Formal garden

On the edge of a secluded valley, deep in the Dorset countryside, is Mapperton House, a Jacobean manor house, and home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich.

The house itself is only open for a few weeks during the summer, but the gardens are open from the beginning of March to the end of October and were the reason for our visit.

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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!

Bowood House, Wiltshire

Visited the beautiful Spetchley Park Gardens in Worcestershire today. There is such a lot to see here from magnificent specimen trees to well stocked flower borders. A full review is coming soon, but in the meantime my picture of the day is the beautiful water stork water feature.

Spetchley Park Gardens, Worcestershire

This is the balcony at Rodmarton Manor in Gloucestershire. The pretty pink climbing rose against the Cotswold stone makes it look so romantic. It’s not too difficult to imagine Romeo crying out “Juliet, Juliet, I’m here!”



Hampton Court Castle in Herefordshire is a 15th century castellated manor house, set in over a thousand acres of parkland, pasture and woodlands. Hampton Court Castle predates Hampton Court Palace by about 80 years. The original manor house was built in 1427 by Sir Rowland Lenthall at the time of his marriage to Margaret Fitzalan a cousin of King Henry IV. In the early 19th century the estate was purchased by Richard Arkwright, son of the man whose inventions were a catalyst for the Industrial Revolution, also called Richard. The Castle was largely remodelled in the 1830s and 1840s, but the Arkwrights lived at Hampton Court until 1912.
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