A-Z of 27 Norfolk gardens you must see this summer
- Credit: Mark Bullimore
The famous hall has fabulous gardens to explore, with an orangery, walled garden, a wild garden (not just a recent innovation!) and, perfect for a bit of family fun, two secret tunnels.
For almost 60 years the Bloom family's gardens (and the steam museum) have been delighting visitors. With 17 acres there is something for the purist and the casual observer alike.
East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens
This collection of beautiful gardens created by Alan Gray and Graham Robeson covers a vast range, from deserts to Mediterranean, from veg garden to glasshouse and most horticultural points in between.
e-ruston-oldvicaragegardens.co.uk / 01692 650432
Elsing Hall, Dereham
Something of a hidden treasure, Elsing Hall's moated manor house was built around 1470 by the Hastings family. Set in a small park, old English roses are a notable, and highly aromatic, feature of the gardens.
elsinghall.com / 01362 637 866
Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden
This is a huge sprawl of 130 acres of wild, cultivated and natural spaces, with miles of pathways to explore. An especial favourite of photographers and artists because of the wildlife.
fairhavengarden.co.uk / 01603 270449
Gooderstone Water Gardens and Nature Trails
This was once a damp meadow which became too wet for cattle to graze. A jokey suggestion to owner Billy Knights led to him creating six acres of lush loveliness including a trout stream and 13 bridges.
gooderstonewatergardens.co.uk / 01603 712913
Grapes Hill Community Garden, Norwich
This project is a small but lovingly looked-after garden in the heart of the city. You can even pick a few herbs and pieces of fruit; why not make a doudle visit and take in the nearby Plantation Garden as well?
grapeshillcommunitygarden.org/pages / 07594 691817
Boasting some rare medieval fish ponds and a moat from 1150, Hindringham Hall is a fabulous set of gardens steeped in history. This time of year is perfect for visiting the wild garden, a mass of anemones, leucojum, daisies, fritillarias and camassia.
hindringhamhall.org/gardens / 01328 878226
The famous Walled Garden here, dating back to the 1700s, is undergoing extensive renovation work and you can see how it is progressing. Some of the work includes the hall's impressive range of Victorian greenhouses.
holkham.co.uk / 01328 713111
This hall has, in recent years, made headlines for the fabulous outdoor artwork shows that it puts on, including giants like Henry Moore and Anish Kapoor. The Walled Garden, though, is a work of art on its own.
houghtonhall.com / 01485 528569
The handsome gardens at Hoveton Hall include the pretty Spider Garden (named for a wrought-iron gate), the walled Old Kitchen garden and the rare iron-framed glass house.
hovetonhallestate.co.uk / 01603 784297
Rose-lovers will make a beeline (pun intended) for the displays of heritage and modern blooms. There is also a sensory garden with water feature and plants selected for touch, sound and taste, scent and colour and a children's garden.
manningtongardens.co.uk / 01263 584175
Merrivale, Great Yarmouth
If you have little ones to entertain then this could be the best of both worlds for you; landscaped gardens, streams, waterfalls and a model village in an acre of floral landscaped gardens.
merrivalemodelvillage.co.uk / 01493 842097
Natural Surroundings, Holt
Set in the Bayfield Estate near Holt, this space sets out to champion wild flowers, with an array of gardens to examine and enjoy. The owners strive to promote wildlife-friendly gardening.
The county's lavender is world-famous and a visit to the 100-acre site here has to be one of the most aromatic days out ever. It makes a spectacular sight when the flowers are all in bloom, too.
norfolk-lavender.co.uk / 01485 570384
Norwich Cathedral Herb Garden
A compact garden with historical importance, thei was originally used by Benedictine monks for cultivating plants for both medicinal and kitchen use. Recreated in 2005, the Herb Garden is a space for quiet contemplation and an educational resource for schools and community groups.
The star of Oxburgh's garden is the Parterre, planted with 6,500 bedding plants each June. You can also explore the Walled Garden and the less formal areas, including the Wilderness and My Lady’s Wood.
Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham
Bill and Debbie Jordan's 700-acre wildlife park has four gardens, including a wildlife space, the Millennium Garden (designed by the renowned Piet Oudolf) and the intriguing Corten Infinity Garden. Very family friendly, too.
pensthorpe.com / 01328 851465
Peter Beales Roses, Attleborough
This long-established classic rose growing business has a two-acre display garden, a chance to see unique, historic, rare and contemporary roses growing alongside other complementary plants.
classicroses.co.uk / 01953 454707
Plantation Garden, Norwich
This Victorian gem in the city (near the Roman Catholic Cathedral) has been entrancing visitors for over a century, a Gothic masterpiece and an oasis of calm in the hubbub of the city.
Priory Maze & Gardens , Sheringham
This ten-acre site has pretty gardens, including aromatic and Riviera, and what is billed as Norfolk's only traditional hedge maze, based on the layout of the nearby Beeston Priory ruins.
These gardens date back to Edwardian plans, and among the many noteworthy spaces are the walled kitchen garden, a fine late 19th century Boulton and Paul range of glasshouses, a conservatory and melon pits.
raveningham.com/gardens / 01508 548152
You would expect the Royal estate to have a special garden a,d you won't be disappointed by the 60 acres of formal and informal gardens. Trees are important here, especially the 800-year-old Veteran Oak.
sandringhamestate.co.uk / 01485 545400
Not strictly speaking a garden, but still a stunning place, famous for its vast collection of rhododendrons and azaleas and for being designed by the landscape gardener Humphry Repton.
nationaltrust.org.uk/sheringham-park / 01263 820550
The gardens at Somerleyton are a delight. Set over 12 acres, the garden is slowly being re-imagined as a series of interconnected ‘rooms’. There is plenty to enjoy - and even a maze to get lost in.
somerleyton.co.uk/gardens / 01502 734901
Stody Lodge Gardens
There is a cornucopia of garden spaces to enjoy at Stody, including a secret garden, sunken garden and an old rose garden. It also has reputedly the largest azalea mollis dsplay in Britain, with 2,000 plants in two acres.
stodyestate.co.uk / 01263 860572
West Acre Gardens, King's Lynn
Featuring an old walled garden and extensive display gardens, West Acre has mixed borders, specimen shrubs and trees, ornamental grasses and bamboos, a Mediterranean garden and a lovely shade garden to enjoy.
westacregardens.co.uk/gardens / 01760 755562
Please check with any garden before setting out to visit. Many have restrictions, including the need to pre-book, while some have restricted opening hours.