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“What no map?”

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden
Ranked #2 of 147 things to do in Norwich
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The garden is open from 29th March to 24th October 2015 on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from 1pm to 5.30pm. The gardens at East Ruston Old Vicarage are one of the most exciting surprises in the county, who would expect to find a verdant, sheltered garden in the prairie landscape that is north east Norfolk? Enter the garden and you are worlds away from the local landscape for here there are many gardens within the whole including a new Walled Garden, Rose Garden, Woodland Garden, Mediterranean Garden and a stunning Desert inspired by the landscape of Arizona. These areas are connected by magical avenues and areas of informal planting with some places allowed to be wildlife friendly which includes a stunning Corn Field that contains the corn field weeds of yesteryear and has been known to move visitors to tears. Wild Flower meadows lead down to ponds full to bursting with the sights and sounds of nature giving way to rolling lawns all enclosed by tall sheltering trees and hedges for because of its coastal situation this is an inward looking garden. But, the views out are both stunning and amusing, a port hole cut in the hedge allows tantalizing glimpses of the Happisburgh lighthouse one mile away whilst other highlights are the views of both St. Mary's churches at East Ruston and Happisburgh. Overall there is a feeling that this garden is exceedingly well designed; there is incredible use of colour, an exuberance of planting making it a very special experience, this garden has that certain je nais se quoi that is sadly lacking in most modern gardens today. There is a well equipped tea room serving delicious locally produced refreshments and a nursery selling many of the rare and unusual plants found growing in the garden.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“What no map?”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

At the risk of sounding like an iconoclast about this well-loved garden imagine a house full of rooms with all the rooms near the front door full of furniture and looking lived in, then as you get further into the house the rooms gradually become empty with an abandoned air. This is what visiting East Ruston is like: the gardens near the house are an inspirational riot of colour and delightfully well kept. Those further away, like the Mediterranean garden, start to look distinctly weedy and then there are the confusing gardens near the boundary which are no more than high hedges surrounding a series of lawns.
Arrive at 1pm and allow yourself at least 2 hours to find your way round this maddening garden as there isn't a map. Given that it covers 30 acres with lots of gardens within the garden this should be an essential handout to every visitor. After a couple of hours on a hot day we gave up, still not sure if we had seen everything.
The tearoom was a welcome retreat out of the sun and the lady that served us couldn't have been nicer. The tea and cakes were reasonably priced.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank MummaMedia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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712 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Norfolk, UK
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Excellent gardens in the heart of North Norfolk”
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Well worth a visit for anyone interested in gardens.
Great gardens which are well kept and maintained.
Nice tea room and plant centre
Ample car parking
Credit/Debit cards accepted

Visited August 2014
Thank magical_matt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Basel, Switzerland
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Alan and Graham never disappoint!”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I come here nearly every time I visit my parents and always find I haven't the stamina to take everything in that's there. Alan and Graham have done an awful lot of work on the gardens over the last year(s) and introduced alpacas, various poultry and even tortoises. They have every plant you have in your garden only an even more exotic variety or colour. The flower meadow is wonderful at this time of year though I imagine it was even better when the poppies were also in bloom. On Sunday it was a sea of yellow daisies and cornflower. Good tea rooms and top marks for cheese scones. And if you like cats, there is a pair (we think) of Burmese cats who, once allowed to settle on a lap, are loath to be thrown off....

Visited August 2014
Thank Lis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing Gardens”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

This isn't the first time I've been to these gardens and will not be the last. Changes all the way through year and last time I went they even had some lovely chickens. It's is truly a wonderful place and has some lovely plants for sale too.

Visited September 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful Gardens”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

A real eye opener for gardeners as to what can be achieved. Worth a visit at least once a year and beautiful framed views towards the sea..

Visited May 2014
Thank Terry272
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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