Jo’s Monday walk : Newby Hall, Ripon

Those of you who saw my Saturday post will know that it was much too hot to do any serious walking on holiday in the Algarve last week.  English summertime is, however, the perfect time for gardens, and I visited a flurry of them before I went away.  Perhaps you remember this young lady?


The last time you saw her she was upside down in the water, making a bid for freedom.  I had almost forgotten my Water Nymph.

Newby Hall in Yorkshire was built in the 1690s, under the guidance of Christopher Wren.  The 25 acre gardens feature Europe’s longest double herbaceous borders, and the National Collection of Cornus (dogwoods).  Do you fancy a wander?  If you get tired there’s a miniature steam train to toot and puff you around some of the grounds.  But first, that lily pond.  I can never walk past a water lily without pausing.


It was a lovely, somewhat hazy, summer day and too nice to be indoors.  In case you’re wondering about the house, why not take a peek?  It’s another English ancestral home with a mighty history.  Robert Adam decorated the Tapestry Room and some of the interior.  For me, I was happy to be in the grounds, with its gentle urns and statuary.

I hadn’t gone far when a sign caught my eye- Sylvia’s Garden.  I thought at once of a certain lady in America, but Sylvia was the wife of Major Compton, whose family live in Newby Hall still.  This garden was planted to be at its best in May, to coincide with York Races.  It was late June.

A sequence of interconnecting garden rooms follow, which can be taken in any order.  An alluring bloom or a fountain easily distracts me, and my eyes were on stalks when I saw the wonderful display of peonies, threaded through with star bursts of allium.


I was a little too early for the Rose Pergola and a little too late for the Laburnum Pergola, but the Cornus were in full, joy-packed bloom.

Apparently there are over 100 individual specimens of Cornus represented.  I failed to collect the Cornus Trail booklet from the Entrance Pavilion, so I cannot elaborate further.  Obviously, a black mark!  But you can tell I enjoyed my wandering.

Suddenly I heard the blast of a whistle and I stood, holding my breath.  With a rattle and a clank, the miniature Royal Scot steam locomotive clattered over the bridge in the Rock Garden and sped away.  In time honoured fashion, I waved.  Wouldn’t you?

I had no idea of the breadth and range of this garden.  My previous visits had been accompanied by a small boy, whose chief interest had been the snorting beast that roared through the canyon.  As I meandered on I came to the Woodland Garden.  It was season’s end for the rhododendrons that I love, but how very poignant.  Debbie, does this remind you of anything?


And I still haven’t taken you down to the river, via the herbaceous borders for which this garden is so rightly known.  Burgeoning with delicious irises and yet more peonies!  A toot and a bustle as the train scurries past again, disturbing the stillness.

Not far back to the Garden Restaurant from here, or you could pick up an icecream at the kiosk.  Before departure I really must show you the Water Garden, and then you can simply subside with cake, or something more substantial.

I hope you’re not too weary?  There really is so much to see in these gardens, and when I mention that there is also a Dollshouse Exhibition, Adventure Gardens with a water play area and even an exhibition of Teddy Bears, you’ll know that this is a good place to take the grandkids in these upcoming school holidays.  Have a look at the website.  There’s something for everyone.

Now I really must go and put that kettle on!  I think I’ve earned it.

walking logo

I really enjoyed my break, but I’m back with another great collection of walks to share.  Thank you so much for your support.  It wouldn’t be half so much fun without you.  Join in at any time.  I’m usually around.  Click on the logo or visit Jo’s Monday walk page for details.


Isn’t there something magical about Corsica?  Certainly there is through Drake’s eyes :

Touch of yesterday

Anabel’s castle is a whole different ball game.  Check out these views!

Drumlanrig Castle

Jackie supports Gay Rights with some great scenes in Toronto :

Toronto Pride

Liesbet cheats a tiny bit, but nobody said the walks had to be all uphill, did they?

Climbing Mount Greylock the easy way

How about a little shopping In Berlin?  Lady Lee will be your escort :

Strolling at Kurfurstendamm

Susan brings fragrance and a smile to our walks this week :

Walking along fields of lavender

Kathrin found something quite unusual and rather wonderful on her recent road trip :

Water towers in Mendocino

Jude has a few chips to share.  No, don’t all rush!  Her OH has probably eaten them by now.  Gravestones will have to do, but they’re not so tasty :

Ludgvan Churchyard

When Cathy’s not meandering in Myanmar she still likes to keep an eye on the oriental :

Philadelphia gardens : Shofuso Japanese house and garden 

And while we’re in ‘Japan’, share a little beauty and serenity with Rommel :

Goshiki-numa, Five-colored Lakes in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Fabulous, aren’t they?  Have a great week everybody.  I hear the temperatures have followed me here from the Algarve, but don’t worry- they’ll only last a day or so.  Enjoy!  See you next week.  Don’t forget Monday Escapes if you have a minute or two.


