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Gardens and wildlife areas to visit in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex

FireFire Posts: 17,116
edited June 2022 in Wildlife gardening
I'm going on a bimble over the next month, starting in North Norfolk. I would love to visit wildlife havens, rewilding areas and great gardens in these counties. I tend to like wildy/cottagey garden styles and woods, rather than all formal planting, exotics or 'bleak' gardens [Prospect Cottage]. I will visit north norfolk bird reserves, Wild Ken and Beth Chatto - both for the first time. I would like to drop in at East Ruston. Leads on any great NGS openings you know about within the next month, in the region would be appreciated. [I'm not in a car].


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,719
    If you are in a car then how are you getting around? Beth Chatto is a long way from East Ruston, both really worth a visit.

    You may like -

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Thanks. Bus
  • The Plantsman's Preference is a lovely nursery that's very close to Bressingham Gardens. We throughly enjoyed Bressingham (incorporating Foggy Bottom), Fairhaven and East Ruston when we were in East Anglia.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,889
    I’m sure you realise that you’ll have to plan well in advance as bus journeys aren’t that frequent and can take quite a while in East Anglia as many of them meander from village to village … you may find it easier to use the train service too … you’ve probably factored that in but I thought I’d mention it just in case. 😊 

    I agree with the gardens mentioned above …

    Also the gardens at Helmingham Hall are absolutely completely gorgeous … 

     and are said to have inspired a lot of the garden ideas at Highgrove. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,889
    edited June 2022
    Further to my last above ... I've checked the NGS scheme but I'm afraid you'll have missed the gardens that I know and would recommend ... they were open in June.  However, the residents of this very pretty and historic village is opening some of their gardens, some for the first time, early in July ... I think it'll be a lovely event ... it's an area I knew well for many years ... and there's always been a tradition of real cottage gardening there ...

    It's also in the same area as RSPB Minsmere reserve.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 921
    edited June 2022
    Hickling broad is nice but Strumpshaw fen has the swallowtail butterflies (depending on when you are visiting) and I think there are bee eaters breeding near Cromer at the moment.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,790
    @fire We have just returned from a holiday to North Norfolk. We visited the Natural Surroundings garden and garden centre, near Letheringsett. You will need a car to get there. It sounds like just the kind of garden you would like, surrounded by beautiful meadows and woodland. They specialise in UK native plants.

    We had a wonderful walk in Sheringham Park, which has beautiful views over the coast.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,889
    @Fire I just remembered this place and thought it might be right up your street 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Thank you @Dovefromabove
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