Take in North Norfolk’s Striking Beauty
North Norfolk is the perfect place to see nature at its best. Natural Surroundings is based in Glaven Valley, just a stone’s throw away from Blakeney. It’s a wildlife, gardening and wildflower discovery centre, making it ideal for a family a day out.
Simon Harrap is the Director of Natural Surroundings, and a bestselling bird and plant guide author.
“Natural Surroundings was established in 1988 by my wife, Anne. It started life in an office in Holt. It soon moved to the Bayfield Estate, where there was room to establish the nursery and gardens.”
Things to See
With its beautiful sights, anyone would enjoy a visit to Natural Surroundings. There are plenty of plants to see, making it a hotspot for nature lovers.
“The gardens include a Bee Garden, Butterfly Garden, Reptile Refuge and Creepy Crawly Garden. There are also wet and dry meadows, a wildlife pond and plots of cornfield weeds.”
Plants and Wildlife
There’s a surprise around every corner, with plenty of gardens to explore. Natural Surroundings is the perfect outing for visitors to the area, with many spending a whole day there.
“The gardens have a wide range of plants, which are set in a valley with some awesome trees. Our lime trees are almost 100 feet tall! We specialise in a variety of British wildflowers, trees, classic cottage-garden favourites and unusual near-natives.”
Amongst the natural beauty, you may be able to spot some wildlife. From birds to butterflies, the garden attracts various species.
“Hordes of birds come to our bird feeders. Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Marsh Tit are regular visitors. In the summer, we have a wide variety of dragonflies and butterflies.”
The attraction won the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. Whether you’re walking around the gardens or relaxing in the café, it’s easy to see why it has a great reputation.
“We offer a warm welcome from friendly staff and interesting gardens. We have a reserve, a nursery with unique plants, and a café with home-cooked food.”
Time flies by while exploring the gardens, browsing the nursery and enjoying some refreshments. There’s also a variety of walks and workshops on throughout the year.
Natural Surroundings is open all year. Opening times are 10 am to 5 pm from May to September, and 10 am to 4 pm October to April (every day except Mondays). It is always open on bank holiday Mondays.
Entrance to the gardens and reserve is £3 per adult and £2 per child, while fives and under go free. A family ticket is £8.50.
Hot drinks, cakes and light meals are available in the café. The shop sells seeds, bird food and feeders, and a wide range of wildlife-themed books, cards and gifts.
The gardens are not wheelchair accessible due to being on a slope. The meadows and river are accessible along a boardwalk.
Dogs are welcome on a lead in the café, shop and gardens.
Natural Surroundings is an eight-minute drive from The Blakeney Cottage Company HQ.