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Lydney Park Estate in Glorious Spring Colour
Lydney Park Estate - a fabulous day out
It felt so grand driving along the long driveway lined with trees of every shape and colour. The drone of the traffic gradually faded away as we approached the beautiful Lydney Park Estate in glorious spring colour.
The Estate is situated in Lydney in the Royal Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire and opens it’s gardens, roman settlement and museum to visitors during certain days between April and June.
The Woodland Garden is in glorious colour, filled with magnificent rhododendrons and azeleas, it’s an awesome sight and it’s beauty is guaranteed to take your breath away.
Lydney Park was originally owned by the Wintour family. In 1719 it was acquired by Benjamin Bathurst who was the youngest son of Queen Anne’s Treasurer, his descendants have owned it ever since.
In 1875 the Reverend William Hiley Bathurst decided to build a new house and chose the present site in the centre of the Deer Park. The Park holds fallow deer of three distinct colours, brown, white and spotted. It also contains specimens of numerous different trees, particularly hardwoods.
The Reverend’s grandson, who was created Viscount Bledisloe in 1935 for his services as Governor-General of New Zealand, cleared shrubberies and laid out flower beds.
These were cleared away and potatoes were grown, when a Dutch royal family occupied the house during the Second World War.
When the second Lord and Lady Bledisloe, the grandparents of the present owner, came to live in the house in 1950 there was little garden left and a major replanting programme began.
Landscaping and planting began in earnest from 1954, the second Lord Bledisloe - Ben, had a vision and especially wanted to grow Rhododendrons and Azaleas. His idea was to achieve bold patches of colour at different times during the main Rhododendron flowering season, interspersed with other flowering shrubs.
Gradually over the years the Woodland Garden was extended to it’s present size and the varieties and new trees added to create interesting viewpoints and avenues.
The Woodland Garden
As you enter the 8 acre woodland garden the sheer abundance of colour and natural beauty is breathtaking. The video above shows the photos of the Rhododendrons and Azaleas that I took in this garden.
Japanese Azaleas, a brilliant patchwork of pinks and reds interspersed by white Azaleas and Rhododendrons surround a small pond. You can cross the pond on stepping stones via a small island.
A pathway takes you across a stream past a wonderful scented Rhododendron Loderi King George that sits beneath the branches of a tall Tulip tree.
There is an area of big-leaved Himalayan Rhododendrons, which flourish in only a few places in Great Britain, they grow to tree-like dimensions.
The leaf mould created by the surrounding oak and chestnut trees suits acid loving plants. Magnolias, Acers, Pierris and Cornus also thrive here.
Strolling along the narrow pathways, there is so much to see here. Around each bend and as you pass each tree, you continuously come across something new, exciting and even more beautiful and impressive.
A place of tranquil & natural beauty
The two ponds, hidden pathways and inviting benches add to the tranquil and peaceful scene.
Afternoon tea on the terrace
There is a restaurant in the house with delicious home cooked food on the menu. After a walk around the Woodland Garden, what better way to end your visit than an English afternoon tea!
Although the weather was changeable the day we visited (as you can probably tell from the photos) the sun was out, so we opted for the terrace.
The water fountains and view out to the River Severn Estuary was a delight as was the pot of tea with our scones, jam and cream followed by a large slice of home made coffee sponge!
The staff here were so welcoming and friendly, they were relieved to have reasonable weather and lots of visitors.
The Estate is only open for a few weeks and unfortunately, because the weather here had been so wet in April, visitor numbers were down. They even had to close one day for safety reasons as it was so windy!
Part Two to follow
I hope you have enjoyed the video and photos of Lydney park estate in such glorious colour. It certainly was a beautiful reminder to me of ‘What a wonderful world’ we live in.
Part two to follow, will include photos and information on the remains of the roman ruins found on the estate.