Since quarantine began, gardens have become hot commodities. With social distance restrictions, a garden is an obvious asset because it's a private space that allows the owner to venture outside their house or apartment while miraculously remaining six feet apart from others. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to an outdoor oasis of their own, which makes watching the recently released reimagining of The Secret Garden even more aspirational than the previous adaptations that many of us obsessed over as kids. The good thing is, depending on where you live, you might be able to visit some of the actual gardens featured in the film after you watch.
According to the Yorkshire Post, many of the scenes in The Secret Garden were shot at Helmsley Walled Garden and Duncombe Park. The 450-acre Duncombe Park estate served as the fictional Misselthwaite Manor, where the main character Mary Lennox goes to live with her uncle Archibald Craven. Duncombe Park is one of Yorkshire's most beautiful and extravagant historic estates and is home to the Duncombe family. While the home itself isn't open to the public, visitors can tour the gardens. Historian Christopher Hussey described Duncombe Parks as "perhaps the most spectacularly beautiful among English landscape conceptions of the 18th century," HistoricHome.Org reports.
The Helmsley Walled Garden, on the other hand, served as the location for some of the film scenes that took place inside the titular garden that Mr. Craven has locked up after his wife's death. The historic five-acre walled garden, which sits beneath the ruins of Helmsley Castle, was laid out in 1759. Now, visitors can explore the garden just like Mary Lennox for under £10 and without fear of getting reprimanded by Mrs Medlock.
The Secret Garden production team also looked to Wales for filming sites. North Wales Live reported that Bodnant Garden served as a location. Bodnant Garden is a National Trust property near Tal-y-Cafn, Wales. Founded in 1874, it spans 80 acres and overlooks the Conwy Valley. Highlights of the grounds include the formal Italianate terraces, the gorge garden, notable trees, plants from around the world, and even a waterfall.
Bodnant Garden is extremely popular among tourists and locals. According to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, it was visited 271,339 times in 2019. Tickets to these grounds also cost around £10, and should be purchased ahead of time.
IMDb mentions one more filming location for the newly released Secret Garden and that's Iford Manor. The origins of this manor house, which is located in Wiltshire, go back to the late 15th century, and it has been home the Cartwright-Hignett family since 1965. The manor sits in the middle of a 900-acre mixed estate. Iford Manor Garden's great terrace was featured in The Secret Garden.
Sadly, this site will remain closed for the 2020 season, but come April 2021, it will be open once again to visitors. If this was the garden you most wanted to visit or if you're no where near the others, may we suggest spending time gazing at their respective Instagram pages and wishing you had a quarantine garden as cool as Mary Lennox's hidden-away haven?