Stourhead is a National Trust property and garden that we have visited on numerous occasions. As National Trust members we thought we would visit in the Autumn as the trees are looking glorious at the moment. I love that with our family membership, we can explore an area for a day or for a quick dog walk.
Stourhead is a national treasure with a famous garden. It has been described as a work of art and I can see why! Visiting in Autumn allows you to see the landscape with all it’s beautiful colours on display. We visited on a rainy day but it was still glorious!
The Stourhead garden was made by a wealthy English banker, Henry Hoare II who owned the nearby house. The garden was made in the valley behind the house and you can see the influence of his trips to Italy within the garden. The Temple of Flora at Stourhead was made in 1745 and the grotto in 1748. The lake and the Pantheon were made in 1754. It is based on the Pantheon in Rome and the planned walk through the estate is based on the journey of Rome’s legendary founder, Aeneas. The five-arched bridge was made in 1762 and the Temple of Apollo in 1765. Various other features such as the gothic cottage and the Rhododendrons were added later adding to the wonderful yet unique atmosphere that is Stourhead.
In October there are various Autumn tours to take and warming refreshments offered in The Gothic Cottage. There are also trails for children to follow. The paths are well laid out and accessible for wheelchairs and buggies a like.
The Grotto resembles a cave and was built as a summer retreat from the heat. We found this statue of a river God inside as well as a Nymph.
We really enjoyed the few hours we spent here. We didn’t visit the house this time but we did grab some lunch in the main restaurant which was excellent. Nearest the gardens is the quaint little pub called ‘The Spread Eagle’ which provided food and picnics to take away. There are toilets, an ice-cream parlour, picnic tables and an Art gallery here too.
We would recommend visiting Stourhead soon as the trees are looking splendid at the moment. It is a great day out for all the family. Dogs are only allowed after 4pm though.