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“Bluebell woods” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hodsock Priory

Hodsock Priory
Off B6045, Blyth S81 0TY, England
+44 1909 591204
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Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Blyth
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hodsock Priory is a wedding venue on a private estate surrounded by North Nottinghamshire countryside and easily accessible from the A1 and M1 at Blyth. Nationally famous for its winter garden and displays of snowdrops - open in February only each year. Wrap up warm and enjoy a walk in the woods then have a cup of tea a slice of home-made cake by the bonfire.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Bluebell woods”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

We have visited here many times when the snowdrops are in full bloom when it is very cold and damp. It is always a beautiful experience and it's possible to get a warm on the burning logs in the clearing along with a hot drink, so it's a very pleasant day. There is also a fabulous cafe where lovely snacks, cakes and drinks are served. On our last visit we went to see the Bluebells which again was very pleasant and the weather was much warmer and brighter. There was no bonfire but the snack bar was open and lots of clearing has been done to open the woods and there were plenty of logs to sit on. There is a children's play area which I haven't seen before, but again this has been made from cut down trees. The owner of the Priory also gave an historical talk which was very informative. He was also on hand at the gate when we left, to wish us a safe journey home. A lovely place to spend time whatever the weather as long as you are dressed appropriately.

Visited May 2014
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George B, General Manager at Hodsock Priory, responded to this review, May 23, 2014
I'm so pleased you had a good day with us. The bluebells are spectacular and the peace and quiet of the woods in May is wonderful. Thank you for supporting us - come back and see the Snowdrops in February.
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98 reviews from our community

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English first
Leicester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Hodsocks snowdrops”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

We had a really lovely day out here to see the snowdrops and helibores. The walks through the woods were really pretty and along the way there was a quiz for the children with notes and tips placed in the woods. It was a freezing cold day and there was a lovely woodland fire in the woods so we could all keep warm, a really nice touch. We had lunch in the restaurant which was very busy, but we were still able to find a suitable table for us all. We had hot soup and bread rolls. Quite expensive but it was a lovely day out.

Visited April 2013
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George B, General Manager at Hodsock Priory, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Thank you for your review. Sounds like you had a good day and enjoyed the gardens, woods and treasure trails. Do come again as we work hard each year to make improvements. I take on board your thoughts on the pricing. We've kept our food and drinks prices the same for 2 years and the entrance price the same for 5 so we do strive to provide good value. See you again next year!
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Excellent place to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

Visiting Hodsock to see the snowdrops is an annual pilgrimage for me and this year (2014) was the best display I'd ever seen. All the renovation work which was underway last year seems to have come to fruition and has added to a great experience. One of the highlights of visiting Hodsock is the bonfire and now that refreshments are served there this is a bonus. Even the catering marquee appears to offer a wider variety of food and drink which is most welcome after a lovely but usually chilly stroll round the grounds. Although the routes are well marked, one suggestion I would make is that a small map of the gardens is available at the entry kiosk in order that visitors can plan their route and not accidentally miss something out. All in all it is an excellent experience.

Visited March 2014
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George B, General Manager at Hodsock Priory, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Thank you for your review. I'm glad you feel our changes are starting to make a difference to the overall Hodsock experience. We've worked hard as a family and team to keep the magic. Offering better food and drink, more places to sit and enjoy the woodland and garden scenes, better plant labeling and dry paths have all started to make a difference. We are going to look again at the idea of a map. When we tried it a few years ago, the design could have been better and we ended up having a litter problem as a lot of visitors binned them or dropped them straight away. Thanks for the suggestion - our thinking caps are on!
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Derby
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A beautiful day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014 via mobile

This was about our fourth visit to Hodsock to see the snowdrops over the past few years. This time we visited on the penultimate snowdrop day and were a bit worried about there being any snowdrops still in flower because of the early season this year. We needn't have worried, there were plenty and we had the advantage of the early daffodils and spring shrubs as well.
I actually like the new entrance to the site, it gets you directly into the woodland, and therefore more quickly to the bonfire and a bacon sandwich and hot chocolate!
It was a beautiful spring day and we thoroughly enjoyed watching all the bird life whilst we wandered the woodland area and garden, and even managed to watch a mole building a molehill (this last attraction may not be available on all visits!)
Had a lovely snack in the marquee before we left and, of course, we bought some snowdrops from the shop, well you've got to start somewhere!
Looking forward to next year's visit already and have just become a 'Friend of Hodsock'.

Visited March 2014
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George B, General Manager at Hodsock Priory, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Thank you for your kind review - we're particularly pleased you liked the new entrance which is dry and level, a shorter distance from the car park and gets you straight into the woods where our showstopping displays of snowdrops are found. That's brilliant you saw a mole making a hill - just the sort of thing that makes a day out special. We look forward to welcoming you back to Hodsock.
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Sheffield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Much improved”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

It's at least 5 years since I last visited and every aspect has improved with the exception of the approach - previously you were welcomed to the garden via the historic gatehouse - now you're shepherded straight down towards the catering/shop area (although you can still get to the gatehouse en route) it's certainly a less atmospheric entrance and makes you feel like a back door visitor.
The catering tent was good, the pie and peas looked amazing but I was eating out that evening so didn't succumb but my jacket potato was very tasty.
The history talk was interesting and informative and delivered very well by the personable current owner/manager although (understandably) it did feel a bit like a sales pitch at times.
Strangely many of the plants featured in the garden were not on sale in the plant shop which seems like a lost opportunity.

Visited February 2014
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George B, General Manager at Hodsock Priory, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Thank you for coming back and recognizing the changes we've made gradually over the last few years. You have given us some useful ideas to work on for next year - thank you.
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