    1. I have my moments 🙂 🙂 This morning was a goodie. Breakfast in the garden, t’ai chi, then a walk back through country lanes. More mundane stuff to follow. There are some wonderful gardens not too far away. I still have 3 to post, but I try to spread them out a little. How are you adjusting to life back in the shackles? Is there a theme yet for tomorrow? I did look early this morning, in case 🙂 🙂 Hugs, darlin’. Look after yourself.

      1. Yes, there is a theme. The work is killing me (triple the volume of what I used to have), and they all take me for granted.

      2. Yes, there is a theme. The work is killing me (triple the volume of what I used to have), and they all take me for granted, but you don’t, bless you. Hugs 🙂

    1. No problem, Liesbet. I usually keep Monday evenings free for my replies. This has come up on an older walk but it doesn’t really matter too much. 🙂 Thank you!

  1. Another stunner of a garden. What I wouldn’t give to smell a peony right now! It has been awhile. And that water garden at the end of the post (just above that cake that makes me want to have a snack) is simply magnificent. In my next life, I am coming back as a Compton and moving into Newby Hall

    1. Thanks a lot, Denzil. I’m in the middle of composing a rather emotional farewell to a blogging friend so please excuse me. I will come and walk with you a little later.

  2. Jo…this is like just one super spectacular post. The Brits know how to make a garden, eh? Your flower shots are gorgeous. I love the waterfall the best. But normally it would be the chocolate cake shot!

  3. Your photographs of the flowers and the way in which you combine them, are really spectacular!
    I particularly love the lilac colored rhododendrums, the lilies and the peonies.

    Too beautiful for words. Your photos say it all!


  4. What a fabulous treat Jo! Love the statuary… the water nymph and the doggie are standouts. Bookmarking for whenever I visit. Hopefully soon.
    Apologies for going AWOL again. Have linked a (Wednesday) walk of my own as a peace offering. Hope you like it 🙂

    1. Hi Madhu! Good to have you around and thanks for persevering with the link. 🙂 🙂 Bit late getting here because I’ve spent the day attending a special blogger’s funeral (not sure whether you knew Viv in France? We started out as 6WS buddies 🙂 ) I’ll be along to yours shortly.

    1. It was, Lindsey, and totally gorgeous! I just nibbled and took my time, while my husband wolfed his choc cake 🙂 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words. I enjoyed putting the post together.

  5. Wunderschöner Garten, Jo ! Vor allem gefällt mir am Eingang die schöne Frauenskulptur, das eiserne edel verzîerte Eingangstor und die Stein- Figuren. Danke fürs zeigen… 🙂

  6. Fabulous walk Jo! I’ve seen the turn off for Newby Hall but never been there – looks a real treat and my granddaughters would love the train if they lived in England! We actually took them on a steam train here at the weekend! The flowers are superb also love the Dollshouse exhibition but that may not be permanent? You must be loving the sunshine in the Algarve! 🙂

    1. I’m back in the UK, Rosemay, and it’s quite bizarre- it reached 30C here today! I seem to have brought the heat with me 🙂 🙂 But not for long. It was actually too hot in the Algarve! I visited quite a few gardens before we went away, ,and this is definitely one for the kids. The Dollshouses are permanent. I did take a few shots but don’t know if or when they’ll get posted. 🙂 Everything ok with you?

      1. Wow 30 degrees in the north Jo! I did see there was a heatwave – that must feel pretty hot! We get lovely sea breezes here during the summer months so the maximums are always in the middle of the day then cooler in the afternoons. Yes thanks all well – getting over the mid winter flu bug that’s doing the rounds but enjoying our wood fire and winter walks. It’s been cold at night – we even had 0 degrees last week! My mum has been see-sawing but currently doing better – this has been the story for the past 4 years!! It’s very hard on my dad! Hope you enjoy the summer sun! 🙂

      2. Cracking great thunder and lightning storm today! I was on the top deck of a bus as it positively hammered down 🙂 Sending hugs, darlin’.

