Petworth – an unexpected art treasure trove

I don’t know why I haven’t visited Petworth House before because this is one incredible stately home, housing an unexpected art treasure trove like no other.  Indeed a former house guest of George, 3rd Earl of Egremont – one John Constable – called Petworth “the house of art”. There’s Van Dycks, Reynolds, carvings by the…

Wellington Remembered

With all the furore concerning the upcoming anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the Napoleonic Wars, it seemed an appropriate time to visit the Duke of Wellington’s home in Central London – sometimes referred to simply as Number One London. My friend Gill insisted on our walking through the pedestrian tunnels and I am…

Queen Victoria’s Holiday Home

I have long wanted to visit Osborne House, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s Tuscan styled holiday home on the Isle of Wight so it was with great pleasure that I finally fulfilled this ambition. The House itself is in a beautiful position, with views across landscaped gardens down to a  distant sea. The shame of…

The Victorian Bathing Machine

Being interested in all thing seaside, I have long wanted to see an actual Victorian Bathing Machine in person.  So it was with great anticipation that I saw the most exclusive bathing machine of them all this past week – Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s own bathing machine on her very own private beach at the…

A Regal Day Out

This summer why not head on over to Arundel Castle for a truly regal experience. A Castle has stood guard over the people of Arundel since 1067, when on Christmas day William the Conqueror’s most loyal baron, Roger de Montgomery was awarded a third of Sussex. One of the longest inhabited country homes in England – the seat to the Dukes of Norfolk – there are a…

Five of the Best: Southern England’s Country Estates

Having been a recent convert to the National Trust and English Heritage, I find myself seeking out places to visit during the weekend and here are some of my favourites.  My enthusiasm, as you will see, has even led me to visit independently owned properties too!  Little gems all. If you visit Goodwood House for the…

The beauty of architecture: The Grange at Northington

There is something very appealing about a partially derelict building – and something very sad about its abandonment too.  My visit to The Grange at Northington evoked both of these emotions but principally, the great pity of an unloved but beautiful house. The track leading up to the mansion is basic, to say the least, but…

Pawprint series: Hatchlands Park Bluebell Walk

There is nothing so quintessentially English as a Bluebell Wood so it was with great anticipation that I visited the Surrey Hills and Hatchlands Park to view their Bluebell Walk accompanied by The Hound. A carpet of intense blue velvet met the eye, a blanket coverage of blues of every hue greeted us for this 20…

Goodwood House – one of West Sussex’s gems

If you have visited Glorious Goodwood, Goodwood Revival or the Festival of Speed, have you ever wondered what lies behind the front door of Goodwood House?  Well, it might be worth making a date for your diary for the annual house tour season starts 16th March – 13th October this year. The house itself started…

Who was Gilbert White?

Every day, driving home from work on the A3, I see a sign to Selborne and Gilbert White‘s House.  At a loose end one day, I determined to visit this little Hampshire village and just see what all the fuss was about – I’m very glad I did. When you enter the house, it’s modest…