After being off the scene for 3 weeks due to contracting Cornavirus, the Norfolk Explorers were back in full swing and this week we visited the Plantation Garden – also known as the ‘Secrect Garden’.
Now I’m not too sure how secret the secret Garden really is as when searching for somewhere local to go visit this weekend it was quiet high on the recommendations. However, putting the level of secretness aside we set off on a snowy walk around the gardens. Simply search for ‘Plantation Garden’ in your Satnav or use the postcode NR2 3DB to take you to the park. Now if you’re driving nearly all of the parking spaces on the side streets are permitted, therefore avoid doing that (Unless you visit on a Sunday when most restrictions are dropped), we would recommend that you park in the hotel next door which has a large sign offering parking for just £1 an hour and is simply paid for via your mobile phone.
On arrival you will be greeted with the impressive structure of the Roman Catholic cathedral which towers over the gardens ( we recommend that while your in the area you check out the cathedral as its very nice inside) After parking you will need to enter the Plantation gardens via the Earlham Road entrance which is clearly sign posted. Walking down the hill you will need to turn left and you are officially within the plantation gardens.
The gardens entry cost are just £2 for adults and any children under the age of 16 are free – Payments are made via an ‘honesty postbox’ as you enter. Beside this you will see a map showing you the ‘birdseye’ view of the garden and the names of the surrounding houses.
What struck us the most on entering was the fact it feels as though you are not in a city centre. The steeps hills that surround the gardens block out nearly all of the surrounding buildings and also most noticeable the surrounding sounds. Within this distance of major roads into the city the expectation is that the typical urban noises of buses, car horns and the chatter of people, yet this is replaced with the sounds of birds and the wind flowing through the established trees. I have to say that it really took me by surprise how detached you feel from the surrounding urban environment and feel transported into an entirely different, stately garden feel.
We proceeded to cross the wooden bridge and follow the path to the rear of the gardens where you find yourself at the top of a meandering stone path that zigzags back and forth as it descends to the lower part of the garden. The walk itself is minimal, however the space is not about getting a good exercise, but more about the removal of yourself from the surrounding environment which i have to say it does very well.
One for the history buffs while your visiting – Just next to the water feature you will notice a small plack which links the plant its infront of to Queen Victoria. The claim goes that the Hebe is a direct descendent of the one which was part of Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet of 1840, After a part was successfully propagated and been planted at the Bishops House near the Cathedral in central Norwich a cutting was planted in the plantation garden and has been there ever since !
Thank you for taking the time to check out this weeks blog – Its good to be able to get back out after being house bound for a number of weeks but we are back and will continue to visit places, with the aim of giving you all ideas of days out with all the family. As always keep safe, and while your here take the opportunity to see our other adventures along the way and if you want, feel free to drop us a message of what you thought, let us know any new places to visit or just a simple hello.
Take care – The Norfolk Explorers.