      3. Thanks Jo! Always the way in England – whenever it gets hot the thunder follows! I dislike humidity, which is why we avoid the English summer if at all possible when coming over. It’s been so cold here – we had a grey rainy day yesterday, which reminded us of England! I was babysitting my little granddaughters as my daughter was working so it was a day for craft and indoor activities. Beautiful crisp and sunny today and just got in from taking the dog for a walk – it was lovely and invigorating! Will drop to 2 degrees tonight so have been gathering kindling wood for the log fire 🙂 Hope the rain has stopped and the sun has come out again with you! 🙂

      4. You’re lucky to have the granddies to keep you busy on rainy days. My choices are usually housework or a museum 🙂 🙂 Or being restless!

      5. Yes they are hard work but great fun Jo – have been lucky that they came along when they did as it has helped to distract me from my other daughter being in London 🙂 The museums sound an excellent choice! There is always housework to be done – I never seem to finish that!! If you weren’t restless we wouldn’t have so many wonderful stories to read! 🙂

  7. A lovely walk Jo, at just my pace. Your flower shots are beautiful – I’m glad you posted multiples. I especially like the peonies, the little heart amongst the waterlilies (Christine’s flower), and the fallen petals. There there is the stonework and statues, dog, lion AND nymph. I snuck a look inside – give me the garden every time over the busyness of the tapestry room, which looks jumbled to me rather than elegant. Thank you again for pleasures I wouldn’t otherwise encounter.

    1. I loved the heart too, spotted by Gilly, of course. 🙂 I had to do a severe cull because I had over 300 photos, Meg! There are lots of statuary and benches (Jude would have a field day 🙂 ) but a post can only be so long 🙂 🙂 Thanks, sweetheart. Glad you enjoyed.

  8. What a stunning place to wander, Jo. I love my garden to bits. 🙂 I can never see a water lily without remembering dear Christine. I love the free-spirited water nymph sculpture, the exquisite flowers and last but certainly not least, those delicious desserts. xx

    1. Strange you should mention, Christine, Ad, because Gilly did in one of her comments too. It’s 2 years now since she died! I had some awful news yesterday. I went to look for my pal Viv in France, only to find that she’d died, over here, visiting family. I don’t know the full circumstances but I hope to go to her funeral in Newcastle tomorrow.

      1. Yes, I saw that Viv had died. She was a real sweetie and her poetry will be missed by me. Wonderful that you can attend her funeral. You could say a few words on behalf of all her blog friends.

  9. I still love your water nymph, Jo. Is the statue of the dog in Sylvia’s garden by the same sculptor, you think? Both have a similar kind of delicacy to them. I was hoping to see some more beaches and blue skies, but English gardens are a great alternative. It never gets too hot there for enjoying the beauty of the flowers, luckily. 🙂 Some of them, I now recognize from our yard and the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls. We did a few walks over the weekend. Here is an overview:

    Liesbet @ Roaming About

    1. It could well be, Liesbet. There were lots of sculptures and stone benches but I’ve only included a couple. The post was getting a bit long! 🙂 🙂 And strangely enough, the heat’s following me! Set to reach the 30s here tomorrow! Shock, horror! Thanks for the link.

  10. The longest herbaceous borders in Europe, wow I’d be in seventh heaven. Peonies and allium, what a perfect planting match, and those irises are to die for. A cornus in full ‘bract’ is spectacular and they have a collection, beautifully photographed by your good self, they remind me of Nymans. What a great place, I never expect to see a really good garden so far north, but I know that’s unfair!

  11. What a beautiful walk, Jo! The gardens are marvelous. You know that Christopher Wren designed a lot of buildings at my Alma Mater, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He designed the Wren Chapel, where I got married the first time around. I too am more fascinated by the grounds of such places, rather than the insides of the houses. I love that little train that goes around the park. It’s so tiny! I also love the irises, the lush peonies and that slice of chocolate cake. I don’t know how you stay so slim with all the cake you eat! You must not eat much else. Have a happy week, Jo! 🙂 My mouth is watering for something sweet. xxx

  12. what a lovely walk amidst those glorious blooms, Jo. there’s so much beauty around! thanks for taking me along and of course, they cake looks yum! 🙂

  13. Thanks for the wonderful stroll, I am really fond of your walks even though I haven’t been commenting lately. I hope you forgive me, but I had a little bit to much life if you understand what I mean. I promise to straighten up and follow you more frequently.

