Harlow Carr in late October

BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 875
On October 25/26th I’ll be in York for the Northern Lights Festival. Does anybody know if Harlow Carr gardens will be worthwhile visiting for Autumn colour at that time? My three travelling companions are not totally enamoured by garden visits but if the display is impressive they’ll be happy.


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,763
    I'd have thought so and they do have  Betty's Tea Room on site so worth it for that for non gardeners.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 57,550
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 693
    It’s well worth a visit, I was there  last month and there was plenty of late colour in the garden with more to come. The Arboretum is lovely but I’ve not seen it in Autumn when the colour is said to be very good. Betty’s is fabulous as always and is situated next to the carpark but not in the main gardens which is useful. 
    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364
    It's cold and up north at Harlow Carr in October. 

    And there are  a lot of serious weather warnings coming .
    Do check the weather. 

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 1,498
    I've been to Harlow Carr at all seasons and there's always something to see.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,187
    edited October 2019
    It's well worth a look (if the weather's set fair !)
    As Iamweedy says, just be prepared for it being a few degrees cooler, and definitely splash the cash and visit Bettys, it adds to the day  :)
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 1,498
    The garden centre/shop is nice too, if that's your kind of thing.
  • HexagonHexagon Posts: 962
    edited October 2019
    I think it's all massively overpriced. I just went once to look at the plants for sale and saw how much it cost to get into the garden. Didn't buy any plants, they were too expensive. Also the traffic and parking were a nightmare. I once went for an afternoon tea in a Bettys and it wasn't worth the money. The sandwiches were horrible. I bet there are plenty smaller local businesses who do an afternoon tea with much better quality for lower prices.
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 875
    Thank you for your comments and opinions everyone. We visited the gardens quite recently and I thought they were lovely: well maintained, great planting, easy to manoeuvre in their mobility buggy, interesting sculptures, a fine bookshop/garden centre/plant shop ... all in all, a great day out. Hexagon I’m sorry your opinion was so negative. Was the weather miserable as well? 

    My question was a more specific one in that I was asking about the possibility of impressive autumn colours at the end of October. I will probably resurrect this post just before we travel to seek opinions on the foliage display. Dove, thank you for your link which I had not come across before. That certainly tipped the balance in favour of visiting though it was a pity the article did not give a precise date of the visit.

    As to Betty’s, I like it very much but as we’re spending the weekend in York and the hotel is only a stone’s throw from the two Betty’s stores there, visiting the Harlow Carr one is not a draw in itself though, for what it’s worth, I like their sandwiches a lot. And their cakes, their own brand teas, and their evening meals.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,763
    What a misery you are @Hexagon.   Join the RHS and get a free monthly magazine, free advice from experts and free entry to all their gardens!   I had the best sticky ginger and lemon cake I ever tasted in Betty's at Harlow Carr.

    @BenCotto autumn colour will depend on the weather and be different each year depending on the arrival of gales, frosts, Indian summer etc.  Even if there is little foliage or flower colour left - and that would surprise me in an RHS garden - there will be structure from the evergreen plants as well as in the bare or nearly bare branches of woody plants, stem colour from many shrubs and some trees, bark textures and berries too then seedheads on herbaceous plants.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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