Northumberland Gardens Tour
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Hills & moorland
On this amazing Northumberland Gardens Tour, be amazed at the contemporary Alnwick Garden, with its Grand Cascade and a complex of unique gardens.
Enjoy Howick Hall Garden; the quarry garden at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens; Whalton Manor’s charming country house garden by Edwin Lutyens; and the impressive Victorian estate of Cragside, featuring over seven million trees and shrubs.
- Alnwick Garden - a world class contemporary garden inspired by the Duchess of Northumberland.
- Cragside House - The revolutionary house of Lord Armstrong, Victorian inventor and landscape genius
- Howick Hall - a plant lovers garden. 'Garden of the year 2009' awarded by Garden Illustrated and Garden Museum
- Wallington - with impressive landscaped gardens and a beautiful walled garden
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- All transport to and from gardens on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach with PA system
- All gardens admissions costs with the exception of any National Trust and English Heritage gardens (please note this does not include entrance to stately homes/houses, for which there is a separate admission fee)
Nether Grange has undeniable history and gorgeous landscapes that surrounds the Alnmouth coastline. It's a perfect mixture of sea and landscape that provides a more settled terrain for everyone who enjoys walking in all of nature's beauty.
Nether Grange has 35 bedrooms, a number of which enjoy views across the links golf course to the sea.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Due to the age and the layout of the house, Nether Grange is not recommended for wheelchair users or guests with restricted mobility.
Although one bedroom has wheelchair access, the access to the main house has some steps and the public rooms in the main building are over 2 floors with no lift available.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
Please expect to walk up to 5 miles each day, around the gardens we visit.
Each evening there will be a sociable activity for you to join in with alongside other guests at the country house.
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way. They will also choose the order of the day visits to ensure maximum enjoyment for all of our guests.
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). All guests are invited to join us for afternoon tea. This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
Wallington and Herterton House
Wallington is a large country estate with impressive gardens surrounding the house. The main attraction is a beautiful walled garden and summerhouse situated away from the house itself. Next we visit Herterton House. The owners, Frank and Marjorie Lawley, took over this land in 1976 and have created four distinct garden areas.
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens and Whalton Manor
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens will be our first visit today. The stone for the house was quarried on site, leaving ravines which were transformed into a Grade I Quarry Garden. An unusual experience with interesting planting opening out to the ruins of the former dwelling. We then visit Whalton Manor, this is a charming English country house garden, in part designed by Edwin Lutyens who was assisted by Gertrude Jekyll
On seven night holidays, there is a free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. There are fantastic walks right on the doorstep and our Discovery Points are ready to make the most out of your stay - there are plenty of maps and a selection of the best tried and tested walking and cycling routes to use, as well as local weather forecasts and public transport options too – plus those all important personal insights on things to spot, places to stop, and things to do along the way.
Crook Hall and Washington Old Hall
Crook Hall is 800 years old and is owned by Keith and Maggie Bell. In the past it has been visited by William Wordsworth. This delightful colourful garden contains several different planting areas. Washington Old Hall at the heart of historic village this picturesque stone manor house and its gardens provide a tranquil oasis, reflecting gentry life following the turbulence of the English Civil War.
Cragside and Stanton Fence
Cragside is a large Victorian estate created by the great industrialist and inventor Lord William Armstrong, who planted over seven million trees and shrubs. We then visit Stanton Fence contemporary country garden designed by RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner, Arabella Lennox-Boyd
Alnwick Garden and Howick Hall
For many people, the visit to the wonderful Alnwick Garden will be the highlight of the week. The centrepiece is the vast Grand Cascade, the largest water feature of its kind in the country. Our final visit will be to Howick Hall, the home of Earl Grey tea. This is a fascinating garden and one for plant lovers, with 60 acres to explore and a collection of over 11,000 trees.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
What to bring
Guests should bring stout, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain in gardens, and clothes for the great British weather!
Nether Grange sits right at the heart of the historic coastal village of Alnmouth. Located right on the North Sea coast there is a sweeping sandy beach and a small tidal harbour. Facilities include a handful of small shops, pubs and cafés.
A wider range of facilities, including shops, supermarkets, banks and chemists can be found in Alnwick, the nearest town. Alnwick is about four miles inland and is connected to Alnmouth by regular buses.
