It was DH's birthday last week and instead of a present we decided to have a short break to Durham in the north of England. We were lucky with the weather which was warm and pleasant and not glaring sunshine so ideal for photographs.
We went to Durham with the thought of visiting the Cathedral but our priorities changed when we read Julia's post about Crook Hall. We decided we couldn't miss this gem of a house and garden so we went there on Thursday.
This beautiful house sits in equally beautiful gardens that are quite magical and caused my DH and I to slow down, relax and smell the flowers.
The gardens are set out as a series of rooms and the walled garden, hidden behind its wooden gate, gave the feeling of entering a secret place.
Sit awhile, enjoy the peace.
The gardens are full of glorious roses.
In another part of the garden the herbaceous borders are overflowing with soft textures and colours.
The houses you can see in the photo above are all part of Crook Hall. The more recent Georgian part is on the left and the Jacobean house is to the right. You may also just be able to see the 13th century mediaeval hall which is reputedly haunted as is the Jacobean building by 'The White Lady' whose presence has been documented and attested to over centuries. The owners of the Hall are most generous with their home allowing people to relax in front of the wood fire (yes, even in Thursday's temperatures) on gorgeously comfortable settees and even to take down a book from the bookcase to browse for a while.
I don't think I've ever seen so many Enid Blyton books in one place and this is less than half of the collection!
As you might expect browsing such beautiful gardens calls for refreshments and Crook Hall has a lovely courtyard for just such a requirement.
We took our morning tea and ginger cake under the trees in the shade in an adjacent part of the garden.
Strolling on there is more to enjoy and savour.
Inspiration for a quilt?
Or maybe this?
Another chance for a rest by the moat pool which was alive with mayflies.
Echoes of the Cathedral in the distance.
You'll have gathered by this photo heavy post that I am in love with this garden! Despite the number of people visiting it was never crowded and always peaceful. I shall save some images for another post. Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are in the world.