Outstanding beauty in and around Middlethorpe Hall in York, a National Trust award-winning hotel and gardens
25 Apr 2016
• Spring heralds the perfect time to visit Middlethorpe Hall, the only country house hotel in historic York, set in 20 acres of glorious award-winning gardens
• Explore English country gardens across York with days out staying at Middlethorpe Hall
• Enjoy a selection of garden events throughout the spring and summer with the RHS
Middlethorpe Hall, a National Trust hotel, is a 17th century William and Mary country house standing in 20 acres of manicured gardens and parkland just outside of the historic medieval city of York. Today award-winning Middlethorpe lives again as originally intended, with the look and feel of a luxurious and private country house.
Around 1705 Francis Place was commissioned by Thomas Barlow to landscape the garden, apparently with the formal baroque layout of the kind he would have seen ornamenting the villas of Rome, but the flat terrain of the Vale of York made this difficult. By the mid-eighteenth century the gardens were made less formal following the taste of the time, adding a ha-ha – a concealed ditch which allowed views out over the sweeping lawns to the countryside beyond. During the nineteenth century, the garden seems to have been well maintained with regular campaigns of tree planting including cedars and North American red oak. By the 1980s, the garden was restored to suggest something of its original formality with a new lake and walks. The ha-ha was repaired, the dovecot rebuilt and the walled gardens replanted with fruit trees, herbaceous plants and herbs. Guests can download ‘A Brief History of Middlethorpe Hall and trees of interest’ for a self-guided garden tour complete with map.
Local National Trust Gardens
There are also several National Trust-owned beautiful gardens within easy reach of Middlethorpe Hall as well as other magnificent examples of historic English gardens.
Goddards House and Garden, once home to the Noel Goddard Terry of the famous chocolate making firm, is an Arts and Craft style house set amongst four acres of George Dillistone-designed gardens in York. Yew-hedged garden rooms, intricate water features, rockeries, lawns, trails and hidden pathways combine with a bowling green and wonderful original glass house to provide a glorious setting for a summer visit.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden in Rippon are atmospheric ruins with elegant lawns that stretch to the river dotted with statues and follies, and riverside paths and home to varieties of deer, and trees including limes oaks and chestnuts.
Beningbrough Hall and Gardens, York is a baroque mansion home to portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery amongst a grand set of gardens which offer park and woodland walks, play areas for children as well as walled working gardens, herbaceous borders and over 50 fruit trees.
Just north of York, in the Howardian Hills one of the UK’s finest country house hotels 18th century Castle Howard sits in over 1,000 acres of Grade I-listed parkland and gardens complete with temples, lakes and fountains and countryside views.
Elizabethan stately home Burton Agnes Hall, described by Simon Jenkins, author of England’s Thousand Best Houses, as ‘the perfect English house’ lies in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The gardens include lawns, over 100 yew topiary bushes, an old walled garden filled with roses, clematis, herbs and perennials with a maze, jungle garden and giant board games.
At the foot of historic Helmsley Castle in the North York Moors National Park, Helmsley Walled Garden offers visitors five acres of restored walled gardens, herbaceous borders and a new clematis garden with over 150 different varieties and a heritage apple collection.
Garden Themed Events – Thursday 16th June – RHS Garden Tour, cookery demonstration and lunch
Head Gardener David Barker will join forces with long standing Pastry Chef Paul (Harry) Harrison to talk about the growing of herbs such as rosemary, tarragon and thyme and the preparation of delicious recipes incorporating them. Meanwhile Head Chef Ashley Binder will prepare a very special luncheon based on the demonstration. The cookery demonstration will follow a tour of Middlethorpe’s gardens and parkland. Morning Coffee and home-made biscuits at 10:30 am Ends 3:00 pm. £31.50 members of the RHS. £39.50 non-members. For those looking to book further in advance, the next event takes place on Thursday 8th September.
Tailor Make Break at Middlethorpe Hall
Experience all that Middlethorpe Hall and its surroundings have to offer with tailor-made breaks from £139 per person per night, based on two sharing a twin or double room, with a three-course dinner (£43 food allowance pp), early morning tea, use of the spa and overnight parking plus one of the following: chilled Piper Heidsieck in room; one-day Yorkshire Pass to discover York’s attractions; afternoon tea for two or a 25-minute Decleor Aroma Back treatment for two. Valid Sunday to Thursday.
www.middlethorpe.com Middlethorpe Hall, York, Yorkshire, YO23 2GB, Tel: +44 (1904) 641241
B&B priced from £199.00 per night based on two sharing