Stunning Natural Beauty with a side of Ordered English Country Charm
Lovely gardens combined with a touch of retail therapy, all book-ended by a lovely place to sleep.
Leeds has been my home for a large portion of my life. It’s a city that is full of life, noise and chaos – so sometimes it can get exhausting.
I’ve had the good fortune of being able to travel a lot in my previous occupation – so now I’m satisfied with taking small breaks within the UK. Although it’s just a short drive away, I’d never thought of visiting the Fells. After being told of their surprising beauty, as well as the wealth of Gardens in the area, I booked myself a little caravan to sleep in and set off.
Bowland Fell Park
Situated right on the edge of the Forest of Bowland, this park, comprising of several stationary caravans (in addition to a thoroughly charming 17th Century Pub) offers gorgeous views of the deep green forest – as well as access to some paths and circular routes that are great for dog walking. The caravan I booked was a lovely size, cosy enough for myself and my partner, with plenty of space to prepare some dinner in the evenings.
For those not wanting to brave the Winter weather in a tent, a stationary caravan is a great go-between – providing the feeling of being right next to the outdoors, whilst leaving you with a comfortable night’s sleep.
If you’ve been to as many Gardens and Stately Homes as I have, they can start to blur into one. Without trying to besmirch the good name of England’s tourist attractions – over the years they have started to become homogenised. The same cafes, kindly attendants and gift shops – they’ve almost become a cliche unto themselves. Thankfully, there are still fiercely independent places like Stydd Gardens, attempting to break the mould.
Small but interesting gardens are laid out in a quirky fashion, whilst the usual cafe is avoided completely in favour of 3 separate eating establishments. It’s a smart move for a countryside garden, providing three very different eateries for locals and visitors alike.
The last place I have to recommend from our trip to the Fells was the wonderful, but daftly names, Plant World. An offshoot of Myerscough College, on whose campus it’s located, Plant World is a rather grand name for a sizeable green house packed full of lovely English flowers and vines. It’s essentially a small garden centre, but thanks to the wonderfully eager students employed there, it turned into a thoroughly enjoyable educational experience, as well as a shopping trip. In addition to the shop, there’s a ‘Tropical Zone’ – a warmer greenhouse where you can admire the exotic specimens that the students have been growing, as well as the ‘Temperate Zone’ – an even warmer area, where the tropical breeds are nurtured from seeds.