Sunday, 27 June 2010

Beautiful Durham and Crook Hall

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. 


ju-north said...

So pleased you enjoyed your visit! What super pics!

Heather said...

What a beautiful house and gardens - I feel as if I have actually been there - your photos are superb and full of inspiration. Lovely idea for a birthday celebration.

Karen said...

What a beautiful place to visit! Thank you for your comment on my blog my lovely! I have yet to dip my toes in but am a bit confused. Do i get sent a link to the forum or can I just go on now???

you create beautiful work XXX


Beautiful photos. Say "happy birthday" to your DH for me :o)
The roses are really special

Jackie said...

So beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos and your visit. I love the hedge with the pointy recesses.

Gina said...

Beautiful! Happy Birthday S!

Gail P said...

oh how glorious! Thanks for taking us along! Much needed visual respite for me.

fiona d said...

it look a delightful place, so green and peaceful. My husband would love the Enid Blyton book collection! As others have said - thanks for sharing your lovely pics.

Dot said...

What a beautiful, beautiful place to visit Julie! I loved seeing all the photo's and it made me want to hop on a plane and come to England. Everything looks so lush and green. So many special spots to stop and relax. Like the look of your afternoon tea too!
Perfect day for your DH's birthday celebration.
Lots of love to you special lady.
Dot xx

purplepaint said...

Oh I'm so jealous!!! What a beautiful garden! I think it would be so awesome to live in the UK for a few years, or more. :D Marva

pam said...

What a magical place it looks super and a lovely way to celebrate a birthday. Some great ideas for future quilts we will wait and see!!

Judy Scott said...

what a lovely post the roses are very beautiful - my favourite flower :) always such amazing photography !

Angela said...

Wow what a wonderful place.

sharon young said...

What a lovely place, Julie, no wonder you fell in love with it.
Thanks for your b/day wishes, i seemed to have managed to string this one out.