Belsay Hall is an English Heritage property in Northumberland: its most interesting feature is a Quarry Garden (a rock garden on an altogether grander scale), but the house itself is square and rather dull. Last time we visited there I described it as: "the shell of a stately home which uses the building and gardens as a setting in which to display contemporary art around a different theme each year." This memory gave me inflated expectations of the quilting exhibition which has been occupying the hall for the last couple of weeks - which was a perfectly pleasant exhibition of an awful lot of quilts, some of which I likd better than others, but none of which were particularly memorable.
So that was a bit of an anticlimax, but it was outweighed by this being a brilliant time to visit the gardens. Everything was in bloom, there were bluebells in the woods:
That door at the far end of the path looks as if it ought to be the way out of the gardens: on the contrary, it leads back into the formal gardens. Have an iris (because I do love irises):
The route home leads through Ponteland, so we stopped at Waitrose and did the weekend shopping there.