Trip to Burnby Hall Gardens and Museum 2015

Burnby Hall Gardens Museum
Burnby Hall Gardens Museum and Cafe

In August 2015 the Civic Society arranged a trip to Burnby Hall Gardens and Museum in Pocklington, East Yorkshire.  Upon arrival we were greeted by the staff and given a little introduction to the gardens.  We were then left to our own devises, to either spend the day at the Gardens or to split the trip with a visit into Pocklington, a mere five minute walk away.  The first order of the day was a cup of coffee (or tea) at the Burnby Hall Gardens cafe, which was in the museum complex.  It was a lovely clean little cafe, with outside seating, and (most importantly) wifi.  After a drink it made sense to visit the museum as it was in the same building.

Burnby Hall Gardens

Next was the gardens themselves.  As we had no children on the trip I doubt there was much call for a visit to the play area, but it was available to cater for the many other children visiting on the day.  Going in a clockwise direction around the gardens the first place to visit was the Secret Garden.  This was a small secluded area which, although called secret, really wasn't that difficult to find being just to the left of the path.  Moving on from the Secret Garden, along some narrow paths, was The Aviary.  This, as the name suggests, had a cage full of birds, and also some lovely gardens with a sundial which was slightly wrong in its time telling.

Secret Garden Aviary
The Secret Garden The Sundial in the Aviary

Next we came across the Victorian Garden which, at the time of our visit, appeared to be having some essential maintenance (wood staining) to the wooden centre structure.  We therefore avoided this area, instead choosing to walk down the avenue of sweet peas, lavender and pergolas, and then perusing the other Victorian plants (some of which grow very well in Barton).

Victorian Garden Victorian Garden
The Avenue of climbing flowers in the Victorian Garden The Victorian Garden

Carrying on our clockwise journey we passed The Rockery and Jamie's Bridge.  The rockeries are narrow pathways, stone steps and tiny bridges which all seem to lead to Jamie's Bridge.  They were great to explore, but could prove problematic to visitors who use wheelchairs, buggies or are unsteady on their feet.  For these visitors there was a more conventional path to follow.  Past these features was a gated area called the Stumpery.  This is accessible to visitors, providing you remember to keep the gate shut.  This was similar to a rockery except they used upturned tree roots to grow plants round, and to encourage wildlife.  This was a lovely sheltered area, ideal for a cool down on such a warm sunny day.

Jamie's Bridge Stumpery
The rockeries and Jamie's Bridge The Stumpery

On leaving the Stumpery our clockwise walk took us past a giant tree stump and onto the walk past the lakes, with their huge array of water lillies and gigantic fish.  The two lakes contain the biggest array of hardy water lillies growing anywhere in Europe, in a natural setting.  They were certainly flowering well on our trip.  The fish in the lakes were huge, but then with some clever marketing by the staff they were encouraging the visitors to buy fish food at 1 a go to feed them.  This was proving very popular, especially with the children, as the fish would almost jump out the lake to get the food.  That will certainly keep the cost of feeding them down.

Fish Lillies
Some of the fish Some of the lillies

Continuing the clockwise walk took us past a dovecote and some unusual structures before bringing us back to the main entrance area where a gift shop was situated.  There was also a lawn area with a band stand and plenty of seats.  Of course another visit to the cafe was in order as we needed refreshing after the walk round, and also refreshing with the online world thanks to the wifi.

For those who were able there was plenty of time for a very short walk into the town of Pocklington.  Here there were a huge number of small shops and eating establishments to visit, and even the local church was open to visitors.

All in all it was an excellent day out, especially as the weather was very kind to us, being warm and sunny, but not excessively so, and thanks must go to the staff at Burnby Hall Gardens and Museum for their hospitality.

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