Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Day Trippers

Armed with our National Trust family membership card and trusty Sirram picnic case, Monkeychild and I decided to have a couple of days out last week visiting some local NT properties. The gorgeous Newark Park near Wotton-under-Edge was our first destination.

Newark Park was originally a Tudor hunting lodge, being remodelled over the centuries into the current structure. The below photo shows the fa├žade of the original lodge, with its bay windows fitted with leaded panels. 

The NT took over the house in 1949 and later rented it in 1970 to an American architect, Bob Parsons, who had been in search of a historic property to restore. This choice of tenant was very lucky for the fortunes of Newark Park, as Bob lovingly restored both the house and the gardens. 

NT properties are a lot more child-friendly than they were in my childhood, with plenty of activity sheets to keep the young 'uns busy and in Newark Park's case, an enviable dressing up wardrobe. Monkeychild chose a long dress (I suspect that it was made using a 1970s sewing pattern) and we had fun trying to create spooky looking photos...

After the picnic where we were invaded by crumb pecking hens...

...we went for a walk around the grounds. The adjacent woodland was full of wild garlic, clumps of primroses and scatterings of violet and wild cyclamen; and we had the perfect warm spring day to enjoy it.

If Monkeychild had her choice, she would have happily smuggled the (albeit struggling and squawking) peacock home, whereas I could easily have found a place in the garden for this peaceful hound...

The next day, we travelled north to Broadway and out to the small village of Snowshill and another NT property: Snowshill Manor.

Dating from the sixteenth century, Snowshill Manor is home to the very eclectic collections of Charles Paget Wade, who brought the manor house after serving in the First World War. An architect by profession, Wade's love of curiosities and collecting items of quality that met with his criteria of "colour, design and craftsmanship" is reflected in the house, as virtually every room is filled with a collection of treasured items. 

Wade gave each room its own name such as 'Hundred Wheels' where his collection of 'boneshaker' and penny-farthing bicycles and model haywagons are kept, and the 'Turquoise' room with its hoard of oriental lacquer ware and cabinets. In fact, Wade didn't live in the main house, preferring to live in a smaller building just hidden behind the house to the left of the above photo.

The gardens were laid out as a series of 'rooms' by Wade and M. H. Baillie Scott, the influential Arts and Crafts movement architect. As you can imagine, there is something to capture the eyes at every turn...

A downpour meant that we had to eat our picnic in the car, yet we both enjoyed our day out and are looking forward to the next.


  1. Looks like you both had a wonderful time.
    Julie xxxx

  2. Two fab days out! I remember visiting Snowshill Manor in the late Seventies during the Easter holidays and being enthralled by all the keys and butterflies.
    Monkeychild looks beautiufl in her long dress and I'm afraid I'd have been trying to steal a peacock, too. Heaven help the ones at The End Of Road this year! xxx

  3. Lovely picture, I like the look of Snowshill Manor though I did always love dressing up in the 'Victorian' clothes at NT properties

  4. Two lovely houses to visit, though Snowshill Manor edges it in the beauty competition, for me at least.
    The spooky Victorian ghost child pics are great, and I can see why she wanted to take that magnificent peacock home! I love days out like these with the kids, lots to look at and admire, and a picnic (even if it was in the car!) xxx

  5. Wonderful. Two gorgeous places to visit and I like the idea of dressing up. And the 'creepy' photos. No wonder your lass wanted that peacock. He's a beaut, but I'd have given you a hand getting the hound in your bag!
    Glad you had a great time even with a car picnic which are quite fun in their own right I always think.xxx

  6. Looks like you had two grand days out. The spooky snaps are fab...what a great idea to have a dressing up box. I love your photo with the daffs in the foreground... just beautiful.
    Snowshill Manor looks interesting and very pretty.


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