Watts Gallery – a little Surrey Gem

I keep seeing signs for Watts Gallery fly past me as I drive along the A3 motorway up to London – so this Sunday, I took the turning and went to see what’s what (sorry – just couldn’t help myself!). Joking aside, I am so glad I did as this is in fact an Artists’ Village although…

Venerable Ruins – Cowdray

On leaving Cowdray ruins this past May I asked my husband, what he thought and all he could say was “sad”. I asked why, and the response was “…this house should still be great” and I have to agree. Cowdray is one of England’s most important early Tudor houses and was visited by Queen Elizabeth I…

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…

Going uptown to Uppark

It’s an odd name for a stately home – Uppark, don’t you think?  It is, however, more simple than you might expect.  It’s so-named due to the fact that you literally go Up to the Park for the house stands atop rolling parkland with far reaching views over the surrounding countryside and the Solent beyond….

A touch of Downton …

With the new series of Downton Abbey about to hit our screens, why not fit in a visit to Stansted Park in Hampshire? I have long intended to visit but for some reason or other, I put it off until a couple of weeks ago.  Now I wish I had visited sooner and I will definitely…

Mottisfont – a Hampshire find

It was the name that spoke to me – Mottisfont – I have never heard of it and until I joined the National Trust, it would have remained a mystery.  Thank goodness I joined for this is a spectacular house – and one of the few that I have seen that was successfully transformed from…

Hinton Ampner – A Reflective Visit

My visit to Hinton Ampner leaves mixed memories.  An enjoyable visit no doubt – helped by the friendliness of the National Trust folk there – but melancholy nevertheless. Hinton Ampner is the creation of one man – Ralph Dutton, 8th Lord Sherborne, who died without issue and bequeathed his estate in its entirety to the…