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, in Middleton St George will be 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 at the retirement village in Middleton St George near Darlington.

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There is plenty on offer for garden-lovers to see, with a mix of traditional formal gardens combined with themed areas including Japanese and Mediterranean planting as well as a vibrant collection of community allotments tended by village residents which features a home-grown vine.

A choice of walks through the estate’s extensive woodland, including a wheelchair and pushchair accessible route, takes in views across the stunning site as well as a peaceful reflection area to relax and take stock in.

The Northern Echo:

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

Throughout the event there will be the opportunity to try out a number of activities located beside the estate’s sports pavilion, including a range of traditional outdoor games, boules, bowls, golf putting and croquet.  A display of artworks created by residents, including ceramics made in the on-site art studio will also be on show for visitors.

A cookery demonstration by Middleton Hall’s Head Chef, Ian de Hoedt, will showcase some Sri Lankan cuisine by recreating a dish from what is one of the most popular dining events which are regularly hosted for residents in the Middleton Hall restaurant.

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Birdlife is a big feature of the Middleton Hall estate, almost 100 species are documented as having been spotted on site, and the grounds include a bird hide as well as some resident chickens. Visitors can get involved creating a suet seedball bird feeder during the day.

Middleton Hall Retirement Village’s 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 estate and explore its varied themes. It’s a unique chance to come and interact with our fantastic grounds.”

The Northern Echo:

Middleton Hall Retirement Village’s grounds are open as part of the National Garden Scheme on Saturday 23 July, 10am - 4pm. 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 attending. For further information and to buy tickets in advance visit


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