Garden breaks: Historic Gardens and Hidden Gems

Day 1 - Exploring the gardens of Ripon

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Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden 

Start your day with a wander around the ruins of the magnificent Cistercian Abbey and enjoy a riverside walk to the World Heritage Site of the eighteenth century Georgian water garden of Studley Royal featuring a stunning Surprise View lookout over the abbey and river and an exciting dark Serpentine Tunnel. There is plenty to keep you busy before you enjoy a treat from the café and take a walk around the lake or among the wild deer and ancient trees.

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Just a short drive into the historic Cathedral city of Ripon and you can spend the afternoon exploring the central municipal Spa Gardens.

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Ripon Spa Gardens 

This beautiful park features colourful flowerbeds, a Victorian bandstand and wooden sculptures depicting characters from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (L. Carroll was a choirboy at Ripon Cathedral and is thought to have been inspired by the carvings there).

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From here a 6 minute drive takes you to the true hidden gem of Ripon Walled Garden on Palace Road.

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Ripon Walled Garden

A historic kitchen garden that was once part of the Bishop’s Palace and is now a wonderful place to relax and explore. There is a small shop selling the produce grown on site including jams, chutneys, apple juice locally pressed from their own crops and honey produced in their resident hives.

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Return to Ripon for the evening for a choice of eateries and accommodation or stay the night at Swinton Park Hotel.

Day 2 - Gems of Masham

Approximately 20 minutes dive from Ripon is the luxurious Swinton Estate with 20,000 acres of lakes and woodland, rivers and moorland available to be explored.

Swinton Cut flowers

Swinton Park

Another beautiful deer park awaits you on the Swinton Estate whilst the working kitchen garden located in the walled gardens will tantalise your taste buds with over 60 varieties of fruit, herbs and vegetables that you can sample in the Terrace restaurant. Flowers are also on sale so why not take a bunch home with you?

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Just a 12 minute drive from here you will find the second hidden gem of your trip near Grewelthorpe.

Him Poppies

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park

This 45 acre botanical masterpiece is set in a unique valley with stunning woodland and lakes boasting.

85 contemporary sculptures. Home to an incredible 1,400 rhododendron varieties, 250 azalea varieties and 150 different magnolias and seasonal plants ranging from the meconopsis poppy to the primula - this is an award winning garden not to be missed.

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Return to stay at the Swinton Park Hotel or stay in the quaint market town of Masham.

DAY 3 - A view to Newby

A thirty minute drive will take you to your final destination and one of the most important and impressive gardens in the country.

Newby Gardens Borders

Newby Hall 

With an extensive array of plant varieties from the 172 metre long herbaceous borders to the National Collection of Cornus (Dogwoods) - Newby Hall is a must visit destination for garden lovers. Here you will find over 100 individual specimens with 30 species represented by 76 different hybrids. Also home to a diverse orchard of quince and apple planted in 1897, Newby Hall is a must visit destination for garden lovers. This superb garden is the location for the Harrogate Autumn Flower from 16 – 18 September when show tickets double as garden entry.  Newby Hall may already be familiar to you having been a filming location for productions such Victoria, Mansfield Park and Gentleman Jack.

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Please check all venues ahead of travelling for opening hours and pre-booking requirements

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Events

Year-round beauty in the Harrogate district
Garden Attractions
Year-round beauty in the Harrogate district icon

Year-round beauty in the Harrogate district

Harrogate is a floral district with an abundance of gardens to visit that bring colour and splendour all year...

Historic Insights - Royal Hall Open Days
Attractions
Harrogate
Historic Insights - Royal Hall Open Days icon

Historic Insights - Royal Hall Open Days

The Royal Hall still offers a full programme of concerts throughout the year so why not visit again and...

Home of Flower Shows

Home of Flower Shows

The Harrogate district is home to a wide range of spectacular gardens, parks and outdoor spaces which inspire the...

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