Hi, we're Philip and Lynn Gregory and we have two wonderful holiday cottages for hire in the idyllic country village of Bamburgh. We've created this blog to provide anyone who's thinking of visiting the region with some great ideas on how to make the most of your trip.

Our Cottages

Our Cottages
Our self catering family holiday cottages are located along one of the most breathtakingly picturesque coastal regions in the north east, with nearby Bamburgh castle towering 150 ft above the sea. If you're interested in finding out more and possibly making a booking, why not take a look at our website.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Spring into action at Bamburgh

While staying in Bamburgh at one of our holiday homes in the village of Bamburgh, Spring is the perfect time to visist the gardens at Howick Hall, with their extensive grounds offering a stunning variety of plants throughout the year.

This variety was recognised by the BBC Gardener's World Magazine when it named Howick Hall & Gardens one of the top five coastal gardens in the country. The gardens were also rated by The Independent as one of the best ten gardens to visit during the Spring.

Howick Hall's year starts with Snowdrop Walks every February before the gardens are carpeted in vibrant yellow daffodils between March and May. Late spring also sees the woodland garden flourish with varieties including camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons.

The more formal borders and terraces are best seen in June and the bog garden, with its unusual herbaceous plants grown from seed collected in the wild, is at its best in July, August and September. Howick Hall & Gardens is also worth a visit in Autumn, when the fading leaves produce a spectacular display of colour across the estate.

There is also an Arboretum covering 65 acres of woodland walks and containing 1,800 different species of trees and shrubs , most of which are labelled.

Families can take the Howick Family Challenge, a nature trail through the woodland walks which gets you looking for red squirrels, ducks and even herons.

There's also The Earl Grey Tea Room which serves light lunches, snacks and afternoon teas. Howick was the Grey family seat and was home to Charles, Second Earl Grey, who introduced the Great Reform Bill of 1832, although he is perhaps better known today for having "invented" Earl Grey Tea.

Extensive grounds opening with 'Snowdrops Walks' in February, a spectacular display of daffodils in late March to May, the woodland garden (Silverwood) contains lovely azaleas, camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons which flourish from late March to end May. Eucryphias, hydrangeas and viburnums bloom in summer and the formal gardens, borders and terraces in front of Howick Hall come on from June - the agapanthus on the 2nd terrace are a special feature.

A pond and bog garden have been developed and planted with herbaceous material grown from seed collected in the wild on plant hunting expeditions abroad and is at its best in July, August and September.

The Arboretum opened in 2006 and covers about 65 acres of woodland walks and is planted with about 1,800 different species of trees and shrubs. The new 'Howick Family Challenge' opened in 2008 - a nature trail through the arboretum which poses about 12 questions - look out for red squirrels, swans, ducks and herons! Howick is well worth a visit in the late season when the autumn colour can be brilliant.

The gardens at Howick are deliberately aimed at garden lovers and we intend to keep them free from commercial exploitation. The Earl Grey Tea House is open to visitors to the Garden and serves light lunches, snacks and afternoon tea - Earl Grey of course since Howick was his home!