenty to explore, botanic gardens and tree collections, sculpture trails to follow and wildlife to spot. Wakehurst reached an international milestone in 2010 and conserved seeds from 10% of the world’s plant species and is home to different collections of seeds and plants from threatened habitats; Millennium Seed Bank Parterres, National Skimmia Collection and Pinetum. Take a long walk through Wakehursts Vistas and landscapes; the collection of Asian plants in the Westwood Valley and sweeping countryside of Bloomers Valley is particularly noteworthy.
Buddha Maitreya created the award winning Japanese landscape in 1980 by completely transforming two acres of flat field and wilderness. The Japanese garden includes, bridges, hills, water features, winding paths for relaxing walks as well as traditional Japanese elements such as Koi carp , cherry and maple trees, bamboo and moss. There are also individual themed gardens such as a Zen garden and Crystal garden, a pagoda and a tree house. Lanterns illuminate the gardens until 10pm every weekend in August and September.
Pure Landscape Japanese Garden
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