This has to be one the most wonderful places in the UK. It lies just south west of Ripon on the banks of the river Ure in North Yorkshire. The magnificent country house was built around 1695 by Sir Edward Blackett who was a MP for Ripon. For the past 250 years it has been in the Compton family whose members still live there. The fabulous gardens we see today were largely designed by the family between 1920 and 1970. It was my first visit to the house and definitely not the last as the place must be seen in the summer too when the herbaceous borders are in flower. Anyway, it is the sort of place where one wants to go back again and again for a great day out, to relax in the midst of the glory of nature or to watch all the amazing plants at different times of the year. For as it rightly says on the cover of the visitors brochure the place is "Bordering on the sublime".