The rainy weather covering Northampton today has got me reminiscing about the lovely places I’ve managed to visit this Summer, even with social distancing in place. The first place on my list is Coton Manor Gardens, situated in a small, very rural village.
Homebirds, for those of you with similar interests to me, I highly recommend a visit to Coton Manor Gardens. It’s perfect for the family or to walk round as an individual and you have the most scenic views over the surrounding countryside and a look behind the scenes of the grounds of this beautiful 17th century manor house. It truly is ‘house goals’!
After being recommended by a close friend, I knew I had to go exploring on a sunny afternoon with my camera. Be warned they do not allow professional photoshoots on the grounds, but little old me with a camera was absolutely fine.
Now the residents of Coton Manor still live in the house so this activity is purely outside, perfect for social distancing. It costs £8 per adult to enter and you follow the arrows around the extensive gardens. There are perfect flower beds, fruit trees, ponds, woods full of bluebells, flamingos, deer and LOTS of rose bushes.
I spent about 2 hours just walking around the grounds admiring the sheer amount of work a garden of that size and appearance would take to upkeep. I’m an avid gardener myself and love nothing more than getting dirt under my nails, but I know I would struggle!
There were benches around the gardens where you could sit and take in the wildlife. Lots of lavender plants meant lots of bees, chickens and flamingos wandered freely and my personal favourite area was the Water and Bog garden. Slightly sloping downhill, there were tiny brooks cut into rock with paths next to it so you can follow the water down to a quiet little covered bench. It was dark and magical and the kind of place that your imagination runs with – at one point I’m sure I saw some fairies!
After taking a walk around the Bluebell wood (although no bluebells on the day I went as it was the wrong time of year), my friend and I looked around the plant nursery. I am passionate about attracting natural pollinators to my patio garden to ensure I get lots of fruit and vegetables, so I added a ‘mulberry jam’ salvia plant to my collection. This is a plant that grows spires of brightly coloured flowers and I will be planting it out into my flowerbed next year.
We also stopped for some cake at the café. Again, they’d thought about social distancing by only allowing outside dining with tables being wiped own in between use. I highly recommend the hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows along with the coffee and walnut cake.
If you’re ever in Northampton I highly recommend spending an afternoon day-dreaming around Coton Manor Gardens. You’ll probably see me there!