  14. Thanks for the link, RJo. With all your spectacular garden walks (and a few from others, also) it’s become clear that I need to take a trip to see these wonderful places up close. Someday….

  15. Jo when you mentioned you couldn’t walk past a water lily let me just say I concur. It would be a very rare sight where we live so when I have seen them I am like a wee child in awe. As if Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny plunked themselves down in the pond. A lovely blissful walk . The cake looks scrumptious!

    1. You have a treat coming up then, Sue! Before we went to the Algarve we visited a garden with the National Collection of water lilies- an incredible sight! Will get over to yours this evening. Still in catch up mode and – whisper this!- it’s hot here today. Yes- in Hartlepool! 🙂 🙂

      1. Oh I may never be able to leave your future post! No rush to visit Jo. I never want readers to feel pressured to head over. When the mood and timing strikes I’m always here. 🙂

  16. I enjoyed this walk very muc: thanks for taking me around. Those English garden are simply fantastic, and you took magnificent pictures.
    Have a great week,

  17. Waterlilies are so special; I can’t pass them up eiter. I always look at them. I remember the English gardens so well, they are beautiful. Now -once again- I am leaving your blog in vacation mood. 🙂

    1. I’d almost forgotten this one, Jill. Seems ages since we were there but Mick mentioned that the schools break up this week, so I thought I’d better get to it. 🙂

    1. Welcome back! 🙂 🙂 Sometimes I forget that I haven’t seen people for a while till they reappear, and then I feel mean for not missing them sooner! 😦

    1. We’ve been to some stunning gardens lately, Carol. I’d forgotten how nice this one was till I looked back at the photos. All well with you? You hadn’t posted when I last checked but I’ll pop back again tonight. 🙂 🙂

    1. It has such variety, Sherry. It’s a long time since we were last there, and we had the ‘small fry’ with us so missed quite a lot. Thanks for your company 🙂 🙂

  18. Now that is my kind of garden stroll – so much to see and always too late or too early so another visit is required. Your photos and words are so poetic this week Jo “…wonderful display of peonies, threaded through with star bursts of allium.” And cake at the end too. That slab of chocolate looks delish, but I fear it may be all gone by now.. have a good week, and don’t get heatstroke again!

    1. Hello sweetheart 🙂 Thought you’d like this. We were last there when Mick’s Mam was still alive and James was small. One of those Sunday lunch jaunts. 🙂 I hadn’t realised just how much we had missed with the slow folks. It’s a little commercial but they have to maintain the place somehow, and it really is lovely. The heat seems to be following me, doesn’t it? I’m sitting in the shade in our garden answering this. Forest walk and blood donors so I’ve earned a rest. Big glass of water! Ugh! Don’t fish do stuff in it? 🙂

      1. Not unless it has sugar in. That’s good for heat stroke, you know. A bit in shock, Jude. I just discovered that Viv in France died the day before we went to Tavira. I went looking for her and her daughter has posted funeral arrangements. Proper takes the wind out of your sails.

      2. Ah, now I understand. She was a good friend of yours. An unexpected death or had she been ill? Such a shock to discover it on the blog though. Sending you hugs (( ))

      3. Thanks, hon. I don’t know the full story. Apparently she died in England visiting family. I’m intending to go to the funeral in Newcastle tomorrow, if I can face it.

  19. So fascinating beautiful garden walk, not a typical english garden where you almost don’t dare stepping inside… 😀
    This is really fascinating and the cake too – the only thing missing is a cup of coffee… 😀

  20. Wow, I really enjoyed all those flowers – beautiful. But then I saw the chocolate cake at the end………

    Thanks for the mention. Another walk coming up shortly.

    1. Mick won’t share his chocolate cake but you could have some of mine. 🙂 Thanks a lot, Anabel. I’ll be over to yours after tea. It’s hot here, can you believe? In Hartlepool! 🙂

  21. Looks like a great place for a wander…and there’s the train, if it gets too much! I love the peonies interlaced with whatever..

    1. It’s a beautiful place, Sue. We didn’t see the best of it on previous visits because we had small fry with us- quite some time ago! He’s more interested in cocktails than trains now 🙂

  22. Jo, I visited here a few years ago – lovely reminder of the gardens and time to take them in on your post. Whilst there originally my son was much younger and everything was more of a dash! 😀 It is a magical place.

  23. Oh yes, that definitely reminds me of the floor in Seville – same colour, even!
    This looks a beautiful place to wander, Jo. Gorgeous flowers, water features and cake. What could be better!

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