A quintessential English Bank Holiday weekend (with sunshine)


Bluebell woods at Coton Manor Gardens

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the last Bank Holiday in May, so taking advantage of this, I decided to explore the Northamptonshire countryside and some of its key heritage sites.

Heading out with my new camera in hand, I decided to visit two places that are best viewed in the sunshine, Canons Ashby House and Coton Mannor Gardens.

The first place on my trip, Canons Ashby House, is an Elizabethan manor house set in beautiful 18th-century gardens situated in the village of Canons Ashby.


Canon Ashby garden

Upon entering this National Trust property, I was impressed with the friendly staff that welcomed me and more so with the medieval gardens, which had a stunning array of brightly coloured flower beds and towering topiary.


Colourful flower beds


Towering Topiary

The manor house also doesn’t fail to impress with several different rooms decorated with original furniture and period style pieces that helped tell the story of the family and the servants that once lived there.


The study

My favourite rooms in the house, were the study and the kitchen due to the attention to detail and the quirky additions, such as the mice in the kitchen!


Cheeky mouse in the kitchen!

The second place I visited was Coton Manor Gardens featuring ten acres of enchanting greenery, which surrounded a 17th century manor house constructed of mellow Northamptonshire stone.


The Water Garden at Coton Manor Gardens

The garden is split into several sections featuring a wide range of seasonal flowers, including snowdrops, hellebores, tulips, roses and bluebells.
Luckily the bluebells were in season for me, and witnessing the
 Bluebell Wood in it’s full glory was breath taking. The bluebells alone are one of the main reasons to visit Coton Manor Gardens.


Up close bluebell

Also featured in the gardens were free roaming ducks, hens, cockerels and flamingos. Yes, flamingos! I loved how the animals were allowed to run free interacting with visitors and the beautiful environment around them.


Flamingos are fed on a special diet to retain their colour



I had a brilliant time at both places and would thoroughly recommend them to everyone. Northamptonshire’s countryside has a lot to offer and I look forward to uncovering more of the county’s hidden gems.

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