#MyGloriousGardens: Stourhead in Autumn.

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.

 

IMG_0930.JPG
The view towards The Pantheon is like a work of art.

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!

IMG_0932
This is the Rock Arch which is fun to explore. It leads up to the Temple of Apollo. 

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.

IMG_0937
The Pantheon
IMG_0938
Inside the Pantheon with it’s statues

 

IMG_0941
View from the Pantheon towards the lake.

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.

IMG_0942
The Gothic Cottage with it’s gorgeous Acers and Maple Trees outside. Inside you can buy warm refreshments.

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.

IMG_0944
River God statue inside the Grotto
IMG_0947
View from the Grotto of the Autumn colours.
IMG_0948
The Temple of Apollo in the distance.

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.

IMG_0921.JPG
The Spread Eagle pub
IMG_0950
Stourhead; a national treasure and a lovely walk!

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.

#MyGloriousGardens- Stourhead in October.png

 

Monday Stumble Linky

#MyGloriousGardens Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn.

This weekend we decided to visit Westonbirt Arboretum as the weather was so good and it is the perfect time to go to see the Autumn colours. The Arboretum is 3 miles from the lovely town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire and has over 15,000 trees in it’s 17 miles of pathways through the woodlands. There are 2 main parts to the Arboretum; the old Arboretum which was planted in the 1850’s and Silk Wood which is a semi-natural woodland. Silk Wood welcomes dogs so we took Dottie with us. it costs £10 per adult and £4 for children which we thought was excellent as you could easily stay all day here. There are restaurants, cafes, a shop, toilets and picnic areas plus a playground for children.

IMG_0857
Dottie could be off the lead in Silk Wood

The trees were absolutely stunning and many were showing beautiful Autumn colours. It was busy with lots of visitors but we could still find places to walk alone. A map guides you through the best parts and the walks range from 40 minutes to over 3 hours depending on what you want to see.

IMG_0820
The treetop walkway allows you look across the tree tops.
IMG_0825
Crows nests allow for a better view!

The Treetop walk was great fun and allowed you to see across the Arboretum. There were different maps and trails for children including lift the flap type information along the walkway.

IMG_0856
Dogs are welcome in Silk Wood

Dogs are welcome in Silk Wood and there were lots! Dottie had a great time meeting all the different dogs. The paths are well signposted and easily accessible for people in wheelchairs and babies in buggies. There were even lots of children on scooters and bicycles which was lovely as it is quite flat.

I will leave you with lots of photographs but do visit if you get the chance as it is well worth it! They are also planning an Enchanted Christmas show there which is when the Winter woodlands are lit up in the evening and look amazing.

IMG_0850
The Autumn light was beautiful; just look at the shadows of the leaves on the tree here.
IMG_0842
I love the way the light filters through the needles.
IMG_0885
The light hitting the bark on this Maple is stunning.
IMG_0887
My favourite place was The Acer Glade with lots of mature specimens.
IMG_0909
Acer Palmatum.
IMG_0889
The ground looked like it was covered in jewels.
IMG_0888
I loved this combination of yellow and red.
IMG_0879
Some of the trees were quite mature.
IMG_0899
October is the perfect time to visit.
IMG_0859
It was a beautiful sunny day -perfect for taking photos!
IMG_0906
Views through the Acers.
IMG_0896
Autumn Light
IMG_0854.JPG
Lovely place to visit!

Visit soon as this Autumn display will soon be over.

#MyGloriousGardens; Westonbirt Arboretum

My Random Musings
Tammymum
Mummascribbles
The Helpful Hiker
This Mum's Life
#PointShoot

 

 

My Glorious Gardens series: Exbury Gardens in May.

IMG_5409
The prices and entry times

We decided to make the most of the Bank Holiday and take a trip to Exbury Gardens in the New Forest, Hampshire. My colleague at work was telling me that it was definitely worth the trip at this time of year to see The Rothschild collection of Camellias, Azaleas and Rhododendrons. Whether you are a horticulturist, amateur gardener, family or lover of colourful places and views, this is the place for you!

IMG_5408
The Steam Train which is a 20 minutes ride through the gardens.

Tickets for the gardens can be combined with a steam train ride which children would love. You can also take dogs so Dottie came too. Not surprisingly, the teens stayed at home…..revising apparently! The gardens are quite extensive so comfy shoes are a must but there are clearly marked paths and a map to help guide you. Children can take part in a family trail, there is a fantastic woodland play area plus various picnic sites to choose from. There are a few steps towards the lower part of the garden but a shuttle service is offered for a small price which can take you and pick you up from various places around the garden should you need it.

The gardens are absolutely stunning and now is definitely the time to go. There are so many acid loving plants here including my favourite Acer’s. The photographs show you better than I can describe it to you. All I can say is the smell was amazing!

IMG_2441
Stunning pink azaleas
IMG_2446
Peach Rhododendrons
IMG_2459
Dottie and I striding through the many paths
IMG_2528
Stunning yellows azaleas
IMG_2525
Lots of places to rest

In the centre of the garden is the Japanese Garden with bridge, cascades and ponds. This was the highlight for me as the plants were ablaze of colours.

IMG_2472
The Top pond in the Japanese Garden
IMG_2488
The pond in the Japanese Garden
IMG_5396
Acer’s in the Japanese Garden
IMG_5394
The Cascades in the Japanese Gardens

At the very end of the garden was an amazing view of the River Beaulieu and you can just see the Isle of Wight in the distance. It took about 11/2 hours of wandering to reach this part and marks the end of the garden. The benches offered a lovely rest and the views were worth the walk.

IMG_2499
Looking over the river Beaulieu
IMG_5386
You can almost see the Isle of Wight!
IMG_2507
Dottie admiring the view

After this we went to the Tea Room for a coffee and piece of cake which was very reasonable in price. You could also buy Toasties and Panini’s. At the entrance there is another restaurant which has a greater choice.

IMG_5402
Dottie waiting for scraps!

All in all this is a brilliant garden to visit and definitely worthy to be part of My Glorious Gardens Series!

I’ll leave you with my favourite Acer’s……

IMG_2486

Design

My Random Musings
3 Little Buttons
Two Tiny Hands
Cuddle Fairy