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Monday, 30 April 2012 10:33


Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

See Gardens in a Different Light: Museums at Night 2012

Gardens may not be the first thing you think of when you think about Museums at Night, weekend (Friday 18th to Sunday 20th May) but this year's festival has a host of treats for garden lovers. From tranquil Elizabethan gardens, to hidden gardens in the middle of a thriving metropolis, there is a garden to excite everyone.

For Museums at Night 2012 Manchester Museum are inviting visitors to their tranquil secret gardens in the city. Play croquet on their allotment with a glass of Pimms, go into the secret gothic tower to see the treasures of the herbarium and discover how nature can make you feel happy.

The walled Victorian gardens at Scawby Hall, Lincolnshire, were originally laid out to supply the hall with its fruit and vegetable requirements. The garden still follows the original Victorian plan with some modern twists, but includes a number of rare fruit tree varieties, a lavender maze and naturally grown vegetables. On Friday 18th May the head gardeners will be hosting tours pointing out some of the more unusual features and exploring the history of how the garden has developed alongside the house - a Jacobean Manor House occupied by the Nelthorpe family since the mid-17th century.

Greet the new season at Mary Newman's Cottage, Saltash, in their acclaimed Elizabethan garden as it bursts into life in its spectacular riverside setting. Experience all aspects of everyday 16th century family life in the restored cottage and discover this hidden treasure in a new light.

Scaplen's Court, Poole will be opening their secret herb garden and visitors will be able to take a look around Poole's most exclusive secret garden, enjoy a glass of wine and listen to some historical music.

Wallsworth Hall, Twigworth, near Gloucester will be opening up late to allow visitors to explore its new exhibition Animal Fantasies, explore its sculpture garden by night and take part in a Bat watch. The Bat watch will be a unique opportunity to discover more about these often misunderstood creatures that roost within Wallsworth Hall, the home of Nature in Art. A bat expert from the Gloucestershire Bat Group will give a short talk about these animals and using bat detectors visitors will gain a greater understanding of these fascinating creatures.

Finally although not strictly a garden the 500 acres of Yorkshire Sculpture Park's open air gallery will be open late for visitors to explore this delightful outdoor space. Designed in the 18th and 19th centuries, this varied landscape is a rich environment for some of the best modern and contemporary sculpture created by international artists.

There are over 450 events nationwide as part of Museums at Night. For details of all venues, events and activities visit www.museumsatnight.org.uk, where listings information will be updated right up until the weekend itself.

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