Howick Hall

Route: Howick Hall Gardens and Arboretum

Area: Northumberland

Date of walk: 5th September 2017

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.0 miles

Weather: Cloudy

Howick Hall has been the ancestral home of the Earls Grey (of Earl Grey tea fame) since 1319. The Hall itself is not open to the public, since a disastrous fire in 1926 completely destroyed the interior. The grounds surrounding the Hall are superb and comprise two separate areas – the Gardens and the Arboretum

The Gardens were developed between 1920 and 2001 and are mainly informal, and the Arboretum was opened in 2006 by Roy Lancaster and covers 65 acres. The majority of the trees and shrubs (around 11,000 in all) have been grown from seed collected in the wild from earlier expeditions to remote parts of the world

We arrived at the Hall with a vague route plan but that was soon abandoned as we realised that this is a place to wander around as your fancy takes you, and depending on the season. A map is handed out at reception and is a useful guide – without one you’d soon get lost in this lovely place with its myriad tempting paths

We explored much of the garden and arboretum but even though we covered 5 miles we still missed huge areas of the grounds – this is a place that could be visited regularly, and there would always be something new to see. We found it to be a magical place and we hope to return

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