East Anglia’s most dramatic spring garden

Exceptional rhododendron and azalea gardens in North Norfolk

Even the most admired gardens have their season and the moment when Stody becomes something very much out of the ordinary is in May. Over a five-week period, a riot of colour develops through the garden from the bold pinks and purples of the tall rhododendrons towering over more delicate azaleas, to the paler hues of the bluebells and the lily of the valley below. Flowing throughout and softening this intense palette there is a backdrop of magnificent mature trees, expansive lawns and woodland walks.

Stody Lodge Gardens is renowned for its extensive collection of rhododendrons and azaleas. Keen horticulturists and those looking for a great afternoon out will find much interest and inspiration within the garden.

Find out more about each area of Stody Lodge Gardens at the following link

Private group visits are available by appointment Monday to Friday. Please contact 01263 863994.

There is good disabled access to most areas of the gardens.







Stody Lodge Gardens history

Stody Estate was originally part of Blickling Estate, the nearby National Trust property owned by the Marquis of Lothian and the birth place of Anne Boleyn. The original Stody Lodge, approached by a long drive flanked with magnificent Cynthia Rhododendron (still much admired by visitors today), was occupied from 1895 to 1926 by Lady Lothian and her husband, Mr Ernest Horsfall.

Mr Horsfall was a keen gardener and, early in the twentieth century, decided to clear and plant the large ‘dark and boggy’ area adjacent to the original lodge. Over the next 25 years the Azalea Water Gardens took shape and today, in this unlikely corner of North Norfolk, we understand it forms the largest single expanse of azalea mollis in the country (more than 2,000 plants over two acres.)

There is also The Hunny Bell – our local 18th Century public house situated on the Estate – The Hunny Bell sits on the green in the picturesque village of Hunworth in the beautiful Glaven valley two miles south of the popular north Norfolk market town of Holt.

The Hunny Bell is a wonderful 18th Century pub with a traditional beamed main bar and cosy snug, recently sensitively restored to create a pub which retains it historic character with upgraded facilities including a brand new kitchen and toilets.
Food is an important ingredient of any pub but the emphasis is on traditional fayre rather than the gastro route. Traditional favourites feature heavily with home made suet crust steak and kidney pie, half a pint of prawns and home cooked hand carved ham, eggs and chips and a traditional apple and rhubarb crumble proving to be some of the most popular dishes off the menu .
With a new terrace overlooking the green and a charming olde world English garden the Hunny Bell combines all the wonderful characteristics of which the English pub is famous for with proper modern facilities to ensure the comfort, safety and happiness of all our guests. Please see www.thehunnybell.co.uk for further details


Our farming is largely done in-house by our highly skilled farm team. We grow wheat for the milling and livestock industries, malting and feed barley, oil seed rape used in cooking oils and food processing, sugarbeet for its sugar, maize for both animal forage and bio-fuels, as well as rye, vining peas and dwarf beans.

We also partner with several highly professional and successful vegetable growers, producing ware potatoes for Kettle Chips, salad potatoes, carrots, parsnips and the premium echalion shallots direct to your kitchen table.

The Estate is home to a premium pig unit, a prize-winning Aberdeen Angus suckler herd and several sheep breeders who supply both local and wider markets.

About us – Stody Estate

Established in 1941, Stody Estate is a family owned business situated close to Holt in North Norfolk. The farm grows a wide range of crops, including potatoes, sugar beet, peas, carrots, parsnips, barley, wheat, winter oilseed and daffodils. There is also some very attractive woodland with wild bluebells, snowdrops and rhododendrons, and the unspoiled chalk river the Glaven runs through the middle of the farm.

The farm also owns the village pub The Hunnybell on the village green at Hunworth. Under the guidance of Henry Watt of Animal Inns and Manager Lee Newstead, meals are served every lunchtime and evening freshly cooked to order. The menu is mostly seasonal and wherever possible the ingredients are sourced locally. The real ales served are Abbott Ale, Adnams Original, Woodfordes Wherry, Bass and a local guest ale. Tel: 01263 712300 or email: [email protected] Website www.thehunnybell.co.uk


Land is also rented to a pig farmer who keeps an outdoor pig herd, supplying Waitrose supermarket, a cattlefeeder who grazes Aberdeen Angus suckler cows & calves, and a shepherd with breeding sheep.

Over the last 10 years, the farm was entered in a whole farm Countryside Stewardship Environmental Scheme, in conjunction with DEFRA, and has now just entered another 10 yerar Higher Level Environmental Scheme with Natural England. This includes the creation of new flower rich meadows, enhancing existing water meadows beside the River Glaven, using no artificial fertilisers or sprays on the grassland, and reducing stocking rates for the benefit of the livestock and the wildlife. Hedges are maintained, improved and new ones are being planted – as they are important for wind shelter as well as for wildlife. Grass margins have been established around all fields to provide habitat for flora and fauna, and to encourage ground nesting birds. There are nearly 100 species of birds regularly seen on the farm, and larger mammals include 4 types of deer, fox, badger, and an occasional otter.


About the crops

The potatoes are grown in partnership with MBMG for many markets; for crisps (including for Kettles in Norwich), chips (it is possible you are eating chips made from our potatoes when you visit MacDonalds), and for all the main supermarkets. The farm produces about 5,000 tonnes per year. Harvest starts in July and ends in October, with potatoes stored right through to June, ensuring a year round supply.

The daffodils are planted in July for 2 years before being harvested, dried, and graded. Two thirds of the bulbs are exported to America and the other third used in the production of drugs for the treatment of alzheimers disease. We grow over 20 varieties that include yellow trumpet, double yellow, multi-headed, and ornamental varieties. In March each year the flowers are picked, and exported to European supermarkets. Annually, we sell about 12 million flower stems.


Sugar beet
The sugar beet is planted in March, and is harvested during the winter and delivered to Cantley Sugar Factory, near Norwich. The farm produces 10,000 tonnes of beet – which would make the equivalent of 1½ million bags of sugar!!!

Barley is grown for the malting market, which is an important ingredient in beer, lager, whiskey, and other products. Malt from barley grown in Norfolk is used by local brewers, and all over the world.

Wheat is grown for the milling market to produce flour, and to be made into bread. It is also grown to be fed to cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry.

These crops are grown to produce vegetable oils which are used mainly for cooking, and for specialist lubrication products. The seeds, once the oil has been extracted, are used for animal feed.

The peas are grown for the frozen market, and many of them are exported to Italy.

Carrots and parsnips
These crops are mainly grown on the farm by specialist growers for the supermarket trade.


If you require further details, then please email – [email protected]
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