Stately homes and gardens
Blickling Hall and Gardens – 20 miles (NT)
With gardens, walking trails and more, there’s plenty to do outside at the Blickling Estate with children of all ages – over 4,600 acres to explore, so you won’t run out of walks, with maps of routes to pick up at reception to help you discover Blickling landmarks, views and wildlife.
Pensthorpe bird park 29 Miles
Children with energy to burn will relish the challenge presented by our impressive outdoor eco-play area, WildRootz. The high-quality play equipment is both innovative and challenging in equal measure. There is also an excellent indoor play area, Hootz House.
Somerleyton Hall and Gardens 10 miles
Somerleyton Hall is renowned as one of the finest Victorian Stately homes in the country, the Jacobean Manor house is now encased in John Thomas – Prince Albert’s star sculptor who worked extensively on the houses of Parliament reinterpretation in the Italianate style with two towers dominating the skyline.
Considered one of the finest gardens in East Anglia since the mid 17th century, the gardens at Somerleyton continue to delight. Set over 12 acres, the garden is slowly being re-imagined as a series of interconnected ‘rooms’…
Felbrigg Hall and Gardens 26 miles (NT)
One of the most elegant country houses in East Anglia, Felbrigg Hall is a place of surprises and delights. It is a mixture of opulence and homeliness where each room reflects Felbrigg’s vibrant history, from the stained-glass windows in the Great Hall to Queen Mary’s teapot in the Drawing Room. The Chinese Bedroom showcases Felbrigg’s rich global collections, including luxury exports traded by the East India Company, and the eclectic displays in the Cabinet Room show collections amassed on a European ‘Grand Tour”
Outside, the decorative and productive walled garden is a gardener’s delight. Flowers from the garden decorate the Hall, whilst allotments in the walled garden provide fruit and vegetables for the Squire’s Pantry. You can enjoy watching the hens pecking wherever they wish, with only the sound of the busy bees in the flowers.
The rolling landscape park with a lake, 211 hectares (520 acres) of woods and waymarked trails is a great place to explore nature and wildlife on this bountiful estate. With buggy friendly surfaces on main visitor routes, families can enjoy a relaxing day out.
Holkham Hall Gardens and Estate 38 miles
With a stunning location on the north Norfolk coast and at the heart of a thriving 25,000 acre estate, Holkham Hall is described as an exceptional place, rich in history, architecture and wildlife. The seat of the Earls of Leicester, this elegant 18th century mansion is still very much a lived-in family home which the family take pride in sharing with visitors.
The hall is an elegant 18th century Palladian style house, based on designs by William Kent and built by Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester. The Marble Hall is a spectacular introduction to this imposing building, with its 50ft pressed plaster dome ceiling and walls of English alabaster, not marble as its name implies. Stairs lead to magnificent state rooms displaying superb collections of ancient statuary, original furniture, tapestries and paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Claude, Gaspar Poussin and Gainsborough.
The Walled Gardens
An exciting project is underway at Holkham to rejuvenate the 6 acres of walled garden which was originally laid out by Samuel Wyatt during the late 1700s.
Visitors are invited to see how the work is progressing. Their first step will take them through Italian iron-work gates which were brought from Venice in 1908 and into one of the seven sections, known as ‘squares’ and ‘slips’. The walls within the garden act as a windbreak and reflect the sun to create a gentle microclimate. In Victorian times the garden would have provided a constant and varied supply of food and decoration to the hall, ranging from vegetables and flowers to a wide variety of both common and exotic fruits
The sweeping park that surrounds Holkham Hall is a fascinating mixture of peaceful parkland, farmland, forestry, historic and quirky architecture and wondrous wildlife. Bring a blanket to relax by the lake with a picnic, or follow our walking and cycling routes to explore off the beaten track.
Be aware of the deer
The sight of deer roaming Holkham Park is a certainly one to behold, but please don’t get too close. Remember that they are wild animals and you should keep at least 50 metres away. Be extra careful during the rutting season in mid-October / early November.
