Tag Archives: gardens

Parcevall Hall Gardens.

Tucked away in stunning Wharfedale, the colourful yet tranquil Parcevall Hall Gardens are an almost hidden gem, which we visited whilst camping at  Howgill Lodge near Appletreewick.  An easy walk from the campsite, through the fields into the hamlet of Skyreholme, brought us to signage for the gardens and tea room. Having heard that dogs are welcomed ( on lead) , we thought we would take a look. There is a £7 entry fee for this English Heritage registered delight. You can also buy a map of the gardens and grounds.

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We decided to follow the suggested route on the map and one of the first places we came across, was a little tarn, which we let Hugo take a dip in. 🙂 There are twenty four acres of formal and woodland gardens to explore, which include many trees and shrubs, collected from West China and The Himalayas.  The then derelict Hall was bought in the 1920s by Sir William Milner ( 1893-1960) , who used his  horticulture skills to create the gardens.

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There are plenty of tranquil resting places to admire your surroundings. One such place is the Rock Garden, where there is a little pond. Also look out for the scattering of turkeys, who peck skittishly round the grounds.

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The Hall itself is not open to the public, and is used as a retreat by the Diocese of West Yorkshire. However the garden terraces in front of Parcevall welcome wanderers. 🙂 Parts of the building date back to the 1600s and the estate itself, once belonged to Bolton Priory.

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From the terraces there are stunning views over Wharfedale and toward Simon’s Seat, a rocky outcrop on the surrounding fells.

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Other areas in the grounds include a camelia walk, a herb garden, a rose garden, a chapel garden and an Orchard.  There is also an additional 8 acre woodland, which is separate from the main gardens. Tibet Wood was originally planted in 1944 by Italian prisoners of war and includes a mixture of Conifers and Bird Cherries.

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I was quite taken with the gardens as they really compliment the house and the marvelous Yorkshire views.  Our only bugbear was the tea room closed early that day, and we would have really appreciated a brew, after our wander round. Not to worry, we walked to the Craven Arms in Appletreewick instead..

Have you ever visited Parcevall Hall Gardens? 

Lowther Castle & Gardens.

Last weekend I found myself visiting the romantic ruins of Lowther Castle near Penrith in The Lake District. The Castle stands in what was once a medieval Deer Park and both the grounds and the castle are an ongoing restoration project by the Lowther family. The last Lowther resident was the Yellow Earl,5th Earl of Lonsdale. Like his name suggests, he had a fondness for the colour yellow and he was actually a founder and first president of the AA (Automobile Association) ,who adopted the colour. Unfortunately his penchant for the Good life meant he could not keep up with the expenses of living in a castle, so the historic building was left a derelict shell for many years.


Happily today the Castle and gardens are being lovingly restored and are open to the public. Since my last visit 3 years ago, I can see the improvements that have been made, especially to the courtyard and gardens. Lowther castle is family friendly with lots of grounds and woodland to walk around and play in. Children should check out the new Lost Castle Adventure Playground in the woods , where all the family are encouraged to join in the fun and there is wheel chair access. The courtyard has a cafe and a gift shop. Dogs are welcome everywhere ( except in the Lost Castle) , including  the shop and tea room.:)

As you can see I visited with Wil and Hugo the dog, as well as my brother, sister, my niece and nephew. We all enjoyed exploring Lowther. It was a fun afternoon out for all the family.:)

Views of Warwick Castle.

If you ever find yourself in Warwick and arrive too late in the day to make the most of the £22 per head entry fee into the town’s historic  Castle, I have the perfect compromise for you. For picture postcard views of  the medieval pile, head down to the bottom of Mill Street with its clattering of cobbles and attractive whitewashed cottages. Right at the end on the left one cottage has opened its riverside garden to the public…..and the vistas are stunning. 🙂 coombe abbey 097coombe abbey 098coombe abbey 101

The The Mill Garden  has a beautiful perspective of Warwick Castle and the £2.50 entry fee is well worth it for the great views.

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The cottage and garden has been in the  Measure’s Family for many years and is lovingly tended by family members and volunteers. The money raised is split between various charities.  There is an honesty box for plant sales too.

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Even in early March this English Country Garden is a riot of colour with daffodils,snowdrops,hellebores and other Spring flowers in bloom. The Castle makes for an impressive backdrop don’t you think? The fairytale turret you can see is called ‘Caesar’s Tower’. There are crazy paving pathways and strategically placed benches and loveseats, from which to enjoy the scenery.


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The River Avon flows past the bottom of the garden. The ruins of a medieval bridge can be seen. Some years Swans choose to nest here.

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This little tranquil garden really is the perfect place to relax and It surely must be the best place in Warwick to photograph the castle, apart from the castle grounds themselves of course.

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Hope you enjoyed the tour!