Yesterday we headed to Gatton Park in Reigate, Surrey to have a wander around their lovely grounds. I have known about Gatton Park for years but have only ever been there to drop the girls off at a birthday party - crazy really as it is only 5 miles from home!
The gardens are in the grounds of the Royal Albert & Alexandra School and they open them up to the public once a month on a Sunday, dogs on leads are also welcome. It cost £5 each for myself and Lee and the kids go for free.
Sir James Colebrooke commissioned 'Capabilty' Brown to transform Gatton Park into a classic English natural landscape, the work was completed in 1768. The last person to own the park and hall outright was Sir Jeremiah Colman, owner of the Colman Mustard Company in 1888.
You enter via the very grand Gatton Hall, there are toilet facilities and you can buy tea, drinks and cakes in the hall. There are lovely views from the old windows.
You'll get given a map when you arrive, which is really useful as there are 260 acres to explore. We headed down towards the pleasure gardens and lake where there is a children's play area, with wooden chimes, skittles and things to climb on.
I have been wanting to see the Japanese Garden for ages! It is small, serene and very tranquil with a red, ornate bridge, bamboo, acers and flowers and some stepping stones. It was created back in 1909.
We then walked around the lake and through the meadows full of buttercups and oxeye daisies, passing some horses and then to the rock and water garden.
Next to the hall is a lovely building with arched windows, if we had come a week or so early the wisteria would have been in bloom.
I am sure we may have missed a few areas on our circular walk, but it was beautiful and made for a different afternoon out for us.
Do look online as they have different events on throughout the year including children's activities.