We took a tour of La Mare Wine Estate where we sampled some of their delicious wines, apple brandy liquor, chocolate and black butter. This is the 118th century farmhouse on the Estate, which has a very French feel to it.
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This is an extraordinary house – Indian in style, yet built of Cotswold stone and set among the Cotswold hills. It was built c1805 for the Cockerell family (a descendant of diarist Samuel Pepys’s nephew).
John Betjeman, who visited as a student, mentions Sezincote in his poem ‘Summoned by Bells’: “Down the drive, Under the early yellow leaves of oaks… the bridge, the waterfall, the Temple Pool and there they burst on us, the onion domes.”
Bowood House is a huge estate where you can walk in acres of grounds filled with vast specimen trees, see a cascade, walk around a lake and visit a garden temple. If you go expecting to see flower-filled gardens you will be disappointed. It costs extra and pre-booking to view the walled garden – the reason being that this is the owners private garden and it is kept under lock and key!
Situated on a north-facing slope of a tranquil Devon valley, accessed by narrow country lanes, the ten acres of garden is divided into different areas with a network of meandering paths and a new vista round every corner. There is a cottage-garden style garden, a romantic walled garden, rhododendron and camellia walks, a wild flower meadow, acer glade and a newly planted arboretum with its own lake. It even boasts its own 16th century ruins, summer house and thatched cottage. The wild flower meadow has stunning views across the valley to Buckland church. The house to which the garden belongs was a former Georgian vicarage which nowadays houses the tearoom and offices.
Visited the Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury today. This really is a beautiful place that has been lovingly created by the present owners. There are many different areas from the formal, shown here, to herbaceous borders and informal wooded areas.