Rhododendron garden with wooden bench.

Amazing gardens to visit … whilst supporting an amazing charity.

As regular visitors to South Meadows will know, Northumberland is not short of a few castles … around 12 major ones at the last count.  Many of you will also know that there is no shortage of golf courses in the area … about 40 in all of Northumberland.

What are probably less well known are the fine country houses with their magnificent gardens which are scattered throughout the county.

Throughout the year some of these gardens are opened to the public … so … if you’ve any interest in gardens, these are the places to visit.  We’ve selected a few to tell you about.  Not only are these wonderful places to see but the proceeds of your visit go one of our amazing local charities:

  • HospiceCare North Northumberland.

HospiceCare North Northumberland is a local charity which is dedicated to providing care and support to adults, carers and families, whose lives are affected by cancer and other life limiting illnesses.

They ensure that our communities have free, flexible and ongoing access to the best possible palliative care … which is delivered at whatever stage of an individual’s illness and at a time and place of their choosing.

You can find out more about what they do here … http://www.hospicecare-nn.org.uk


There are 6 houses who are opening their gardens in support of HospiceCare and they are listed below.  Why not plan a visit to one or more of these when you’re next at South Meadows?


Sunday 4th June – Blagdon Hall

Seaton Burn – NE13 6DE – 1 to 5pm

Entrance: Adults £5 – Children: FREE

Dogs on leads, Classic Cars, The Bridge Singers

Tractor-Trailer Rides, Homemade Teas

Lord Ridley is kindly opening his grounds to the public with all proceeds going to HospiceCare North Northumberland.

Blagdon Estate is a family run estate which has been in the same family ownership since 1700 and retains an historical atmosphere.  The grounds and gardens are more accurately described as an arboretum with woodland walks, lake, and follies including features designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.  There is a charming quarry garden containing unusual plants from all over the world.

Image of the front of Blagdon Hall

Blagdon Hall


Sunday 4th June – Hedgley Hall

Powburn – NE66 4HZ – 2 to 6pm

Entrance: Adults £5 – Children: FREE

Dogs on leads, Plant Stall, Homemade Teas

Limited Wheelchair Access

The Carr-Ellison Family are generously opening their delightful garden.  Hedgeley Hall dates from the 17th century and was much enlarged in the late 18th and early 20th centuries.

The garden is noted for its fine rhododendrons with some huge examples dating from the 19th century.  The Woodland Walks also have some of the oldest sequoias in the country and other plantings of exotic trees.  There are traditional herbaceous borders, a paved garden, the sunken garden and roses covering the beautiful old garden walls.

Image of Hedgeley Hall

Hedgeley Hall


Sunday 11th June – Glanton Pyke

Glanton – NE66 4BB – 1 to 5pm

Entrance: Adults £5 – Children: FREE

No Dogs, Plant Stall, Homemade Teas

Limited Wheelchair Access

Open only once during 2017, please do not miss out on this unique opportunity to visit the beautiful garden of Mr and Mrs J S R Swanson.

Join us to enjoy the magnificent location with its stunning views to the Cheviots and over the picturesque Whittingham Vale.  There has been a house at Glanton Pyke from the mid-17th century.  The present one was built in 1770 and altered and extended by the renowned Newcastle architect John Dobson in 1820.  Glanton Pyke gardens boast a huge and interesting variety of plants, trees and shrubs.  Other features as you tour the estate are the working greenhouses, maze, quarry and Italian gardens.  After enjoying the formal gardens, take a look in the dovecote and wander through the woods, paddocks and Kate’s meadow.

Image of Glanton Pyke

Glanton Pyke


Sunday 18th June – Mindrum House

Cornhill on Tweed – TD12 4QN – 2 to 5pm

Entrance: Adults £5 – Children: FREE

Dogs on leads, Plant Sale, Homemade Teas

Limited Wheelchair Access

Proceeds of Duck Races & Teas to HospiceCare.

Mr & Mrs Tom & Miki Fairfax have generously agreed to open their “must see”  magical garden which has evolved since the mid 19th Century into a series of intimate gardens, walks and views.

A splendid combination of old fashioned roses, hardy perennials and mature shrubs, with a wildflower garden by the river and tranquil woodland walks giving wonderful views across the Bowmont Valley.  There is a large hillside rock garden with water leading to a pond and a delightful stream which is host to our annual HospiceCare Duck Race.  Sponsor a duck and watch the children have a great time catching the ducks.

Image of stream at MIndrum House

MIndrum House


Saturday 4th July – Whitton Grange

An afternoon of Jazz and Fizz!

Whitton, Rothbury – NE65 7RL – 4 to 7pm

Ticket price of £20, which includes Fizz on arrival & afternoon tea.

Ladies are invited to wear summer florals.

Book online at www.hospicecare-nn.org.uk

Come to Whitton Grange for an afternoon of Jazz and Fizz.  Gaze from the Gazebo, Lounge on the lawns and Muse by the meconospis. The Jazz will be hot and the Fizz very cool.

The Edwardian Garden restored by Maggie and John Monaghan over the last fifteen years is a series of interesting ‘rooms’ of curious, mainly Himalayan plants.  The house design is a blend of William and Mary married to a strong Arts and Crafts influence. Recently there has been a saintly return to the house in the shape of St Paulinus, Coquetdale’s favourite saint.  Do come and view this reincarnation.

Front of Whitton Grange

Whitton Grange


Sunday 9th July – Lilburn Tower

Alnwick – NE66 4PQ – 1 to 5pm

Entrance: Adults £5 – Children: FREE

Dogs on leads, Plant Sale, Homemade Teas

Limited Wheelchair Access

Come and see an English garden in all its glory courtesy of The Davidson Family.

Lilburn stands above the River Till and is a mixture of historical garden features and innovative modern design. Gloriously colourful, the staging is packed with tender plants and their scent fills the air. Wander along terraces of beautiful ‘Hidcote’ lavender and tumbling white rambling roses.  Discover the Victorian Conservatory, a large glasshouse with vines and the walled produce garden, still in use for growing fruit and vegetables.  Take a stroll along the picturesque woodland walk to take a look at the lovely Pond Garden.  There are 30 acres of woodland to wander in, perfect for a walk with your dog, leading past the ruins of a defensive Pele Tower and a C15th church.

Image of Lilburn Tower

Lilburn Tower



Later in the year HospiceCare North Northumberland are organising their third musical festival in Bamburgh.  It’s on Friday 25th August 2017.

You can find out more here … http://bfest.org.uk/ … and buy your tickets at reception at South Meadows.

Image of BFest Logo 2017

BFest 2017