Howick Hall Gardens and Arboretum

Recommended by Cherylle 

A botanical spectacle of wondrous enchantment, set in 65 acres of splendid nature.

Whispers of faraway places surround mosaics of exotic trees. Canopies and branches
hang overhead as winding paths lead the way through this romantic, whimsical and all so
‘Magic Faraway Tree’ environment.

Home of Earl Grey, Howick Hall Gardens and Arboretum is really worth paying a visit,
and of course, enjoying a cup of Earl Grey tea. You may even spot a red squirrel or two.

If you are looking for clipped, neat and contrived gardens, then perhaps you may be
disappointed. If you’re anything like me though, and you prefer less formality and more
adventure, then this is the place to indulge your senses in all things botanical. It’s a garden
lovers delight. I especially love the understated elegance and natural wild forms that you
find at the Arboretum. It really is a walk on the wild side!

There are fine, formal gardens in front of the house that are very beautiful, especially in
summer. There’s something for everyone here, for all seasons. In the spring and early
summer the Woodland Garden is mesmerising. There are captivating displays of
camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons that welcome in the return of warmer months.
During April, daffodils provide vivid waves of colour throughout the grounds, in May
tulips bloom in the wild meadows. The stunning carpets of snowdrops from February are
a sight to behold.

Pay a visit during Autumn and be gifted the spectacle of fiery reds, golden yellows, amber,
auburn and crimson, as the trees change their lush summer greens into their warmer
autumn wear.

There’s a sensory garden that was added in 2018 as part of the main garden attraction,
featuring specially selected plants and materials. The sensory garden was created to
provide both children and adults with autism a safe and stimulating environment to
explore their senses, it is open year round to all visitors.

The bog garden provides colourful and dramatic displays of plants. The moisture-loving
flora of the bog look like they’ve sprouted straight out the pages of a fairy tale!

My favourite place here is the Arboretum. It’s an enchanting environment with a very
special energy. The Arboretum covers 65 acres, containing 11,000 trees and shrubs from
around 1800 taxa, grown from seed and collected in the wild. They are planted in six
geographical groups featuring specimens from China and the Himalayas, East Asia, India
and Pakistan, North America and Europe, Like an atlas brought to life, you will feel
transported to distant lands in this ethereal setting.

I appreciate the discreet labels on the shrubs and trees, the unobtrusive markers for the
many paths that weave through the arboretum. Charming bridges that cross little streams
leading you through dappled sunlit paths, thoughtfully placed benches where you can sit
and ponder, soaking up the atmosphere of this serene oasis.

Its entirely possible not to see anyone else on the many walks you can take here. Peaceful
and restorative, it never fails to re-energise me.

There are various short and long walks, perfect for families with young children or those
of us who fancy something a little more challenging! My favourite walk is the ‘Long Walk’
as it leads to an unexpected magical beach at the end of the footpath.

It’s impossible to describe everything I love about this special place. More than one visit
is recommended, especially as the seasons change and different plants, shrubs and trees
come into their own. Whatever your botanical preferences, you will discover something
here that is special to you.

You do not need to pre-book your visit but you can ring ahead to make sure it isn’t too
busy when you are planning on visiting. If you’re local then it’s worth purchasing a season
ticket.

Please note that assistance dogs only are permitted here.

www.howickhallgardens.com

Location

Postcode NE66 3LB

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