A1, Junction Colsterworth/B6403; 3 minutes
Wed-Fri, Sun, Bank Hol Mon 11am-4pm
Admission fee: £7.70 adults; £3.50 children 4-16 yrs.
Parking available onsite
Once famously described as ‘a dream of Nirvana, almost too good to be true’ by Franklin Roosevelt, the gardens of Easton were nearly lost forever when the original house, Easton Hall, was demolished in 1951.
Thankfully Ursula and Fred Cholmeley took over the family property in 2001 and have been restoring the 12-acre gardens. There’s a turf maze, yew tunnel, meadows, rose garden, orchards and a pickery (Easton’s unique term for its cut flower garden). A Sweet Pea Week is held every July and showcases both heritage and modern varieties.
A garden-themed gift shop smells evocatively of English country gardens and is a rich hunting ground for souvenirs. The tea room serves simple but flavourful meals: filled baguettes, cream teas, excellent cakes, a gardener’s ploughman’s and vegetable soups. Wash it down with hot cups of tea or homemade elderflower cordial in the summer. You’ll need to pay the entrance fee even to access the café so make it a leisurely stop.