Have you seen a wonderful garden or landscape on the big screen that you wish you could visit? It might be closer to you than you think. Suttons, retailers of vegetable seeds, have investigated famous destinations and where you can find them.
The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland
If you’re a TV fanatic, it’s likely that you would have heard of the Dark Hedges from Game of Thrones. They are a row of beech trees that sit on Bregagh Road in Northern Ireland. They were first featured in episode one of the second series as King’s Road — the path that Arya took as she escaped from King’s Landing dressed as a boy, travelling through the Hedges to reach the Night’s Watch.
Fans of the show and tourists visit the destination regularly. To locals, this is a surprise as it is a rural road in Ballymoney, out of the way from the main villages. The avenue is quite difficult to find though and there is to be more signs built so that it is easier for tourists to visit the spot. Local legend says that the avenue is home to a grey lady who walks between the trees as it gets dark.
The landscape sits amongst other popular attractions in Northern Ireland. This is where destinations lie such as the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway. They are part of the popular Game of Thrones tours that are in Northern Ireland. The trees have been voted one of the world’s most beautiful places by the Architectural Design magazine too. They were planted in the 18th century and intertwine to create a mystical avenue. If you’re one for bright hues and colours that stand out, this might not be for you. However, the earthy tones of the trees are certainly spectacular.
Stourhead Landscape Gardens, Wiltshire
Stourhead became famous following the 2005 production of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice. It’s situated in Wiltshire and is something that shouldn’t be missed. It is the place where Mr Darcy first proposed to Lizzie, before she made her exit across the Palladian Bridge. Work on the garden begun in 1740 and wasn’t completed until 1780. It’s since been described as a ‘living work of art’ — if that doesn’t convince you to visit, we don’t know what will!
The lake that sits in the centre of the park also draws people to the destination. See a range of trees, from beech to Spanish chestnut, and explore the temples that sit close to the lake. Visit the garden in spring and you’ll also see rhododendrons in bloom, while in early summer you can enjoy the azaleas.
Alnwick Gardens, Northumberland
If you’re a garden lover, consider visiting Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland. It was Alnwick Castle that shot to fame once the 2000 production of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released. It was in the grounds of this castle where Harry and his friends learnt to fly their broomsticks. Students of Hogwarts walked through the courtyards and baileys of Alnwick Castle too, as they went about their day-to-day lives. Features of the castle were even shown as a path to Hagrid’s cabin and the Forbidden Forest.
The gardens are home to 200 different species of roses; see the Christmas Rose bloom in December and the English Shrub Rose open up in June. It’s wonderful all year round too, so you can enjoy brightly coloured water lilies in March and the delicate Peruvian Lily in June. There is also a large water feature that sits in the centre of the garden, which is something else to admire.
Take a trip to the Poison Garden too, which is full of plants that can kill. Educate yourselves on a range of flora that can cause death through pleasure or pain and see how some of the most popular drugs are grown. Just be sure to follow the recommendations that you do not smell or touch the plants, as visitors have been known to faint due to inhaling toxic fumes.
The Eden Project, Cornwall
This destination is thought to be the largest indoor rainforest on Earth. It’s made up of two huge biomes — a Rainforest Biome and a Mediterranean Biome. It is home to the longest zip wire in England too, which flies you over the biomes to give you a birds-eye view of the spectacles beneath. In 2002 though, the Eden Project became Gustav Graves’ Ice Palace and high security lair in the James Bond film, Die Another Day.
As you wander around the biomes, you will discover plants that you would never have seen in the UK otherwise. Experience tropical heat in the Rainforest Biome and discover over 1,000 varieties of plant — it’s even complete with a waterfall. Visit an authentic south-east Asian home too, as well as a vegetable garden to see how herbs, flowers and trees grow in the climate.
You’ll be exposed to temperatures between 9 and 25°C in the Mediterranean Biome. This climate is usually well-known for luscious fruits and tasty wines. Take a walk through the iconic grass trees, see huge aloe veras and walk past tulips in the springtime. There’s also a perfume garden, which is filled with scented plants such as jasmine, roses, lavender and thyme.
Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire Dales
Do you recall the scene in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves where Robin fights Little John? The falls are made up of three different waterfalls that are within walking distance of each other. It was at the upper and middle fall that shot to fame in the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves film. You can pay a small, voluntary fee to get close to where the scene was filmed.
Head upstream to discover more around the falls. Explore the village of Carperby and Castle Bolton as well, while in the spring and summer, expect to see wild flowers through the valley. Visitors have said that the site is best explored after heavy rainfall, when the water is most powerful and the falls look especially spectacular.