In GardensWalks

If you have always thought that visiting heritage attractions is largely an indoor activity, it’s time to think again now that the weather is finally getting warmer. Some of the largest, most interesting outdoor spaces can be found in the grounds of the U.K’s heritage attractions and estates. Whether you are looking for a peaceful spot to sit and while away some time, a pleasant walk or a more active day out there’s something for everyone. Pack your picnic lunch and spend some time in the great outdoors.  Have a look at our Top Picks for inspiration:

Plumpton Rocks, North Yorkshire

The man-made lake at Plumpton RocksThis 30-acre parkland offers endless opportunities to explore with its woodland trails, lakeside walks and ancient rock formations. The park was formed when a lake was created at the foot of a collection of weathered gritstone outcrops.

The artist J.W.M. Turner painted two oil painting of the rocks and the views remain largely unchanged from Turner’s day. Take a peaceful walk around the lake, or a romantic woodland walk. There are numerous spots to relax and enjoy the sunshine and tranquillity.

Plumpton has recently undergone an extensive renovation to restore the parkland and lake to its 18th century glory.

Holkham Parkland and Nature Reserve, Norfolk

The Holkham Estate’s 3,000 acre grounds along the Norfolk Coast are home to a large herd of fallow deer and offer numerous designated walks and cycle tracks for all abilities. Cycle and boat hire is available. You can view historic monuments and buildings including the Obelisk and The Great Barn. Holkham Nature Reserve stretches from Burnham Norton to Blakeney and can be explored by following designated trails from one of its three car parks. Rare species of bird can sometimes be sighted here. Take your binoculars and a picnic and see what you can spot.

Holkham Hall Gardens also plays host to a selection of outdoor theatre performances later in the summer, including The Railway Children and Treasure Island. Visit their website for more information and to book tickets.

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

Walk across the causeway or take the boat to this small tidal island linked to the town of Marazion. Walk along the Mount village harbour and experience the sights and sounds of this working fishing village. Take the gardens trail and explore some unusual species of plant sub-tropical climate created by the gulf stream. Picnic on the Laundry Lawn where the gardens meet the sea. There is plenty to see and do all whilst taking in the spectacular views on offer from this unique location.

Leeds Castle, Kent

Leeds CastleThe extensive grounds at Leeds Castle include the Knights Realm and the Squires’ Court playgrounds to keep your little ones entertained. One of the most popular activities is the maze, constructed from 2,400 yew trees and one of the most difficult of its kind to solve. If you do make it to the middle you can find your way out through The Grotto, an underground pathway of mythical creatures created from shells, wood and minerals.

Take a trip on the Black Swan Ferry to see more of the estate. There are also three different themed gardens, The Culpeper Garden, The Woodland Garden and the Lady Baillie Mediterranean Garden Terrace.

Dunvegan Castle & The MacLeod Estate, Isle of Skye

Seal Boat at DunveganDunvegan Castle is at the heart of the 42,000 acre MacLeod Estate on the Isle of Skye. The estate is home to the Cuillin mountain range, at the centre of which can be found Loch Coruisk, one of Scotland’s best known corries. Visit the Fairy Pools at Glenbrittle, a series of waterfalls that appear bright blue/green in colour. Take a swim in one of the small cold water pools. You can even grab a hot chocolate or speciality coffee at the Cuillin Coffee Company. Loch cruises and fishing trips can be arranged, as well the popular seal trips, a 25-minute boat trip to see the Dunvegan Seal colony at close quarters.

These are just a selection so why not check out your nearest heritage attraction and find out more about the outdoor activities they offer.




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