Stunning Norfolk gardens reopen after lockdown closure
PUBLISHED: 15:48 28 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:40 29 May 2020
A stunning Norfolk home is toasting a prestigious awards nomination by reopening its doors after lockdown.
Hindringham Hall, which is hoping to win Christie’s Garden of the Year Award, reopened on Wednesday May 27, with a one-way system in place to comply with social distancing rules.
The coffee shop, toilets and main car park remain closed as the team attempts to ensure everything is done as safely as possible, with a second car park opened which allows visitors to space themselves out.
The gardens have been closed since the start of lockdown, and house owner Lynda Tucker has been spending the time focusing on keeping the gardens in shape ahead of voting for the award.
Mrs Tucker said the gardens dealt with lockdown well with no virus scares at the hall.
Christie’s Garden of the Year Award sees large houses in England compete for the best garden, voted on by visitors. Norfolk’s last winner in the competition was Houghton Hall in 1993.
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This year Hindringham is the only Norfolk garden on the shortlist of eight, and Mrs Tucker says the hall and gardens is much smaller than its rivals.
She said: “Most of these places are open seven days a week, whereas we’re only open for two. We’re up against it, like a snowball’s chance in hell.”
The hall itself is Tudor built by a courtier who became rich whilst working for Henry VIII’s son Henry Fitzroy.
Historic Houses, which runs the award said it hoped that the awards could “be a lifeline to heritage sites” which have been “devastated by the loss of half a season’s income”.
The awards have been running since 1984 and past winners include Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, which was the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and Newby Hall in Yorkshire, which was the model for Downton Abbey.
Other Christie’s Garden of the Year nominees include Arley Hall in Cheshire, Mapperton House in Dorset and Painshill Park in Surrey.
Hindringham Hall is open from 10am to 1pm on Wednesdays and 2pm to 5pm on Sundays, entrance costs £8.
Voting for Christie’s Garden of the Year 2020 is open until September 30 and votes can be cast here.
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