And Something More Differenter Still

Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire.

Well, none of Arley Hall (closed), and some of the gardens (Private Event)

Website here.

Once you find the place it’s really quite splendid. Could do with a signpost or two along the way – and rewording of that sign at the beginning of the driveway that reads in big bold letters ‘PRIVATE ROAD’ and only below, in a significantly more shy font, ‘Access to House & Gardens’. I suspect that a lot of folk have turned back, discouraged…

Just my ‘umble opine.

This merry band of Wobber Bawons have gone full-tilt at interfacing with the peasants; allowing weddings in the family seat.

All I ever got in my family seat was a swift kick.

Still, mustn’t grumble.

My co-conspirator and I, having persisted through the ‘PRIVATE ROAD’ sign and the long, long anonymous stretches of “wherethe’eckarwe” lane, managed to find the entrance (not the exit) to the car parkery, and park up we done. It’s well worth the bother, for the gardings (sic) are most splendid, even in this, The Winter of Our Discount Tent.*

*Shakespode. Henry IV, Some Part that fell off, Scene once or twice. Translated from the original Klingon.

Whomever it wam wot laid out the gardens liked their wee enclosed spaces, for there are gardens within gardens manifold. Fortunately, they also loveth their benches for sit upponery, and these too are manifold and well-placed. The vast topiary is suffering a little (a lot) from some hedgerow blight, and I pity the gardeners and gardeners apprenticed struggling agin it, and the head gardingeninger coming up with some plan for replacements. Father Nature can be quite cruel at times, and a bit of a bastard at others. The displays, despite &etc, remain magnifibode.

The Weeping Succulent Fountain

Per votre amusemente, there is no logical route around the whole, and visitors do wander thither and hither in the manner of some slow-speed Benny Hill arrangement, each one anxious to miss nothing. It is very much a Mooching Garden. Imagine a garden where some giant hand has emptied out a bag of fresh pensioners, and they scatter, muttering latin plant names to one another.

I do confess to a slight disappointingment suffered only moments after seeing the ‘Fish Garden’ signpost… for it was nothing of the sort. I had, as a sensible chap would, imagined serried ranks of neatly graded flower beds, each one with Cod heads, or skate poking out of the soil.

It was a pond. A very nice pond, but just a pond all the same.

The Fish Garden

Do fish garden? I would have thought watercolours more the hobby of piscine choice.

Some areas of the garden are as formal as formal gets without an armed guard, others are a riot.

One or two of the benchibodes have been placed with – again – Hammer House of Horror film sets in mind. Fine on a sunshiney day, this though would not be the most comfortable sit-upon at dusk in the rising earthy mists while someone at a broken window in the Hall screams ‘Igor! Igor! What are you doing out there with Eugene’s second-best axe? Come back in at once, do you hear? It’s time for your brain medicine…’

Mr Tree seems to me to be a little too anxious to hug.

Arley Hall itself, as close as one might get to it when hindered by Les Events Privat &etc, is a nice old pile, although I suspect that the heating bills are sufficient unto making a Rothschild weep.

The buildings of the estate – to the untutored peasant eye (and I took my untutored peasant eye along with us, having found up its little travel box) – appear to be a mish-mash of random placement, some modern extension, and wild re-purposing. Splendid, but methinks an incumbent Lord of The Manor would not like his utilities so hugger mugger, elbow by well-fed jowl. Just, again, my ‘umble opine.

Perhaps for the past few generations the masters have been re-un-de-reconstructed modernising man? Who knows. Hookairs. Airs and graces, Your Grace, or perhaps All Gas & Gaiters.

Whatever the reason, if reason there be, if anything there be, twas a most splendid visitation indeed. Coffee and cake in the Eatery, marred only by the most persistent wasp since the times of Old Persistent, The Previously Most Persistent Wasp. The buzzing, insistent little armed and dangerous gentleman simply would not understand the simple phrase ‘go away and die, you vile and useless insect’. I gave him cake, still he explored my ears and came back for more.

Sure certain tis the last time that I use Seville Orange Scented Talcum Powder on my wig.

So there you have it. Arley Hall Gardens & Wasp.

A Grand Day Out.

Please keep scrolling until the little dot disappears from the centre of your screen. Thank you.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., &Co.


  1. A super looking excursion but it’s not the hugging tree to fear but the many limbed creatures of hell within it’s hollow sounding but threatening bark


  2. Looks all right. Reminds me of the allotments round the back of the Spar shop round the corner from us, only a bit more run down. I particularly like the Munch Mallow Teacakes round the fish pond.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was just the sort of place to encourage an owner to rush out each Saturday morning for fifteen minutes exercise, dead-heading the gardeners.


  3. Just a comment. Wasps aren’t useless, contrary to popular opinion. They are, in fact, for most of the summer, important pollinators. It’s mainly later, as flowers die and fruit appears, they become pests.
    Having said that, the photos are great. Lovely gardens, but I’d definitely give the bench under the hugging tree a miss.

    Liked by 2 people

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