Middleton Hall Retirement Village will open a magnificent 45-acre estate

People have the chance to take a look around an award-winning garden when it opens to the public this weekend.

The 45-acre estate at Middleton Hall Retirement Village, Middleton St George, will open as part of the National Garden Scheme on Saturday July 23.

Throughout the day, visitors will have a rare opportunity to explore the extensive private grounds of the retirement village of Middleton St George, near Darlington.

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There’s plenty to see for garden lovers, with a mix of traditional formal gardens combined with themed areas, including Japanese and Mediterranean plantings, as well as a vibrant collection of community housing estates maintained by villagers which includes a vine grown on site.

A choice of walks through the extensive woods of the estate, including a route accessible to wheelchairs and buggies, offer stunning site views as well as a peaceful reflection area to relax and take stock.

Visitors can also join one of two free informal tours of the Middleton Hall grounds led by the estate team during the day.

Throughout the event, you will have the opportunity to test many activities located next to the sports pavilion of the domain: traditional outdoor games, pétanque, boules, golf putting and croquet. An exhibition of artwork created by residents, including ceramics made in the on-site art studio, will also be on display for visitors.

A cooking demonstration by Middleton Hall head chef, Ian de Hoedt, will showcase Sri Lankan cuisine by recreating a dish from what is one of the most popular dining events that are regularly held for residents of Middleton Hall Restaurant .

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Birdlife is a big feature of the Middleton Hall estate, nearly 100 species are documented to have been spotted at the site, and the grounds include bird hide as well as resident chickens. Visitors can help create a suet ball bird feeder during the day.

Middleton Hall Retirement Village Facilities Manager David Richardson said: “This is our third National Garden Scheme Open Day and it’s a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of the Middleton Hall grounds and explore its varied themes. This is a unique chance to come and interact with our fantastic grounds.

Echo of the North:

The grounds of Middleton Hall Retirement Village are open as part of the National Garden Scheme on Saturday July 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £2 for children and can be booked in advance or on the day. All proceeds go to charity.

Visitors are encouraged to take a lateral flow test before showing up. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/36499/middleton-hall-retirement-village

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