Out There column: Stunning Lune Valley gardens a hidden gem

Gresgarth Hall gardens.
Gresgarth Hall gardens.
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Tucked away in the Lune Valley is one of the most stunning gardens in England.

For most of the year Gresgarth Hall is a hidden gem, but on various Sundays the gardens are thrown open to the masses.

I last visited Gresgarth Hall’s spectacular gardens in the spring of this year. It was a bitterly cold and overcast day and yet the gardens looked exquisite.

On that spring day only a few hardy souls had turned up to explore the gardens near Caton.

But on Sunday Gresgarth Hall’s gardens were teeming with visitors.

Abundant is probably the best word to describe Gresgarth in the summer. Everywhere I looked there was a profusion of blooms.

The estate’s most glorious sight was the large ornamental pond which was full of Monet-esque water lilies. Dragonflies hovered over the dark water and visitors sat down to take in the views. It was one of those warm and breezy summer days, when wandering around a garden is heaven on earth.

I particularly enjoyed exploring the walled vegetable garden.

It was rich with produce and gave me many ideas for my own small veg plot. The sheer variety of fruit and vegetables was mesmerising. I was also green with envy over the Victorian glasshouses and pebble mosaics.

Designed by Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd, the 12-acre garden has many rare trees and plants. Lady Arabella is married to Mark Lennox-Boyd, a former MP of Morecambe.

The last time I met Mark Lennox-Boyd was when I interviewed former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

It was a somewhat surreal day as Mrs Thatcher was electioneering in Morecambe and she had a carousel horse at Frontierland named after her. I remember that she didn’t answer any of my questions and gave rote replies; one of my most bizarre experiences as a journalist. Such memories were far from my mind as I revelled in the wonders of Gresgarth.

As the gardens move into late summer and autumn, there will be more chances to visit on August 10, September 14 and October 12 from 11am to 5pm. They will also be open on November 9 from 11am to 3pm.