Visiting Sheringham Park, Norfolk, England: a favourite of landscape designer Humphry Repton (1752-1818)
Especially known for its rhododendrons
Sheringham Park, near the Norfolk, England town of Sheringham, was among the favourite creations of prolific landscape designer Humphry Repton (1752-1818).
After a shaky start to his business life, Repton eventually became widely known in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in England as a landscape designer, with the reputation of Capability Brown having preceded him. Repton was responsible for numerous landscaping undertakings, often around English country houses, before his death in 1818.
Sheringham Park, for which the National Trust responsible, is perhaps best known for its rhododendrons; and the months of April and May at the Park are widely known as a particularly colourful time of the year to visit and see the rhododendrons — introduced to Sheringham Park in the early 20th century — in their splendour.
There are actually no less than 80 varieties of rhododendrons at Sheringham Park. Altogether, worldwide, there are over 1000 different species of rhododendron, being especially extensive in the Himalayas (1).
Rhododendrons are perhaps the most well-known and majestic of plants in Sheringham Park, but other trees and shrubs include examples of maple, magnolia oak and beech. Noted flower species in the Park include, at certain periods of the year, buttercup, bluebell and cowslip.
Within the Park is Sheringham Hall, a large residence in Regency style; commenced in 1813, it was not actually occupied until 1839, belonging to generations of the Upcher family (2).
At times some of Humphry Repton's contemporaries are said to have looked down on him for not always being a particularly successful businessman. Yet the splendid permanence of a landscaped creation such as Sheringham Park surely crowns a reputation which more recently is linked with the wide enjoyment of nature.
May 25, 2017
(1) The rhododendron — the word literally means rose tree — is the national flower of Nepal. The Embassy of Nepal in Washington, DC, comments: 'Very grand sightings of Rhododendron can be assured in the south west side of Kanchenjunga area & the upper side valley of the Tamur river system. Nine species of Rhododendron can be observed In the upper area of Langtang Valley at around 2000m. The best time is from late March to mid June, and in addition to the Rhododendron, spring blooms of wild poppy, magnolia and primrose will undoubtedly make any trek a memorable one.' http://www.nepalembassyusa.org/visit-nepal/ .
(2) See also: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sheringham-park/features/history-of-sheringham-park
Some sourcing: Wikipedia
Also worth seeing
In Norwich (distance: 42.7 kilometers) visitor attractions include: Norwich Guildhall, Norwich City Hall: both near the Royal Arcade; Norwich Castle; Norwich Cathedral; Elm Hill; Pull's Ferry; Bishop Bridge; Cow Tower; and many others.
How to get there: United Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Sheringham is served by rail from London Liverpool Street Station. Norwich is 235.8 kilometers from Heathrow Airport. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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