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Graythwaite Hall Gardens (Newby Bridge)

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The gardens date from 1889, when Thomas Mawson of Windermere was commissioned to design six acres around Graythwaite Hall. The resulting garden, still much as he designed it, is a spring phenomenon with rhododendrons, azaleas and spring flowering shrubs.

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      27.05.2002 20:12
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      Graythwaite Hall and Gardens is one of those well-kept secrets of the Lake District. The Hall was built in around 1660, and had some extension work done in the 18th century. Then in 1840 some major refacing was carried out, making it look like a Victorian gothic style manor house. The hall is not open to the public, but the gardens are. The estate has been owned by the Sandys family since the 17th century. In 1889 Colonel Thomas Sandys commissioned the redesign of the garden, which was done by Thomas Mawson of Troutbeck. It was his first major project, but he later became notable for his work in the Chateaux of France. A blend of the formal (Dutch garden, with its tulips, and the rose garden) and informal (rolling hills and paths through surrounding woodland). It’s a garden that’s at its best in the Spring – daffodils and rhododendrons and azaleas. Summer house is more of a trellis-covered arbour, very pleasant on a summer’s day, but wouldn’t offer much shelter from the rain. The ideal spot to watch the various birds and butterflies. Across the stream is a dog’s cemetery, called the “Happy hunting ground”. Beyond that a daffodil field, where family births and marriages are commemorated by planting trees. At Greythwaite there’s just the garden to look at. There’s nothing much in the way of visitor attractions – no café, no ice cream van, no gifts hop, definitely nothing to keep the kids busy. No, this is the place for a gentle Sunday afternoon stroll, or for those who enjoy looking at well presented gardens. And to my mind, it’s a great place to go simply because of all these things. It is so quiet and unassuming – and you’re not likely to get families turning up for picnics and ruining the peaceful atmosphere for everyone else. There are some nicely kept toilets, and you can pick up an A4 leaflet explaining the
      history of the Hall. (Just put £2 in the honesty box for your visit). The gardens are open April 1st to June 30th, daily, 10am - 6pm. It is located 4 miles north of Newby Bridge, near Lake Windermere and Hawkshead, Visit to Graythwaite isn’t going to take up your whole day, so it’s well worth tying in with a visit to the National Trust-owned garden, Fell Foot Park, which is nearby. More information at: http://www.gardenvisit.com/g/gray.htm

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