We've driven past this place countless times - but haven't called in until now. If you are touring Northumberland, you will be spoilt for historic houses and gardens. This should rank amongst the best -but it doesn't.
The atmosphere, from the moment you enter the ticket office, is a bit bleak and down. The gardens are maintained in a 'natural' state. Some might call it 'untidy'. There are no plant names or information boards. You have to be a keen gardener to know what you are looking at. Some visitors are obviously very knowledgeable. I'm afraid, we are not. The history of Earl Grey and the family were my main interest - but this aspect was poorly served. Why on earth they don't make more of the family history is beyond me. The small snippets of information that are given are fascinating.
Look, this isn't Alnwick Garden or Cragside ( both great days out) - but it should and could be better than this. In one of the most beautiful corners of Northumberland, it disappoints. Even the tearoom was half empty on a glorious August weekend. Worth a trip if you are a very keen gardener. Otherwise, go to the beach or Alnwick Gardens.
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