Sandringham Estate 43 miles
This year to mark the historic occasion of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, celebrations will take place throughout 2022 at Sandringham.
Sandringham Royal Parkland and Courtyard facilities are open all year (except Good Friday).
Sandringham Courtyard has a range of facilities to eat and drink alongside the Sandringham Shop offering an extensive collection of artisan Norfolk products, from beautiful home and garden ware to country attire.
Sandringham Gardens will reopen for February Half Term from 12-20 February and weekends in March.
We look forward to welcoming you to Sandringham this year!
Houghton Hall and gardens – 37 miles
Built in the 1720s for Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, Houghton Hall is one of Norfolk’s most beautiful stately homes and remains one of England’s finest Palladian houses. A collaboration between the two defining British architects of the age – Colen Campbell and James Gibbs – and with lavish interiors by William Kent, Houghton was built with an eye to reflecting the wealth, taste, and power of its owner. During the eighteenth century, Walpole also amassed one of the greatest collections of European art in Britain, and Houghton became a museum to the collection. The centuries that followed would see the fate of Houghton and its remarkable contents hang in the balance.
Winner of the Christie’s Historic Houses Association ‘Garden of the Year Award’ in 2007, the 5 acre Walled Garden is one of Houghton’s most popular attractions.
In 1991, the present Lord Cholmondeley set about creating a new area within the walls of the old kitchen garden as a memorial to his grandmother, Lady Sybil Cholmondeley. With help from his then head gardener, Paul Underwood, and – later – award winning designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman, the space was divided into several contrasting ‘ornamental gardens’. These include a spectacular double-sided herbaceous border, an Italian garden, a formal rose parterre, fruit and vegetable gardens, a glasshouse, a rustic temple, antique statues, fountains and contemporary sculptures including Jeppe Hein’s “Waterflame”, Stephen Cox’s “Flask II”, and Richard Long’s “Houghton Cross” currently positioned on the croquet lawn.
Framlingham Castle East Suffolk – English Heritage – 23 miles
Surrounded by parkland and a picturesque lake, Framlingham Castle was once at the centre of a vast network of power and influence. Muster your courage, walk the spectacular wall walk and explore the towering walls behind which Mary Tudor was proclaimed Queen of England. From the remarkable 10.5 metres high curtain wall, take in breath-taking views of the Suffolk landscape and imagine life over 500 years ago.
Hoveton Hall Estate and Gardens – 13 miles
Fairhaven Woodland and water gardens – 9 miles
130 acres of cultivated, wild and natural plantings, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.
Nearly 4 miles of woodland pathways to explore and encourage the child within.
Stunning views over our private Broad bound to inspire the budding artist.
East Ruston Old Vicarage gardens – 18 miles
A beautiful, 32 acre modern garden containing many garden rooms with herbaceous borders, gravel gardens, sub-tropical gardens, a box parterre, sunken rose garden, Mediterranean garden, Desert Wash and a large woodland garden — there really is so much to explore.
One of our great joys is to see the pleasure that the garden can bring to many of the visitors and that everybody seems to find some part of it that is special to them.
Sheringham park and gardens NT – 28 miles
Landscape park and woodland garden with miles of stunning coastal views
Wander through Sheringham Park and you’ll discover why it became the personal favourite of its designer, Humphry Repton. Visit the Repton exhibition to see the story of his 1812 design during a turbulent period of history.
Famous for its vast collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, the last owner, Tom Upcher, would hold rhododendron champagne parties in the 1950s to show them off. Ladies would arrive in their fine gowns, some wearing Wellington boots to walk down the main carriageway, sipping champagne and admiring the colours.
Today, you can climb to the top of the towers to experience breathtaking views of this beautiful landscape, the North Norfolk coast and maybe a steam train passing through.
Spend a day here exploring 1000 acres of varying habitat including woodland, parkland and cliff top. Look out for wildlife, 3 species of deer can be seen alongside a wide variety of birds and butterflies.
Oxburgh Hall and Gardens NT – 36 miles
Home to the Bedingfeld family for 500 years, Oxburgh reveals one family’s unshakable Catholic faith and story of endurance
It’s hard not to fall in love with Oxburgh Hall, when you catch your first glimpse of the imposing brick manor house reflected in the tranquil moat.
