The Grounds & Gardens
There are 70 acres of gardens and woodland in all. The part of the woodland leading down to the beach is open to the public during daylight hours. On the left at the bottom of the main woodland steps there is a small arboretum. There are many fine specimen trees in the woods including Douglas Fir, Coast Redwood, Cedar, Beech and Oak. In the Spring the giant Rhododendrons are spectacular. There is also a wildlife garden beside the river near the lake, on the left towards the bottom car park.
The woodlands & gardens are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, with a spectacular show of snowdrops in winter. Visitors are welcome to wander along the many woodland paths and enjoy this natural tranquility. At the beach the scenery alters dramatically - the ever-changing seascape, the fells of the Lake District way to the north, and Chapel Island, of which Wordsworth wrote:
‘As I advanced, all that I saw or felt
Was gentleness and peace. Upon a small
And rocky island near, a fragment stood
(Itself like a sea rock) the low remains
(With shells encrusted dark with briny weeds)
Of a dilapidated structure once
A Romish Chapel, where the vested priests
Said Matins at the hour that suited those
Who crossed the sands with ebb of morning tide.’
In the Temple Garden there is a newly restored greenhouse and limestone wall, as well as recent plantings along the walls of this former kitchen garden. A Lottery Grant was awarded towards the cost of the greenhouse and gazebo restoration and all the work in the gardens and grounds is carried out by enthusiastic volunteers.