North east garden attractions go for growth

Two historic properties with gardens are partnering with travel trade specialists Steve Reed Tourism Ltd to cultivate group travel organisers and tour planners.

Crook Hall and Gardens in Durham City is inviting tour planners to visit on April 16 to see the unveiling of its new groups service called The Crook Hall Group Exclusive.

Wynyard Hall in the Tees Valley is partnering with Crook Hall by holding a garden party and hosting tour planners overnight on April 15.

Since opening to the public in 2015, the gardens at Wynyard Hall have attracted more than 100,000 visitors. The Walled Garden contains thousands of roses; the Edible Garden produces fresh fruit and vegetables for the estate; and the Wild Garden has just opened to the public.

Crook Hall and Gardens is a 13th Century Grade I listed building, set on the banks of River Wear.

It is surrounded by six acres of gardens laid out in a series of rooms such as the Shakespeare Garden, the Cathedral Garden and the Secret Walled Garden.

Maggie and Keith Bell have been the owners of Crook Hall and Gardens since 1995.

Keith said: “We’re glad to be working with Steve Reed Tourism to help introduce our very special home to new generations of groups and coach parties.

“We’ve improved what we offer to groups over recent years – for example, we now have the superb Garden Gate Cafe to help provide an extra service to our visitors.”

Steve Reed, owner of Steve Reed Tourism, added: “Crook Hall is very much a ‘hidden gem’ in what is one of England’s most spectacular and beautiful cities.”