Gardens to open across East Surrey this summer as part of national event

Gardens across East Surrey will be opening their gates to bloom lovers on special days this summer as part of the country's biggest garden opening event.

The second National Gardens Festival Weekend is due to take place this weekend (June 7 and 8).

In the Life area, and running beyond the festival weekend, gardens will be opening on selected dates this summer in Reigate, South Nutfield, Merstham, Bletchingley, Norwood Hill and Lingfield.

Nearly 400 gardens will be opening around the country, with the festival aiming to raise thousands of pounds for the National Gardens Scheme’s beneficiary charities, which include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices and Carers Trust.

Most of the gardens opening are privately owned and are not normally open to the public. Admission prices will vary, but will usually be around £4 for adults and in many cases free for children under 16. Some gardens may also have special activities taking place, such as art and sculpture collections on display, or live music, with many offering teas and cakes.

National Gardens Scheme chief executive, George Plumptre, said: “Exploring a beautiful garden has to be one of the most enjoyable ways of raising money for charity. “From a grand country estate to a hidden urban oasis, there’s a festival garden to suit all tastes. “We are looking to entertain many visitors over the Festival, who will have the double benefit of a great day out, and the chance to contribute to very good causes.”

The gardens opening in the Life area will be Little Mynthurst Farm at Norwood Hill, which will be opening on Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, from noon to 5.30pm both days; The Garth Pleasure Grounds in Newchapel Road, Lingfield, on Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15, from 1.30pm to 5.30pm both days; Little Priory in Sandy Lane, South Nutfield, on Saturday, June 14, from 5pm to 8pm, and on Sunday, June 15, from 11am to 5pm; The Old Rectory in Sandy Lane, Brewer Street, Bletchingley, on Sunday, June 29, from 11am to 4pm; Woodbury Cottage in Colley Lane, Reigate, on Saturday, July 5, from 2pm to 5pm, and on Sunday, July 6, from 11am to 5pm, as well as on further dates in September, and Coldharbour House in Coldharbour Lane, Bletchingley, on Saturday, September 6, and Sunday, September 7, from 1pm to 5pm both days.

For further details of all openings, including arrangements for Gatton Park in Rocky Lane, Merstham, and Caxton House in West Street, Reigate, visit the Festival gardens website at: http://www.ngs.org.uk/gardens/festival-weekend-2014.aspx

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