This is truly a great place to visit. First off, no car park charges which in itself is unusual. Entrance to the gardens is very cheap, certainly by comparison with National Trust gardens and Kew - £11.50 for the two of us. The shop and cafe can be visited without going into the gardens - and both are worth going to. The shop has a small selection, ranging from cards and lip balms through to prints, rugs and lamps. All are slightly unusual and from local craftspeople. The cafe - well, it's amazing. All incredibly freah and well cooked. We had the roast beef (we went on a Sunday) and it was possibly the best roast dinner I've had. The beef was succulent, veg were lovely and delicately spiced and the yorkshire pud rose like a dream above the plate. As for the chocolate brownie and the orange and almond tart....bliss.
The gardens are glorious. They are clearly, in a few areas, a work in progress but this is so minimal by comparison with most of it, there is no loss to the sheer pleasure to be had. Lots of hidden sculptures, I loved the Tibetan prayer flags, and it's a toss up between the James Turrell and the camera obscura as to which gets my gold star. Both probably - or perhaps it is the views from the top of the gardens...or the sounds of water which follow you around...or the unusual plants and the simplicity of their planting...I love this place, its setting and the whole ethos of it. All the people working there were great too, really friendly and helpful.
Oh, there's also a nursery from which you can buy some quite unusual plants. I think this also is a new piece of work, so I can't wait to come back.
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