Big Groups – A garden with something for everyone
I took a family party for a visit to Coton Manor earlier this summer. As my reader may know by now, I come from a very large family and there were far too many of them for me to accommodate so I had installed them in an hotel in Market Harborough and I thought this would be a great outing for them and it’s somewhere I visit a lot. Its only 10 miles or so from where I live and I thought my family would enjoy it. I think some of them were sceptical at first, especially some of the younger ones but that soon changed when we arrived.
The house is a wonderful old manor that dates back to the 15th century and is built from the local sandstone with limestone banding. It nestles into the land and looks like it grew there. And then there are the gardens. Acres of them and open to the public for much of the year. There are woodland gardens, water features and streams, a more formal lawned area, a bluebell wood, a wildflower meadow that just hums with life. There are flamingos and ducks and hens running free, a beautiful hillside walk through an herbaceous area and next to the house itself, a very large square lake with several different species of ducks. The whole gardens are beautifully laid out and planted and many of the plants you see there are available for sale in the garden centre which has a very large range of interesting plants.
In what was once the stables, there is a well stocked set of craft shops and a cafeteria that serves home made cakes and jams with tea and scones, coffee and soft drinks and my favourite; elderflower presse, and all set in a courtyard area where the lovely blue parrot keeps the children amused.
Coton Manor really does have something for everyone. Even if gardens are not your thing, this will not disappoint. There is just so much to see and enjoy. We had a great afternoon out, the sunny weather helped of course, and then it was back to the hotel in Market Harborough for an evening meal together and some well earned refreshments.