Secrets of Stourhead

One of the most beautiful National Trust properties near to us is the Stourhead House and Gardens.

Its about 45 min drive away and we did a day out there at the beginning of July.

The Stourhead estate is just over a 1000 hectares in size and based at the source of the River Stour in Wiltshire. It became part of the National Trust in 1946.

Due to Covid restrictions, the house was closed when we visited.

To be fair, we usually avoid the house and just walk around the garden. Its far more interesting as the garden is world famous and has some hidden secrets.

You might recognise it as the bridge and lake backdrop have appeared in many films – including Pride and Prejudice in 2005 and Barry Lyndon in 1975.

The lake was artificially created but yet helps to enhance the natural beauty of the gardens.

There are also a few more manmade structures.

The lake walk includes some buildings fashioned on Roman temples and designed to follow the journey Aeneas took in the Aeneid, the epic poem by Virgil about the creation of Rome.

There is the Pantheon and the Temples of Flora and Apollo….and my favourite part….the hidden Grotto, which is a sort of underground ‘cave’ featuring the Sleeping Nymph and River God.

The lake walk takes about an hour and its just beautiful, even if you aren’t into Roman mythology.

In full bloom (probably spring to early summer), the garden is magnificent. There were still loads of flowering plants out in July.

For light snacks or refreshments, try the Spread Eagle Inn (as you exit the garden) or the National Trust café at the main entrance.

There is also an open air theatre which is staging productions this year of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in August and September and ‘The miraculous mis-adventures of Robin Hood’ in August. Have a look at : Open air theatre at Stourhead | National Trust

For more general information and to book timed entry for the garden, have a look at the website: Stourhead | National Trust

The picture below sums up Stourhead…..a truly beautiful place to visit to ‘disperse grief and melancholy’ 🙂

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