Well FML, (again) not content with working myself to a sweat yesterday (not very hard these days granted) but today I left my abide a tad early so I could find a small place called ‘Belsay Hall’ (small place????? Forty odd acres of gardens and land…..and a bloody big house/ castle). My reason? Why, to volunteer my services of course! And the fact I know the head gardener form over THIRTY years ago (that thought frightened me)
The hall is a hall is a hall. You go in through a front Entrance and you find a hall. Granted it’s a bit nice with all its columns and stuff, but it’s a hall (did I say that already?) but skirt around the side into the labyrinth that is the gardens and you are magically transformed into a character from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or ‘Sense and Sensibility’ (i rather fancied myself as a lover to old Mrs Chatterly or a mat hatter! Both analogies do me proud!
With a two hour tour you will find more nooks and crannies than in a copy of Apples warranty for an iMac. Little hideaways worth staying and pondering over like the quarry chamber, unfortunately it’s blocked at the moment because of the risk of a whole rock face falling into customers! (Just no sense of fun anymore). Which leads you to the famed ‘Quarry Gardens’. I’ll post a pic, but I won’t spoil it as you really NEED to go there.
As for the amenities, there are benches everywhere for a bit of a rest, alternative routes for the more adventurous and less able, a cracking tea room and shade from the bleaching sun. From flowers and plants to walls and topiary, the walk is one of sensory overload. Bees buzzing, ‘croquet’ players twatting balls with hammers, birds chatting and ancient gardeners creaking. Then there are the smells of summer. (Hayfever sufferers beware, but then again, what are you doing in a flower garden you Bellends?)