Welcome to the garden state

PUBLISHED: 15:15 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:36 10 July 2019

Somerleyton Hall's famous yew hedge maze. Picture: Alan O'Neill

Somerleyton Hall's famous yew hedge maze. Picture: Alan O'Neill

Charles Hodge Photography, Lowestoft, 01502 500272

East Anglia is renowned for its beautiful gardens and these green areas really come to life on a summer afternoon. There are countless reasons to visit gardens throughout the county, and here’s just a few of them.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden.Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden.

For variety visit… East Ruston Vicarage Garden

What happens when two gardeners are given a 32-acre blank canvas? Inspiration strikes and they create a many-roomed gardener's paradise. With over 20 individualised gardens, every type of green space you can imagine is here. From wildflower meadows to a box-edged Dutch garden, bountiful vegetable patches to the flopsy tumble of an English cottage garden. Grab refreshments in one of two tea rooms and make sure you stop by the nursery to purchase a souvenir of your time spent here.

East Ruston NR12 9HN;

01692 650432.

For a picnic visit… Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden

With its own private broad, visitor centre and packed programme of summer events, you'll want to make a day of your trip to Fairhaven - a picnic is a must. Complete your day by taking a boat trip, going pond-dipping, enjoying a concert or signing up to one of the many rewarding workshops running through the summer. While the gardens are beautiful year round they are especially enchanting in the summer months, so don't miss out.

The iconic Somerleyton Hall is a picture-perfect sight. Picture: Somerleyton HallThe iconic Somerleyton Hall is a picture-perfect sight. Picture: Somerleyton Hall

South Walsham NR13 6DZ;

01603 270449.

For a stroll visit… Hoveton Hall

If you fancy a pleasant jaunt through scenic gardens then Hoveton Hall will provide in spades with its woodland walk. The route takes you past a fine collection of colourful rhododendrons and azaleas which thrive beneath a canopy of silver birch, sweet chestnut, oak and Scots pine. After your stroll enjoy the famous Spider Garden, and visit the 18th-century ice well and working Victorian kitchen garden.

Hoveton, NR12 8RJ;

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01603 784297.

For history visit… Mannington Hall

There's history running through Mannington Hall, where old shrub and climbing varieties - some that date back to the 15th-century - are at their peak during the summer. There's a contemporary garden too, alongside a sensory garden and 50 varieties of tree and shrub in an inspiring setting. The historic hall is a real treat for rosarians as well - rose lovers will find plenty to admire in the Heritage and Modern Rose Gardens.

Mannington, NR11 7BB;

01263 584175.

For conservation visit… Raveningham Hall

Though it's steeped in tradition, and has been the home of the Bacon family since 1735, Raveningham Hall is a forward thinking estate with several environmentally-friendly initiatives running throughout its grounds and gardens. The 500 acres of natural woodland offer renewable energy - there are four bio mass boilers on the estate and a floating PV installation has recently been built on the reservoir. The estate is committed to conservation and biodiversity, so pop along and take in the beautiful sights and learn a little bit about protecting our planet in the process.

Raveningham, NR14 6NS;

01508 548152.

For photography visit… Somerleyton Hall

With its 800-yard yew hedge maze, which was first planted in 1846, beautiful Victorian glass houses designed by Joseph Paxton, the architect responsible for Crystal Palace, and of course the iconic hall itself, there's no shortage of picture-worthy sights at Somerleyton Hall. The estate also features several green gardens and a 70ft-long pergola - there are picturesque views everywhere you turn.

Somerleyton, NR32 5QF;

08712 224244.

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