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Gates to open for guided tours of Doddington's Elizabethan gardens and parkland 

Gates to open for guided tours of Doddington's Elizabethan gardens and parkland 

Guided tours of the gardens of Lincolnshire’s Doddington Hall are to take place this month for visitors keen to see the grounds come back to life after the winter.

Visitors will be able to join Doddington Hall’s Garden and Woodland Manager, David Logan, for special winter woodland and garden walks on Tuesday 12 February and Thursday 14 February. The 1½ hour tours, which take place at 10.30am, will take visitors through the Elizabethan gardens and along the nature trail and skirt one of the estate’s ancient woodlands before returning across the parkland.

The tour will also take in the famous Doddington pyramid as well as other historical and natural features around the parkland. Tickets for the guided tours cost £14 and include a free cup of tea or coffee from the coffee shop plus exclusive access to the gardens until 4pm while the gardens are closed to the public.

The two exclusive tours form part of Doddington’s spring bulb pageant; an annual event where the gates to the gardens are sprung open for a limited time. This year the gardens will be open on Sundays only between 10 February and Mothering Sunday on 31 March. There will be the chance to see the garden in its spring glory with carpets of snowdrops, cyclamen and crocuses, which later make way for Doddington’s heritage daffodils, including rare Edwardian varieties.

As well as viewing beautiful vistas, visitors will be able to admire the scents of the winter-flowering scented shrubs which are plentiful in the gardens. These include Viburnum bodnantense; Lathyrus purpusii and Wintersweet – Chimonanthus praecox as well as the buttercup witch hazel, which provides welcome colour in the drab winter months.

The Spring Bulb Pageant is a firm date in the Doddington Hall calendar having been started in the 1950s by Ralph and Antonia Jarvis, the grandparents of current owner, Claire Birch.

Explained Claire: “My father and late mother continued in my grandparents’ footsteps and planted and moved 150,000 bulbs over a 25-year period. I’m proud to carry on the tradition and added a further 5,000 snowdrops, using some of the money I inherited from my maternal grandmother, Cecily. Carpets of ‘Cecily’s Snowdrops’ can be seen by visitors as they walk along the nature trail. The bulbs are a spectacular feature at Doddington and we look forward to welcoming visitors during the Spring Bulb Pageant.”

Garden and Woodland Manager, David Logan, who will be leading the two special guided tours, added: “The gardens are particularly beautiful during the spring. There are many species to be seen right from the beginning of February with our wonderful snowdrops and the colourfulcyclamen coum and crocus tommasinianus. Our walks will be an ideal way to explore the gardens as they wake up after the winter.”

Booking for the guided walks on 12 and 14 February is essential as numbers will be limited. Places can be booked viawww.doddingtonhall.com.

In addition to the guided walks, Doddington Hall Gardens, just a few miles outside of Lincoln, will open on Sundays only between 10 February and 31 March, 11am to 4.30pm. Tickets, available from the Gatehouse, cost £7 (adults), £3.50 (child). Family tickets are also available at £18. Historic Houses and RHS member cards are accepted. From Sunday 7 April the Hall and Gardens will be open Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. For details visit www.doddingtonhall.com or call 01522 694308. Information about the woodland walk can be found on: https://www.doddingtonhall.com/event/winter-woodland-garden-walk/

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