After exploring the National Trust’s finest houses and gardens, take a look behind the scenes at Windsor Castle when you stay at Coworth Park.
Exploring parks and gardens near Coworth Park
August 05, 2021
A large Georgian red brick country house, Hatchlands Park was built as a family home by the Boscawen family in 1756. Its beautifully restored rooms are richly decorated with ornate plasterwork ceilings and elegant marble chimneypieces. The house is now the finest piano museum, filled with all shapes and styles, including Marie Antoinette’s Erard piano, which takes pride of place in the drawing room. Outside, discover the park’s classical stone temple and the icehouse, a Georgian fridge-freezer built in the 1750s.
East Clandon, Guildford GU4 7RT
With a rich history dating back over a thousand years, Hughenden Manor served as the country home of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in the 19th century, and as a top-secret map-making facility during WWII. After inspecting Disraeli’s well-stocked library, his bedroom and his wife Mary Anne’s boudoir, visitors can learn all about Hughenden’s role in the war in producing bomb-target maps. A four-mile walk stretches out beyond the Hughenden estate, so you can wander through woodland, open parkland and alongside a rare chalk stream, while admiring the scenic Chiltern views.
Hughenden HP14 4LA
Polesden Lacey was the lavish weekend retreat of wealthy Edwardian socialite, Dame Margaret Greville, who liked to entertain royalty, politicians and celebrities at her country estate. The ornately decorated gold saloon with its mirrored and gilded walls, crystal chandeliers and ormolu furniture, is just one of 24 rooms open to the public. The corridors are lined with artworks by Dutch Old Masters, including the ‘Woman in a Red Dress’ by Gabriel Metsu, which dates back to the 1660s. The gardens are perfect for butterfly spotting and there’s a stunning walled rose garden and lavender garden filled with fragrant thyme.
Great Bookham, Dorking RH5 6BB
Ham House and Garden
The ambition and rich taste of heiress Elizabeth Murray and her husband the Duke of Lauderdale are evident at Ham House in Richmond on the banks of the River Thames. Originally built in 1610, the couple transformed the house during the 1670s into one of England’s grandest Stuart homes. With its stucco ceilings, intricate tapestries, meticulously carved panelling, ornate lacquered furniture and painted ceilings by Antonio Verrio, Ham House is a tour de force of 17th century design. The beautifully restored gardens include formal parterres, a wilderness woodland garden with daffodils and fritillaries, and a kitchen garden which remains productive to this day.
Ham Street, Richmond-upon-Thames TW10 7RS
A former Tudor house, The Vyne was acquired by Chaloner Chute, a barrister and Speaker of the House of Commons, during the 17th century. He modernised the house and added the classical portico in 1654, but many of the earlier elements remain, including the chapel with original stained glass. The Vyne belonged to the Chute family well into the 20th century, housing evacuees during WWII before being gifted to the National Trust. Visitors can explore the expansive lawns and ornamental lake or wander the walled garden with its splendid array of fruit, vegetables and a colourful dahlia border.
Vyne Road, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke RG24 9HL
All images courtesy of National Trust Images John Miller
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