Magical gardens take centre stage

A TIMELESS children’s story returns to the big screen in a new guise next month – featuring some spectacular locations around the UK.

Starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters, the retelling of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 novel The Secret Garden opens in the cinemas here on October 23, after the launch was delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown.

From the producer of Harry Potter and Paddington, the new version of the evergreen classic about an orphaned girl finding refuge in a neglected garden takes audiences to some extraordinary locations, including the flowering laburnum of the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden in North Wales (above).

Other scenes range from the twisted woodland of Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean to Iford Manor in the Cotswolds, stopping off along the way at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire and Trebah Gardens in Cornwall, where Mary is towered over by Triffid-like rhubarb.

The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx), a 10-year-old girl sent to live with her uncle Archibald Craven (Colin Firth), under the watchful eye of Mrs Medlock (Julie Walters) with only the household maid, Martha (Isis Davis) for company. The film is set in 1940s England at Misselthwaite Manor, a remote country estate deep in the Yorkshire moors. It opens in cinemas and on Sky Cinema from October 23.

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