Blickling Estate is a National Trust property about 20 minutes’ drive from Norwich. At Easter it ran a treasure hunt event which allowed people to visit the gardens for £6, rather than the usual £9. 

Wing, Blickling Estate

We opted not to visit the stately home itself on this occasion, but I would be interested in doing so in future, and also visiting the RAF Oulton museum (and maybe the Buckinghamshire Arms pub!)
Blickling Estate

The estate was apparently first occupied by the then soon to be King Harold II of England, then passed through the hands of John Fastolfe (partial inspiration for Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Henry plays), the Boleyn family, the Hobart family, and finally the Kerrs, Marquesses of Lothian, before being bequeathed to the National Trust in 1940.

Side, Blickling Estate

This means the gardens have been added to over the years in the Jacobean, Georgian, Victorian and modern eras. 

Orangery, Blickling Estate

I was particularly keen on the orangery, built in 1780, as I want to grow citrus and other fruit trees in future.

Citrussy, Blickling Estate

Inside here there are dozens of varieties of citrus trees, some of them even with budding fruit in April.

Temple, Blickling Estate

The temple is a grade II listed building situated at the extreme edge of the garden. It’s not very temple-like…

Temple approach, Blickling Estate

…but it is approached by the temple walk, which shows off its simple design well.

Dell, Blickling Estate

Close to this is the Dell, which in spring was full of bluebells, the antecedents of which were planted in the 1930s.

Glass, Blickling Estate

There is also a dome of trees near an area known as the secret garden, which was especially pleasing to me, as it was adorned with several stained glass panels. Even on a somewhat gloomy day, these were very attractive.

Parterre, Blickling Estate

Nearer to the house itself is the Parterre, a sunken garden surrounded by terraces of flower beds.

Fountain, Blickling Estate

These raised beds surround a fairly unimpressive fountain.

Beds, Blickling Estate

The flowers themselves are more interesting and attractive in my opinion.

Walled garden, Blickling Estate

Also more attractive is the walled garden on the other side of the property, which looks set for expansion.

Plots, Blickling Estate

It is here where a number of food plants are grown to supply the on-site cafe…

Flowers, Blickling Estate

…though they are also experimenting with ornamentals too.

Geese, Blickling Estate

Finally, the lake is well worth a look too. I caught a shot of some of its inhabitants!

Tree, Blickling Estate

If you are nearby and have transport, I think Blickling Estate is a worthwhile visit. However it’s a bit tricky to get to, and unless you are a member of the National Trust or are visiting on an event day it is normally quite expensive – even the car park is a fiver!

Rear, Blickling Estate

Address: Blickling Estate, Aylsham, Norfolk NR116NF

Telephone: 01263738030

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling-estate

Hedges, Blickling Estate
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