#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.

 

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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!

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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.

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The Pantheon

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Inside the Pantheon with it’s statues

 

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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.

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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.

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River God statue inside the Grotto

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View from the Grotto of the Autumn colours.

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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.

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The Spread Eagle pub

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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.

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#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.

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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.

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The treetop walkway allows you look across the tree tops.

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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.

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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.

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The Autumn light was beautiful; just look at the shadows of the leaves on the tree here.

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I love the way the light filters through the needles.

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The light hitting the bark on this Maple is stunning.

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My favourite place was The Acer Glade with lots of mature specimens.

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Acer Palmatum.

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The ground looked like it was covered in jewels.

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I loved this combination of yellow and red.

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Some of the trees were quite mature.

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October is the perfect time to visit.

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It was a beautiful sunny day -perfect for taking photos!

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Views through the Acers.

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Autumn Light

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Lovely place to visit!

Visit soon as this Autumn display will soon be over.

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My Glorious Gardens series: Exbury Gardens in May.

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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!

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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!

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Stunning pink azaleas

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Peach Rhododendrons

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Dottie and I striding through the many paths

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Stunning yellows azaleas

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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.

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The Top pond in the Japanese Garden

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The pond in the Japanese Garden

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Acer’s in the Japanese Garden

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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.

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Looking over the river Beaulieu

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You can almost see the Isle of Wight!

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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.

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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……

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