I’ve fallen into a Jane Austen novel and I don’t want to come back to the real world.
This picturesque place is Stourhead, located in Wiltshire, England. It is part owned by the National Trust and has firmly risen to the top of my favourite places to visit in South West. The whole estate is like walking through a glorious painting.
With our newly acquired National Trust passes we were looking forward to a day out exploring and obviously taking copious amounts of photos. The Estate is made up of the house, gardens, lake and King Alfred’s Tower so there were lots to explore.
We started with the house. Henry Hoare was given the house in 1721 and it was in his family for over 200 years. The last heir gave the property to the National Trust just before he passed away. There are several rooms on the ground floor that you can look through and they include lots of family heirlooms, stories and artworks. My favourite room in the house was the library. It was so large, light and, full of old books. Which I guess is what you would expect from a library.It also has an awesome carpet!!
Whilst the house was beautiful and very interesting the real winner here is the lake and gardens. I mean look at the place it’s like being transported to a secret haven or enchanted forest.
I always get so surprised how green England is in the summer. In Australia it’s always dry, brown and so very un-green! Here it’s like 50 shades of green across these stunning gardens. I can only imagine how breathtaking it must be in Autumn.
The lake here is man made and the gardens have been crafted to take people on a journey and to resemble Aeneas’s journey into the underworld. It’s constructed like a living piece of art and there are lots of vantage points that carefully capture the buildings and monuments against the landscape.
Reading up on the gardens they are said to follow Alexander Pope’s concept called ‘genius of the place’ which means the spirit of the place needs to consulted when designing the garden. Its principles are used in garden and landscape design to this day. Whatever it is it works with these gardens so well. You feel like the garden has a spirit of its own!
The buildings and monuments around the lake are gorgeous both against the landscape and up close. You can find the Pantheon, Temple of Apollo, Bristol High Cross, the bridge and the 200-year-old grotto. As soon as you get to one of these you see something on the other side of the lake so want to go back over to explore again.
One thing that you won’t get from my words or photographs is the smells. I wonder when the scientist will finally work out smellogram. There is so many flowers, huge touch the cloud style trees (oak, birch, Laurel)and a vast collection of Rhododendrons. We even saw a ghost or handkerchief tree which had flowers (or leaves!) that looked like white handkerchiefs. My better half also made friends with some confident ducks and ducklings.
King Alfred’s tower is just down the road from Stourhead (still on the same estate) and it’s a commanding structure. On the weekends/bank holidays, you can climb to the top. I thought I was fit but those stairs were a killer!! Getting to the top was a huge reward as you could see for MILES! We could see Glastonbury Tor and all over the Wiltshire/Somerset fields. It was one of those moments when you realise just how big the world around you is.
I can’t recommend Stourhead enough and I really can’t wait to return later in the year to see it in the autumn. It’s a truly lovely place and my only regret would be that we didn’t take a picnic (so make sure you do!) to sit and have lunch in style. Obviously, I would have also liked a Mr Darcy style man to come out of the water, wet white shirt and looking all brooding but that might have been asking a bit much.
Stourhead is located in Wiltshire. For a day pass it is £17.60 for an adult and £44 for a family. Both of these prices include gift aid. There is also a charge at the car park however if you are members it is free. The house is open from 9-6 and King Alfred’s tower has limited opening houses (and a small charge). More details can be found here https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead
Like this property then you should also check out these places in and around the South West.
34 thoughts on “Weekend Adventures – Stourhead”
So beautiful! You are right about it looking like a Jane Austen novel.
It’s such a gorgeous place!
Beautiful photos…definitely reminds me of a jane austen novel! I have not had a chance to explore England, beyond London that is, and hope to one day. xo
Thanks so much. There’s so much amazing things to see in London but once you get out you’ll find lots of different fabulous places to explore.
Omg, how beautiful is this estate! I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to leave.
It’s stunning isn’t it. I was going to try and hide out in one of the rooms and claim squatters rights as I really didn’t want to leave
It’s a good feeling climbing to the top of a hill, no matter how fit I get hills are still have me panting 🙂 Looks like you had a fun exploring! x
Exactly it was so worth it for the view! X
Beautiful photos! There are indeed such idyllic locations around the UK!
Yes there is soooo many it’s great to be able to explore them!
It is so beautiful. I hope you post the pictures from the Fall visit. I bet it’s just as pretty.
Yes defo will! I’ve seen others pictures in the fall and it’s so stunning. Can’t wait to see it for myself and will certainly share the pics
Omg I want to visit and I also want to fall into a Jane Austen novel! I think I will put one on my TBR list after reading this!
It such a gorgeous place you defo have to visit!
Loved the tour through Stourhead. However, now I’m perseverating on what smellogram would be like. While the flowers, and trees (and foods) would be great to share, I envision the trolls making an early appearance with some of the more unpleasant odors…
Oh yeah I didn’t think about it!!
I love the scenery and imagery in this post – another place that brings back great memories. Great pics 🙂
I swear you and dad took us there when we were little.
Yes we did. I’m glad you remembered it.
See taking children overseas when they are kids isn’t all bad 😂
This is all so gorgeous! That’s what I love about the UK- there are SO many hidden gems to find in the countryside that will take you back to another time. I find that the preservation and collections are so well done, you really get to know the history of these houses!
I was considering volunteering to help with the preservation of the collections. I think it would be so fascinating to get up close with the collections and help restore them for years to come. Sadly I couldn’t commit to the time commitments but I will do it one day!
What a stunning spot. I am definitely remembering for future visits to the UK. We went to Wiltshire a few years ago but we missed this gem unfortunately.
I loved Stourhead, really does take you back in time… imagine having this as your back garden! Think National Trust membership is such good value 🙂
Looks amazing! Great photos too!
Awesome pics! This looks like an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing it with all of us!
Thanks so much it’s so beautiful there
This is absolutely gorgeous!! It always fascinates me to see how busy the homes of aristocrats were- paintings and tchatke everywhere. The grounds are also amazing, I could certainly spend a day (or five) wandering about. The amount of upkeep is astonishing to me- thankfully the National Trust is willing to do it!!
There must be sooooo much upkeep! I think I’d love to be a volunteer got the NT but I have a job keeping my own home clean let alone a huge mansion 😂
Jealous. I thought some of the grounds and house looked like Mr. Darcy’s property in Pride and Prejudice. The one Colin Firth played in. Beautiful scenery.
The white shirt Hubba hubba mr darcy. I too thought it was filmed here but sadly it was another property.
This look absolutely glorious! I’d like to say that visiting here seems like it would be amazing inspiration for writers everywhere, but I suspect they’d be too distracted by the beauty to get any inspiring done.