My family and I (5 adults) visited Coton Manor Garden in September 2012, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the visit. We were visiting Northamptonshire just after peak season, so many of the nearby attractions (Althorp, Lamport Hall, Holdenby Hall) were closed for the season or during the week, so we were quite happy to find Coton Manor open on a Tuesday! The admission of £6 per adult was quite reasonable, we felt, and there is so much to see! There are several different types of gardens, and they give you a map so that you can make a circuitous route through it and see it all! Best place to start is by the house where you can appreciate their beautiful lawn, the terraced gardens and rose gardens and enjoy the beautiful large pond. Moving on to the Woodland area, there are beautiful trees to admire, as well as a horse farm next door (where you can see the beautiful horses grazing) and the Manor itself has 2 pigs and there were 6 adorable little piglets!! We also enjoyed the Bog Garden, Water Garden, Orchards, the Meadow and Bluebell Wood. Sadly, since it was not bluebell season, it was not as ornate as during the Spring, but it was still beautiful. The gardens are full of wildlife as well- in addition to the horses and the pigs, there are geese and swans, chickens, flamingoes (yes, you read that right!) and ducks, and the friendly macaw Rodney, who has a perch near the cafe. It's a fascinating place, and a wonderful place to take pictures. You are allowed to walk through at your own pace, and there are various places to sit down and rest for minute, or just take in the beauty before moving on.
The Manor also has a very nice small cafe where you can buy tea, coffee (or try their homemade cider!) and other beverages, and enjoy a scone or some cake if you want just a snack, or sandwiches and crisps, soups or pastas if you're hungrier. The Garden Shop also has plants and gardening supplies and tools, greeting cards, seeds and more! They also sell their own cider and jams. We tried the Apple Pear jam, which is very, very good! We bought some to bring home to the US with us after having it on a scone in the cafe. YUM!
Overall, a wonderful place to visit. The admission price is very reasonable, and it's just so gorgeous. I think we spent approximately 2 or 3 hours there, and that was enough to see just about everything, shop and have a snack. You could spend a lot longer there, though!! My mother was disappointed that we couldn't also see inside the house (she loves to tour homes), but maybe that will be in the future? :) We did see the owner when we were first entering the garden area- he was just coming out of the house, and was very friendly. He thanked us for coming by, and told us where to start, with the terraced gardens. We would definitely recommend this to everyone visiting Northamptonshire!
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