Open Gardens season to begin in style

Eastnor Castle is the host for the first Open Gardens event of 2018

The St Michael’s Hospice Open Gardens season kicks off in style on 12th April at one of Herefordshire’s most eye-catching venues – Eastnor Castle.

The day is the first of a varied programme of gardens opening around the county and into Powys over the coming five months.

Eastnor Castle is the ideal school holiday destination for children and adults as visitors have the opportunity to explore the 5,000 acres of parkland set in the picturesque Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Gaze out across the lake, or take a lazy walk around it, stopping half way to capture a breath-taking photo of the Castle.

On your way back, stop at the arboretum to attempt the Tree Hunters’ Trek, a chance to discover the history of this crop of trees planted by Victorian explorers who gathered seeds from around the world.

Step inside the 19th century revival castle and explore the ground floor, marvelling at the Great Hall, State Dining Room, Gothic Drawing Room and fine art.

Then, on 18th April, the Open Gardens focus moves to Shobdon Court in north Herefordshire, which is rarely open to the public, and the eye-catching St John the Evangelist Church.

Enjoy the arboretum and, if in flower, the bluebells which provide a colourful border to one of two pools.

The neighbouring church, meanwhile, is a wonderful example of 18th century Rococo Gothic architecture.

The following Sunday (22nd), The Great House at Dilwyn opens its doors for St Michael’s.

As well as the garden being opened for exploration, a downsizing-inspired table-top sale by owners Tom and Jane Hawksley will be held with 20% of proceeds going to the Hospice.

In 2017 the Hospice’s Open Gardens season raised a record £23,400 for St Michael’s.

For more information on all this year’s Open Gardens, including entrance prices, click here

Photo: Copyright Cancan Chu