June 2019 I had the pleasure of visiting Newstead Abbey in Nottingham, I was not disappointed what a fabulous place, both the house and gardens are well worth a visit. The long drive way gives you views of the many hidden houses and the reservoir with the Abbey standing magnificent at the end of the road. The Abbey gardens and grounds are open every day but the house is only open at weekends for times check their website. Dogs are welcome on a lead and are welcome in the gardens and grounds but not the house or inside the café.
Newstead Abbey was originally a monastery founded by Henry II between 1164 and 1174 in memory of his grandfather. It was sold to Sir John Bryon of Colwick in the 16th century during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The Abby’ past is long and intriguing, there have been many owners each leaving their own mark. The most famous being George Lord Bryon, poet, scholar, freedom fighter and athlete. He lived at Newstead Abbey from 1808-1814.
Surviving earthquakes and a civil war, the orginal façade of the old church priory, the West Front and the medieval cloisters still stand. You can explore the medieval cloisters, Victorian sitting rooms and private apartments of Lord Bryon. As well as browse the Gothic Revival library and marvel at carved angels and the splendid Minstrels’ Gallery in the Great Hall and the romantic priory church West Front with its sculpture of the Virgin and Child.
Gardens and Parkland
I just fell in love with the gardens, there are many different types of gardens, as well as parkland, each area has its own beauty.
There are over 300 acres of parkland with paths that meander past lakes, ponds and waterfalls as well as a number of formal gardens there is lots to see whichever season you visit.
For me my favourite garden area was the Japanese’s garden, with its lovely trees, waterfall, stepping stones and little hide holes it was such a relaxing place.
As you are wondering round you will come across a family of peacocks, the male was very interactive and followed me around, he was nicked named Kevin.
Taking a break
There are many benches as you walk around the grounds, as well as grassed areas so its an ideal place to take a picnic, there is also an award winning café. The café is located in the courtyard of the South west wing of the Abbey with seating outside perfect for alfresco dining as well as inside seating. Please note dogs are not allowed inside the café.
The food is delicious I had the most amazing bacon baguette. They serve a range of refreshments including soup, sandwiches, hot and cold specials and divine cakes.
I spent almost a day wandering around and I have to say I did not cover all the gardens or parklands so I will be returning. There is so much to see that I am sure my next visit will discover lots of things I missed this time round.
If you do visit say hi to Kevin for me and enjoy your day.