Priory Maze & Gardens
Priory Maze & Gardens offers Norfolk's only traditional hedge maze giving you the chance to lose yourself for a while. One of the most natural enchanting gardens and mazes in Norfolk why not indulge yourselves in these tranquil surroundings.
The gardens have established a growing reputation as a must visit Norfolk attraction.
The gardens are a haven of natural beauty providing a home for numerous birds, insects and mammals. Sit and watch the different aspects of the garden from our numerous benches, and take in the backdrop of Beeston Bump cliffs, or watch dragonflies flitting over the ponds and streams. The quintessential sound of water is provided by the babbling of gentle waterfalls through our meadow stream garden, which along with the dramatic ruins of Beeston Priory, creates yet another atmosphere.
Norfolk's only traditional hedge maze gives you the chance to lose yourself for a while.
The unique microclimate in this part of Norfolk enables us to grow an unusual collection of rare and exotic plants throughout the gardens, many of which are offered for sale in our plant centre, at very reasonable prices, along with any advice that you may need.
The plant centre and tearooms are open to non-garden visitors at any time during opening hours.
The main stream and pond area was created about 8 years ago, but the rest of the garden has been created from cleared jungle and woodland over the last 3 years. By using mature plants, such as Tasmanian tree ferns and lime tolerant Rhododendrons, which are in turn supported by an incredibly fertile soil, the effect looks very well established.
The natural feel of the gardens, and the diverse plant habitat it provides, in turn creates a perfect habitat for a wide range of mammals, birds, and insects. There are resident pheasants, woodcock, snipe, kingfisher and goldcrests, along with many other regulars. We have also recently seen waxwings, firecrest, crossbills and tree creepers. The wildflower meadow provides habitat for countless moths and and other insects during mid summer, and in the early summer, bee orchids and the common marsh orchid in abundance.
Wild Flower Meadow.
The meadow and banks give a summer long display of colour. The early camassias followed by cowslips, gradually build up to its peak in mid July, when the bank is in full splendour. The new bank will provide some colour this year and will be a good position to overlook the large pond and the Beeston bump (cliff) in the distance.
Ponds and Streams.
The advantage in what is predominately a sandy soil area, is that there is constant running water throughout the garden. The several small waterfalls and weirs provide that essential sound of water needed to complete any garden. The masses of arum lilies along the length of the stream provides a spectacular display from Easter to mid-July. With the various willows, massive gunnera and other waterside plants, there is season round interest. The two ponds provide the further tranquillity of larger expanses of water.
The Hedge Maze
The design and size of the Priory Maze is based on the ruins of the adjacent Beeston Priory. The copper beech copies the layout of remaining ruins, and hornbeam fills in to produce the maze. The pink escallonia depicts the tranquil cloister area. Various statues and other items are positioned to intrigue and amuse.
There is no hidden meaning to the maze, but the series of paths creates merely provides exploration and enjoyment, as you try to find the exit.
The Christmas tree wood provides another atmosphere, and another area to explore and find hidden items. Quiz trail packs are available, which helps to keep younger (and not so young) guests surprisingly amused whilst they learn during their visit.
The tea rooms
Foxglove tearooms is a 70 seater Scandinavian log cabin situated in one of North Norfolk's most beautiful and popular garden settings. We serve fresh home cooked food all day, using mostly local meat, fish and produce.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015