Monday 8 August 2016

Beautiful Britain - Beningbrough Hall, Yorkshire

You will have seen from last week's post, that we were off to Harrogate for our annual catch up with old friends. We were looking for something to do on our way and decided that Beningbrough, a National Trust property near York, would fit the bill nicely, and it most certainly did.

From the minute we turned into the main drive we knew that this property would not disappoint. You approach the property directly from the front, along a grand, tree lined avenue, and it is a pretty impressive sight.

Approaching the main entrance to the grounds from the car park it all looks very intriguing, with a glimpse of a huge pottery tiled tea pot in shades of blue, surrounded by a drift of prettily planted terra cotta pots.

It was definitely inviting us in and making us want to explore more. There is definitely an air of a secret garden about this property.  It is just waiting to be discovered and we were eager to oblige.
Once through the entrance reception you are in a courtyard with the usual NT plant sales on display. The difference here though, to anything we've seen at any other NT places, was the inclusion of driftwood sculpted horses heads amongst the planting. It just all looked very pretty and definitely worth a few pictures.

As we'd had a long old drive, we knew that our first real stop would be the tea room, situated behind the big blue teapot, which I just loved. I've never seen anything like it before.

Following our lunch, which included my favourite NT flapjack, we decided to explore the gardens first, as it looked like we might be in for some rain.

We started off in the walled garden, which was a real treat. It was a real mix of flowers, fruit and vegetable planting. The herbaceous borders were full to bursting with colour and different varieties of plants.
As you will see they had some pretty impressive Jerusalem Artichokes, which I was very taken with.
From the walled garden we wandered past more herbaceous borders, stuffed full of colourful perennials, heading for the Italian garden.
We went through the metal gate and followed the Italian border, backed with a high red brick wall, towards the back of the Hall. The border was stuffed full of brightly coloured blooms, with lots of little hidey holes amongst the planting to sit and ponder for a while.
This border leads round to the back of the house, which overlooks open parkland. We wandered past the back of the house and the orangery, flanked by yet more bits of garden, hidden behind tall hedges, through the courtyard, past the old laundry and were finally at the main front door.There is plenty to see in the house, which is spread over three floors and set out in such a way that you can see how the house has been used over the ages. There is loads of interactive stuff for kids to get involved in and, for those not so good with lots of stairs, there is a lift which services all floors.

After a good mooch round the house it was back to the entrance way for a good look round the requisite NT shop, where I managed to make a start on the Christmas shopping, before heading off to Harrogate to carry on with the rest of our weekend.

We only spent a couple of hours at the property today but, had the weather been a bit better and us not having been on a schedule, I can see that it would be very easy to while away the best part of a day there.

It's somewhere I would definitely recommend as being worth a visit and somewhere that I would happily visit again when we are back in the area. The gardens were definitely our favourite bit.

Oh yeah, bonus points ..... The big blue tea pot is only a flippin' Pokestop!! I wish we'd known before we had finished our visit.

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