During your visit to the Nether Grange you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Alnwick Castle & gardens
The huge Alnwick Castle is a big attraction in its own right and has gained a younger audience since being used as ‘Hogwarts Castle’ in the Harry Potter films. The gardens have undergone extensive rebuilding and are now the main draw for many visitors. Alnwick is just 10 to 15 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the hourly X18 bus. www.alnwickcastle.com or www.alnwickgarden.com
Owned by the Armstrong family since the 1750s, Bamburgh Castle occupies a splendid position above the sweeping sands of the North Sea coast. Bamburgh is 35 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 501 local bus which runs every other hour. www.bamburghcastle.com
Take a boat trip (weather permitting) from Seahouses to the Farne Islands; one of the best places in Britain to view seals and puffins. Seahouses is around 45 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 501 bus. www.farne-islands.com
English Christianity was born in 7th century Northumberland and Lindisfarne Priory, is its oldest major site, dating from 635AD. It is located on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, cut off by the tides twice a day (make sure that you check the tide times before you visit). The Heritage Centre tells the stories of St Aidan, St Cuthbert and St Bede and displays the 8th century Lindisfarne Gospels in electronic form. Linisfarne is just under an hour's drive from Alnmouth. www.english-heritage.org.uk/lindisfarne-priory
Warkworth Castle, a few miles to the south of Alnmouth, towers over a bend in the River Coquet and the picturesque town of Warkworth. Warkworth is just 10 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 518 bus. www.english-heritage.org.uk/warkworth-castle
Built by Victorian industrial magnate William Armstrong, Cragside House was hugely innovative and was the first house in Britain to be lit by electric light. Now managed by the National Trust, the house and gardens are a fascinating visit. Cragside is around 40 minutes' drive from Alnmouth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside
Seaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall is a fine stately home, designed by John Vambrugh and completed in 1728. Following an extensive fundraising appeal it has recently been purchased by the National Trust. The hall is around 40 minutes' drive from Alnmouth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/seaton-delaval-hall
The vibrant city of Newcastle is always bustling with activity and is famed for its shopping and lively nightlife. The new Baltic arts centre and Sage Gallery are well worth a visit. Newcastle is just under an hour's drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached by hourly local bus.
Around 1½ hours drive from Nether Grange, Hadrian’s Wall remains a powerful symbol of the Roman Empire. The most dramatic section is from Once Brewed to Housteads Roman Fort and a walk here enables you to see some of the best preserved sections at close quarters. Two museums of note are the Roman Army Museum near Walltown you can gain an insight into the daily lives of Roman soldiers, and Vindolanda Roman Fort with its collection of rare Roman artefacts. www.visithadrianswall.co.uk
Edinburgh is very accessible for a day trip. Catch the train from nearby Alnmouth station for the scenic 1 hour journey to the Scottish capital. You'll arrive in the heart of the city centre with numerous museums, shops and galleries, plus the famous castle all within easy walking distance.
Alnmouth Village Golf Club
This links course if located right in front of Nether Grange. www.alnmouthvillagegolfclub.co.uk
Barter Books has been dubbed the British Library of secondhand bookshops and is located in a handsome old Victorian railway station in Alnwick.
Cragside House image © National Trust/Graeme Peacock, Seaton Delaval Hall image ©National Trust Images/John Hammond
Travel to Alnmouth
Our address is: Nether Grange, Alnmouth, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 2RZ
Nether Grange sits on a headland and only has access to limited roadside parking. We advise our guests to use rail travel where possible. Nether Grange is a 5 minute taxi ride from Alnmouth train station
The nearest railway station is Alnmouth, on the main line between Newcastle and Edinburgh. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50
The 1 1/2 mile journey from Alnmouth railway station takes approximately 5 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £6 per 4 seat taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Nether Grange Manager.
Take the A1 to Alnwick. Exit on the A1068 heading towards Alnwick. At the roundabout turn right (not well signed) and follow the A1068 towards Alnmouth. After 2¾ miles go straight ahead at the first roundabout then left at the second roundabout onto the B1338. Cross a bridge as you approach Alnmouth, turning right at the next roundabout, then almost immediatley left into The Wynd. Follow the one way system into Marine Road, passing the golf clubhouse on the left, and round into Northumberland Street. After 100yds turn right into the narrow Pease’s Lane. Nether Grange is on the left. Please note that Nether Grange does not have a car park, there is very limited on-street parking available on a first come basis. You can park in available slots on Marine Road, Pease's Lane and elsewhere in town. There is a pay and display car park at the end of Marine Road.
Travelling from overseas
The nearest airport is at Newcastle which is served by European flights, and UK regional flights from London. From here take the metro to Newcastle Central station, then on by train to Alnmouth - a straightforward journey taking just over 1 hour.
Manchester Airport has a much wider range of long-haul flights. There are trains every hour from the airport to Alnmouth with one change at Newcastle. Allow 3½ hours to Alnmouth - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow 5 hours to reach Alnmouth. From Heathrow first take the Piccadilly line Underground train to London Kings Cross station. From here take a train to Alnmouth - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Edinburgh Airport is also a possibility.
Harry’s first Holiday with HF was on Arran in 1971. He has been a walks leader since 2007 and a garden tours leader since 2010. Harry has holidayed at all the current HF houses having led from most of them, too.
On top of a lifelong love of gardens and being a passionate gardener himself, Harry has also taught Garden Design and Horticulture at degree level for several years and is one of only a small number of Chartered Horticulturist in the UK. Harry has a Masters in Horticulture from the Royal Horticultural Society. He is also an RHS Flower Shows volunteer, providing guidance on RHS Gardens at shows such as the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show and RHS Chelsea Flower Show where he has been involved in delivering several medal winning gardens. He is also a specialist garden inspector for the National Trust.
Harry enjoys sharing his knowledge of the landscape, gardens and their design and history. He knows from experience of this vast field that there is something new to learn from each other at every turn. During his Garden Tours, Harry sets the pace so that there is time to stand and stare and soak it all in.
Harry does everything well - he is prepared, knowledgeable, considerate, communicative - he's the best.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person