Built by the Bedingfeld family in 1482 as a statement of power and prestige, it remains their family home today. Now peaceful, Oxburgh and the family have endured turbulent times. Through religious persecution, Civil War devastation, near dereliction and threatened demolition, Oxburgh’s story is one of survival. Thanks to your support, the building is currently undergoing a major roof project to safeguard its future and the collection within.
Step inside to discover the legacy of the 6th Baronet who created much of what you see today, from the Victorian Gothic interiors to the ornate architectural additions that reflect a romantic view of Oxburgh’s medieval past. We are learning more about the wealth and labour that created and maintained this home over the last 500 years, including 19th-century links to slavery through the 6th Baronet’s brother.
Outside, the gardens are a mixture of formal and wilderness, with the walled garden and French parterre adding colour and seasonal interest. And for those wanting to explore further, you can follow one of the estate walks through woodland and along the River Gadder – keep your eyes peeled for otters.
Melford Hall – 43 miles
Discover the stories behind this eclectic home.
It’s fair to say that Melford Hall has had its share of trials and tribulations, but it’s thanks to many generations from medieval monks to the Hyde Parker family who still live here, that this home still stands.
Around every corner there’s a new twist in the story – from Beatrix Potter sketches to collections of naval paintings and Chinese porcelain – everything tells a story and everyone has left their mark.
Devastated by fire in 1942, it was nurtured back to life by the Hyde Parker family and it remains their much loved family home to this day. It is their stories of family life at Melford – from visits by their cousin Beatrix Potter through to our visitors today that make this house more than bricks and mortar.
Kentwell Hall – 43 miles
A stunning mellow redbrick house with two forward wings of the early 16th C, surrounded by a broad moat, built by the Clopton family with wealth from landowning. Its main features are its impressive, little-altered exterior elevations and its separate 15th C part half-timbered service building. The interior shows the changes of successive owners most notably of about 1800, most pronounced of 1826 and by the Phillips family since 1972.
The Gardens at Kentwell are like how many people may imagine an old-fashioned Country House Garden to be. The Gardens have evolved over five centuries with elements of all still visible. Dominated by the Hall, brick walls and the moats, and perhaps the largest stand of Cedar trees in England, with much topiary, large and small. With surprises for the visit, especially children, at nearly every turn, from the brick-paved Maze in the Courtyard to the huge, topiary Yew Castle. The Gardens are to strill around in an every changing environment, never far from water or interesting views of the House, punctuated by the unexpected; or to just sit back and dream, marvelling at the endless changing patterns of the wind or the fish on the waters of the Moats. Sometimes, events permitting, you can wander up to the Barns Sward with its timber-framed farm buildings and its old-fashioned farmyard feeling.
Raveningham gardens – 5 miles
The Raveningham Estate is a traditional rural Estate of some 5,500 acres situated south of Norwich in South Norfolk. It has been home to the Bacon family since 1735.
Our main activity is farming, we grow mostly arable crops which include oil seed rape, wheat, barley, sugar beet, peas and potatoes. A pedigree herd of Sussex cattle and a small flock of Norfolk Horn sheep graze the Park surrounding Raveningham Hall. Elsewhere on the Estate we have a large flock of Suffolk ewes. The Estate includes 500 acres of semi ancient natural woodland which provides renewable energy and high quality timber. Woodchip from our timber is used to supply 4 bio mass boilers on the Estate and we have recently built a floating PV installation on a reservoir, increasing our PV installations to 4. The Estate is committed to renewable energy. We have a strong emphasis on conservation, biodiversity and creating new habitats whilst improving and enhancing existing ones. Raveningham Hall, was built around 1750 by an unknown architect for Sir Edmund Bacon the 8th and 9th Baronet. The Hall is Grade II* listed and home to Sir Nicholas Bacon the 14th and 15th Baronet and his family.
