We spent a sunny Saturday at the lovely Burnby Hall and Gardens in Pocklington. It is about 30 minutes from York and a perfect way to enjoy the sunshine and burn off some toddler energy.
The garden was started by Major Percy Marlborough Stewart who was 2nd cousin to Winston Churchill. He and his wife created the spectacular gardens influenced by their 8 world tours! On his death he passed the Hall and Gardens to the people of Pocklington and they have kept it up ever since.
I have an RHS card which apart from the main garden at Harlow Carr in Harrogate, can get you into a variety of different gardens throughout the year. You can get into Burnby Hall throughout May and June for free with the card so we will make the most of it and the nice weather (if it lasts). It costs £5 to get in other wise for and adult and £2.80 for 5-15 year olds which is a great price. We also got some food to feed the fish which is a must if you go as they are something to behold. We got a little close and got very wet, they splash a lot of water trying to get at the food, some even come out of the water, I have never seen so many greedy fish, M found it all very funny.
The focus of the gardens is the large lake which has a national collection of water lilies that are in bloom at the moment and are glorious. They cover the lake and are of all different colours and varieties. We found a lovely spot to sit down in front of the lake and have a little snack and a drink.
We walked around the whole of the lake and at the bottom found an area that we have never been to before, a little gate leads you into a lovely little wooded area and to the stumpery, which in itself is a brilliant word. It is made up mainly of upturned tree roots in which other plants grow such as ferns and foxgloves. It is a really lovely tranquil area to wander around and there are some benches so that you can have a sit down and contemplate (or have another snack). There are some fantastic wooden sculptures, some obvious and others that are set into the garden to complement the natural look and a bit more difficult to spot.
We took most of our own lunch but we did go to the cafe and got some rather tasty cheese and tomato scones to go with our salady bits and fruit. The cafe serves some amazing little cakes which I managed to stop myself buying, I am trying to be good. You can also get sandwiches and light lunches. I let M wander and find himself a good lunch spot and he found a great place. It was a little wooden shelter with a bench on the edge of the lake (which you can just see to the right of the photo below). Here we could enjoy our lunch in peace and quiet and nobody was walking past or even in our eye-line most of the time, it was as if we were the only ones there which was amazing.
After lunch we explored a little more. There are several other gardens, a little bit like different rooms in a house, they were all set up in their own style and had different vibes. The Victorian garden was a bit more formal with a lovely lavender pergola walk which M had great fun running through and wanting to be chased. Ms favorite was the secret garden which had a lovely little bubbling water feature so we spent a bit of time splashing around. There is also an aviary garden which had some cockatiels, budgerigars and zebra finches to look at. The rockery is going through a bit of a make over at the moment so plants are pretty sparse and parts are cordoned off. There are some beautiful wire sculptures that have been set up around and M liked making all the noises of the animals that we saw.
Our last stop was the playground which is small but got plenty to keep kids of all ages happy. There is a great climbing frame, swings and see-saw. It would be a bit crowded on a busy day so I think you would want to either get there early or later on in the day so that kids could get a turn.
You definitely need a nice day to come to Burnby to make the most of it though there is a museum on site about the family who owned the Hall and created the spectacular gardens. We didn’t go in this time as the weather was too nice but we have been in before and M really enjoyed looking at all the strange and wonderful objects collected from around the world. Coming here is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon and a place that I love to come back to and see how the garden is changing throughout the year.