Constable Burton Hall near Leyburn has one of my favourite gardens in North Yorkshire. In particular it has probably the best display of daffodils you will ever see, so a spring time visit is always an eagerly awaited pleasure, early in the garden calendar.
The hall itself was built in by John Carr in the Palladian style for the Wyvill family It was completed in 1768. Though the house itself is not open to the public, it provides a stunning backdrop to the beautiful gardens. Swathes of daffodils run through a large part of the grounds at this time of year. There are masses of yellow, cream and almost white flowers, representing numerous varieties of the daffodil family.
A gentle, trickling stream flows through the garden from a large pond, filled with wildlife. This provides the perfect habitat for bog garden plants, and in particular the spectacular yellow flowers of the Skunk Cabbage, looking for all the world as though an alien species has begun to colonise Lower Wensleydale.
It is a charming garden to visit in the spring, and arguably provides a more impressive display of daffodils than the more famous Fandale in the North Yorkshire Moors. As spring continues the garden reaches another highlight – its annual tulip festival in early May. Later in the summer the magnificent cedar trees provide shade on the lawn for the perfect English lazy afternoon.
The gardens at Constable Burton Hall are a delight at any time, but if you can, do visit during daffodil season. Combine it with a visit to Leyburn – the fabulous deli and vast booze section at Campbells in the Market Place is generally on my agenda, and you will have a very enjoyable day out.