Mannington Hall Estate and Gardens – 23 miles
The gardens around the medieval moated manor feature a wide variety of plants, trees and shrubs in different settings. Throughout the gardens are many roses, especially classic varieties. In the Heritage and Modern Rose Gardens are roses in designs reflecting their date and origin. On the South Lawn is a classic temple and the Sensory Garden with water feature and plants selected for touch, sound and taste, scent and colour.
The Plantation garden – 8 miles
A real hidden Gem in the centre of Norwich
The Bressingham Gardens – 19 miles
Home of colour and drama since the 1953 , The Bressingham Gardens and Nursery are born of the passion and dedication of three generations of the Bloom Family.
Originally created on grazing farmland to display the Blooms of Bressingham Nursery perennial plants, the gardens today feature over 8000 species and varieties of plants in six linked gardens over 17 acres of breathtaking views and endless inspirational ideas throughout the year.
The Bressingham Gardens Nursery plants mostly come from our gardens stock beds, are propagated by seed, cutting and root division, and are grown outside, to ensure the plants are strong and ready to start growing in the best conditions as they get to your garden when ordered through our mail order service.
Our former family home, Bressingham Hall, is now a wonderfully restored Georgian Mansion available for the most memorable family and friends reunions, surrounded by our magical world of garden beauty.
Elsing Hall Gardens – 20 miles
Elsing Hall Gardens are set in the romantic surroundings of Elsing Hall, a medieval moated manor house dating from 1470. The garden is open to members of the public as well as groups by prior arrangement. We frequently host visitors from as far away as Japan, Germany, Holland, the USA and elsewhere as well, of course, as people from within the UK. All are most welcome. Visitors are free to roam around the gardens at their leisure and discover the many little secrets in store. There is plenty of car and small coach (31 seaters and below) parking
Gooderstone water gardens – 34 miles
A unique attraction for all garden lovers, naturalists, artists and photographers – or those who simply want a restful break. What could be nicer than to stroll through an enchanting garden, explore the nature trail, perhaps spot a kingfisher and enjoy delicious home made cakes.
The Gooderstone Water Gardens, located in West Norfolk near to Swaffham, consists of six acres of garden with:
*A natural trout stream *Four ponds *Waterways *Thirteen bridges
*Mature trees & shrubs *Colourful borders *Nature trail *Kingfisher hide
*Grass paths *Tearoom & Plant Sales
Thrigby Hall and gardens – 12 miles
The Hall itself
The Hall was built in 1736 by Joshua Smith Esquire. It is probable that Thomas Ivory, who designed the Norwich Assembly Rooms, was the architect of the Hall and the Summer House.
The grounds were laid out in the style of William III. In 1876 the Hall was remodelled by the then owner, Squire Daniels.
History of the Gardens
After returning from Malaya where he had been a rubber planter, poisonous snake farmer and a crocodile keeper, Ken Sims opened Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens in 1979.
Inspired by the first David Attenborough TV programme and the early writings of Gerald Durrell, Ken had chosen to work in Asia as a way of learning more about the wonderful wildlife of that region. Supplying zoos in Europe and America with rare species, and helping with the National Zoo of Malaysia, he gained valuable experience which he put to good use in the design of the Gardens.
Plantation work and travels in South East Asia gave a first hand insight into the dramatic loss of habitats, particularly of the rain forests: that loss highlighted the realisation that progressive zoos had a positive role to play helping save at least some species from extinction by the hand of man. Peter Scott showed the way by starting the captive breeding work at Slimbridge as well as founding the World Wildlife Fund
Stow Hall gardens – 43 miles
The gardens at Stow Hall have been in place since the early 1800’s with designs on a grand scale including an enormous conservatory, a roseary, a great greenhouse and a pine stove (for pineapples). The plans for the Victorian house were governed by the position of several surrounding fine trees as well as the oak and elm avenue on the north side. The gardens are constantly being changed and developed, restoring old brickwork (often using bricks from the old hall), managing, felling and replanting trees, and developing planting areas using research into old plans alongside modern techniques and discoveries. The garden is maintained by one full time and one part time gardener. Extra help is brought in for hedge cutting.