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“More commercialised, less attractive.”
Review of Hodsock Priory

Hodsock Priory
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Blyth
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
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.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

With the advent of the Snowdrop Village some of the informality which was so attractive has gone, The woodland area is still stunningly lovely with its carpets of snowdrops. The formal garden area seems to have far fewer snowdrops around than before - affected by too much wet weather? Still attractive but no longer that 'must go back' feeling.

1  Thank evallonia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"woodland walk"
in 22 reviews
"couple of years"
in 9 reviews
in 6 reviews
"plant shop"
in 4 reviews
"formal gardens"
in 6 reviews
"round the gardens"
in 3 reviews
"different varieties"
in 5 reviews
in 12 reviews
"hot drinks"
in 6 reviews
"beautiful venue"
in 3 reviews
"lovely afternoon"
in 5 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 14 reviews
"lovely grounds"
in 4 reviews
"early spring"
in 3 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 5 reviews

202 - 206 of 215 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2013

Visiting the snow drops at Hodsock has become a trditional treat for us. So it was upsetting for us to find the disasterous changes that have been made since our last visit.

The car park was a mess. usually the attendants move parking to different parts of the fields to stop too much mud being churned up. This time we only just made it out of the car park, there were no attendants to help but there was a jcb type bulldozer attempting to add top soil to the mud!
Previously the gardens and woodland walk were accessed by the main entrance to the house This time we were only allowed to access the grounds through a muddy walkway past some tents. Which turned out to be "snowdrop village" (see below).

The gardens were not up to the usual standard The paths were muddy. It was bad weather but ususlly this is not a problem. parts of the grounds were fenced off with signs saying that a function was being held. All of the signing suggesting a route were missing.

The woodland walk looked as if it had been visited by bulldozers removing most of the intesting shrubs and trees (and an awful lot of the snowdrops) leaving muddy tracks.

What has been a very pleasant place to enjoy a coffe and lunch was now out of bounds and we found ourselves in a large very cold tent set up on sloping ground. The service was bad the cofee tasted like nescaffe with condensed milk, it was a small coffe served in a small china mug. We were cgarged £4.80 for two. The white plastic chair could hardly support my weight (80 kilo) and the table had a sign asking us to take our tray and used crockery to the trolleys provided.

This apparently was snowdrop village.

As our car slid around on the mud and we exited the car park (just) we were reminded of the experience some famillies had at a Santa/reindeer/christmas "event" in Somerset a couple of years ago. Perhaps the organisers of that have found a new job at Hodsock.

1  Thank Mike O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George B, General Manager at Hodsock Priory, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2013

Our family has been at Hodsock since 1765 so there's been no change of management, we just needed to make some alterations this year that we didn't quite complete thanks to the wettest year in living history.

The 4 things we needed to change this year were 1. Save the Priory from the damage of having 20,000 pairs of muddy boots on our ancient wooden floors and offer our first Snowdrop Weddings 2. Create a shorter route from the car park to the snowdrops (this has been warmly welcomed by the many wheelchair users and visitors who cannot walk very far) 3. Improve drainage on all our pathways to eliminate the mud problem. 4. Increase the size of our cafe with a heated marquee (sorry if you were cold - the thermostat is set to 50 degrees and has been working all day everyday) to cope with large numbers of visitors and reduce queues.

We have a brilliant car parking team who take pride in trying to keep our visitors away from the wet areas and their job is very difficult. After heavy rain, like we had on your visit yesterday, we get the occasional car sliding through a muddy patch but most of the time it's pretty good.

Our JCB is on hand at all times to fill wet areas in the car park with road planings to soak up some of the 2012 rain. There is standing water in all our fields and even our moat filled in for the first time since 1541 - it's that soggy here we had considered not opening but our loyal visitors would have been very upset so we've had to plough on.

The local press are backing our 'Bring your Febru-Wellies' campaign to forewarn visitors to Hodsock this year that the ground conditions are very wet and that it's vital to bring wellies.

Our Gardening team work tirelessly to keep the gardens at Hodsock in great condition all year round and our visitors this year will be delighted with the snowdrops, cyclamen, sarcococca, witchhazel, winter flowering honeysuckle and hellebores. The bonfire in the woods is a highlight and you can even get a cup of tea and a bacon cob to warm you up this year.

We've replaced all our signs with pictures and descriptions of each area, explaining the history of the house, the family, the planting and other points of interest. Most of our visitors prefer to take themselves wherever they feel and that's very much the relaxed atmosphere we want to create at Hodsock.

The cafe has never been better this year, in a luxurious heated marquee with bunting, flowers on the gingham tables, happy smiling staff and the best pie and pea lunches and afternoon teas you'll find under canvas in February. When we had the cafe in the Priory it was always very cramped once more than 100 people were in there and visitors had to queue in the cold outside. This year it's better all round and if you just fancy a cuppa, you can go to our woodland cafe next to the new children's play area.

It has been vital to us in the current recession to keep the Hodsock estate businesses solvent and keep jobs safe so we really appreciate your feedback. I hope you will come back and see how we manage the changes that we must make for Hodsock to be viable well into the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2013

lovely display of snowdrops but is it really necessary to have so many roots etc. painted white ? Health & Safety gone mad !

Thank Pat B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013 via mobile

We chose a snowy morning to visit the snowdrop display at Hodstock Priory. We enjoyed the woodland walk and tour of the gardens which looked very pretty covered in a blanket of snow.

Thank Marvinandroid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 6, 2012

We had our wedding at Hodsock on 16 June 2012 and it was absolutely perfect! The house and gardens are so beautiful and elegant we felt like Lord and Lady of the manor for the day. Our family and friends all loved it too. We just want to do it all over again and wouldn't change a thing.
Lynda was fabulous, don't be fooled by her relaxed style she has absolutely everything under control and really knows her stuff! We have Lynda to thank for all sorts of useful tips and recommendations that helped the smooth running of the day.
Thank you Hodsock!
Lucy and Tom Yasin

Thank LuBar_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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