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Hoveton Hall

A delightful garden set on the edge of the Norfolk Broads, mixing both formal and informal planting across the seasons.

An Introduction to Hoveton Hall Gardens

Lake Bridge
Spider Garden
Hoveton Hall
Pink Roses

Set at the edge of the Norfolk Broads, Hoveton Hall Gardens is a delightful 15 acre garden mixing both formal and informal planting across the seasons. Beginning with the burst of early Spring bulbs, the spectacular Rhododendrons and Azaleas in May and June through to the mid-summer delights of the 'Spider Garden'. Full summer colours of Hydrangeas followed by autumn berried shrubs and leaf tints complete what is truly a garden for all seasons. Hoveton Hall Gardens is home to Andrew and Barbara Buxton and has been in the Buxton family since 1946. The Hall, although not open to the public, was built between 1809 and 1812 is attributed to Humphry Repton. The parkland surrounding the Hall was ploughed in the 1940's to provide food during the war years. Most trees were removed, and only the grass on the North side of the Lake was left untouched. In 1993 the then arable parts of the park were resown with grass, under the Countryside Commission Scheme for the Restoration of Historic Parks, and iron railings re-established. The walled Kitchen Garden and layout of the 'Spider Garden' are shown on maps as early as 1841. Extensive work to the Water Gardens was carried out in the 1920's by Geoffrey Buxton, and many more Rhododendrons and Azaleas planted under his direction.
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Hoveton Hall Garden Plan


Hoveton Hall Estate Guided Picture Tour

We start our tour of Hoveton Hall Gardens at the ticket office. There is also a cafe and plant shop - As we move into the gardens, we pass a field that sometimes contains some donkeys!
Ticket Office
Hoveton Hall gardens ticket office
Donkey at Hoveton Hall Gardens

The gardens are split into areas and firstly we head towards the Kidney Lake - so called because of it shape.
Kidney Lake Sign
Kidney Lake at Hoveton Hall Gardens
Kidney Lake
Kidney Lake at Hoveton Hall Gardens
Along the way there are signs giving information on the various wildlife to be found in the garden.
Dragonfly Information
Broadland Dragonfly information
Wildlife Sign
Hairy Dragonfly and Norfolk Hawker

Next is Ashmanhaugh Wood, which gives you a chance to explore a fine collection of mature Rhododendrons and Azaleas which thrive beneath the canopy of Silver Birch, Sweet Chestnut, Oak and Scots Pine. There are benches where you can sit and take a rest and little bridges taking the path over any water.
Ashmanhaugh Wood
Ashmanhaugh Wood
Woodland Path
Woodland at Hoveton Hall
Woodland Seat
Take a rest on a bench seat
Woodland Bridge
Wooden bridges take you over the water

One of the highlights of the garden is The Lake, which would have been dug by hand in the eighteenth century, and offers a particularly tranquil walk with Rhododendrons and huge Weeping Willows providing splendid reflective colours on sunny days. There are little bridges to cross over the water and a small fountain at the head of the lake.
Lake Walk
Lake walk, Hoveton Hall Gardens
Woodland lake at Hoveton Hall, Norfolk
Lake Bridge
Stone bridges take the path over the water
Lake Fountain
Fountain at the head of the lake
All around are wonderful views. Planting around the lake include Iris and lots of Rhododendrons.
Yellow Water Iris
Rhododendrons at Hoveton Hall
Lake Reflections
Woodland lake at Hoveton Hall Gardens
Lake Seat
Admire the view of the lake
Lake Woodland
Woodland paths around the lake
Lake Views
Glimpses of the lake
Around the side of the lake the path leads to a clearing in the weeping willows, where you get a clear view of Hoveton Hall itself, which was built in the early 19th Century and unfortunately is not open to the public.
Weeping Willow
Hoveton Hall Lake
Hoveton Hall
Hoveton Hall

From the lake, we return via the Water Garden. Here bridges lead over pools and streams of water. Planting includes many Ferns, a good collection of Hostas, Bamboo and tall spikes of Foxglove.
Water Garden
Water Garden, Hoveton Hall
Bridges over the streams in the Water Garden
Ferns in the Water Garden
Collection of Hosta
Bamboo Bridge
Clump of bamboo by a bridge over the water
Tall spikes of Foxgloves

Finally, we come to the magnificent Spider Garden. This walled garden has been known as the “Spider Garden” ever since the ornamental wrought iron Spider’s Web gate was made in 1936 by Eric Stevenson.
Spider Garden
Spider Garden at Hoveton Hall
Spider Garden Gate
Spider Garden Gate
Spider Garden Gate
Metal spider in the gate
Spider Garden Gate
Wrought Iron Spider gate at Hoveton Hall
As you enter the garden you will see formal herbaceous borders bursting with colour during the summer months. Planting includes Peony and Geranium.
Spider Garden
Herbaceous borders in the Spider Garden
Spider garden cottage
White Peony
Pink Geranium
At the centre of the garden is a circular flint spider web edged with box.
And in one corner is the wonderful country cottage, complete with green shutters.
Spider Garden
Flint Spider Web edged with box
Country cottage with green shutters

Leaving the Spider Garden through the west wall gate you will see the Knot Garden planted with box, santolina and rosemary. Then passing through the Laburnum Arch you enter the re-designed core of this one-acre walled garden. The circular design, created by Tessa Hobbs, picks up on the theme of the Spider’s web next door. Three Hoveton gardeners constructed the brick edge beds in 2002 and turf was laid in Spring 2003.
Rose Gate
Walled garden at Hoveton Hall
Walled Garden
Circular beds at Hoveton Hall Gardens
Planting here includes Roses and Euphorbia. You will also find ornate stone items, such as a sundial and a statue of a piper.
Pink Roses
Stone Sundial
Piper Statue
Statue of a piper

Finally, we return to the ticket office, where there is a chance to enjoy a well earned cup of tea and a plant shop.
Old Milking Parlour Tearooms
Hoveton Hall cafe
Plant Sales
Plant sales at Hoveton Hall

Hoveton Hall Gardens summary of what to SEE and DO

Enjoy a stroll around the lake
Wander over the bridges in the water garden
Enjoy the magnificent Spider Garden
Investigate the one acre walled garden
Take a refreshment in the tearooms
Call in at the plant sales area

Our Verdict

The gardens at Hoveton Hall are one the best in Norfolk. It is a fabulous garden, with so much variety. It's worth going just to see just for the magnificant Spider Garden!




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