Tuesday was our chosen day for a visit to Newby Hall. We had been there ten years ago (we were both surprised when we discovered that it was so long ago) and always wanted to go back; now was the time! Our 2012 visit was on a cold day in May, with the grounds of course looking rather different from now. You can compare my new pictures with the old ones here.
As before, we took the bus; it only takes about 10 minutes from Ripon to Skelton-on-Ure. A walk of 15-20 minutes took us to the visitor centre, and we were just in time for the start of our pre-booked (book online and save a few quid) house tour.
In the house, photography is not allowed; it is, after all, a family home, still lived in. Our two guides (two charming ladies taking turns with our group) were knowledgeable without putting too much emphasis on endless lists of names and dates. Much was as we remembered; the house really is very beautiful, so do go inside if you have the time.
By the time the house tour finished, we were very hungry (it was nearing 2:00 pm, I think, and breakfast was many hours ago) and needed sustenance before exploring the grounds, so the tea rooms were our first stop. A sandwich and a coke later, we were ready to go, and go we did!
|A faceless lady - or is she wearing a mask? Have we stumbled upon a statue of Lady Corona?|
|The house as seen from its main gates. During tourist season, the family confine themselves to the part of the house where the tree is.|
|Private garden, no access for visitors (picture taken from the patio).|
|A different view of the same private garden.|
|Rock garden (no real ruins, just decorative ones)|
|The sculpted stone to the left was once on the roof of York Minster; it had to be replaced and somehow the family managed to get the old piece for their rock garden.|
|Tiny building, unspectacular outside...|
|...but inside, the walls are covered in sea shells!|
|Inquisitive lamb along the drive|
|Church seen from the drive; more in an extra post|
|Looking back towards the gates where the Newby estate begins|
As you can see from the many, many pictures I am showing you here, the gardens are as vast as they are wonderful. It is difficult to say what really was my favourite part, but the Autumn Garden, the herbaceous borders and Sylvia's Garden (a memorial garden for Sylvia Compton, the mother of the current owner if I remember correctly) are certainly top of my personal list.
At the bottom end of the grounds, near the car park and picnic area (picnics in the actual grounds are not allowed, and for good reason - we all know how some folks think nothing of leaving their rubbish behind) are areas more appealing to families with children, such as a playground, little steam train, teddy bear house and so on. It was pretty busy there, but the rest of the grounds were pleasantly uncrowded.
We took our time to wander at leisure, but we kept the bus times in mind - there is one bus going back to Ripon just after 4:00 pm, then nothing until just before 6:00 pm, and no more then until the next morning.
Eventually, we decided to walk back through the estate in time to go inside the church we passed on the way in, which was to close at 5:00 pm. As this post is already chock full of pictures, I'll post about the church seperately.
Newby Hall's official website is here.