Visits to Norfolk Gardens – Start Here!

The launch of the 2012 Norfolk National Gardens Scheme Guide is an event eagerly anticipated by the many people who enjoy seeking out interesting gardens to visit which are rarely on public view.

2012 is the 85th year of gardens opening for the NGS and to help celebrate this milestone; five surviving gardens from 1927 are opening with the Queen’s garden at Sandringham and Blickling Hall having the remarkable distinction of being a constant presence in the NGS over the last 85 years. Holkham Hall, Wiveton Hall and The Pleasaunce at Cromer are opening again specially for the anniversary.


The well known author and enthusiastic garden visitor Bill Bryson was present at Bradenham Hall near Dereham on the 7th February to launch the Guide and kick start the garden visiting year.

Bill said “Where I come from in Iowa people wouldn’t dream of letting members of the public poke around in their gardens! “The National Gardens Scheme is a brilliantly simple idea and a painless way for people to give money to charity”

Every year, thousands of gardens throughout England and Wales get ready to welcome visitors through the National Gardens Scheme. Here in Norfolk, gardens range from the small and quirky to the large and grand. Very often you will have a chance to meet the owners, enjoy home-made refreshments, and purchase some exciting plants – you will find all the details in the 2012 Norfolk NGS Yellow Guide and on the NGS website.

This year seventy one gardens are opening for the NGS. The many keen visitors will be pleased that fifteen new and returning gardens are on show. Among these are Daisy Cottage, Hunworth Hall and Wethered Manor. There are also groups of smaller gardens at Mileham and Wells next the Sea.

County organiser Anthea Foster said “The 2012 Norfolk NGS Yellow Guide provides full descriptions and pictures of gardens to explore across the County and we know from visitor feedback that the guide becomes a treasured possession for the whole garden season. Last year Norfolk raised over £68,000 with additional amounts for charities nominated by the garden owners. Every garden is different, and provides a great day out at a relatively low price, complete with tea and wonderful homemade cakes!”

Now shake off the winter cobwebs and follow the NGS snowdrop trail, a snowdrop walk every week started with Lexham Hall on Sunday 12th February. Pick up a copy of the Norfolk NGS 2012 Guide at your local Tourist Information Centre, Library, Garden Centre and Nursery or visit

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