On our way back from Studland recently we stopped off at a National Trust garden in Wiltshire for lunch.  What a discovery!

Stourhead-bridge

We stumbled upon 'one of the finest landscape gardens in the world' and I confess I had never heard of it.  Stourhead was designed by Henry Hoare II as a place to entertain between 1741 and 1780.

As you can see it was a beautiful sunny day and the woodland walk was stunning.

Stourhead-through-the-trees 

Every so often a breathtaking vista would open up through the trees with a folly or classical temple framed with lush green.

Stourhead-folly

There is a magnificent lake which was created by damming the River Stour.

Stourhead-lake 

I always like to see the old walled kitchen gardens which so often form part of such great estates and see how the National Trust staff bring them back to life by growing vegetables, fruit and herbs. 

Stourhead-walled-garden

My only regret was our visit was all too brief; I could easily have spent the entire day there.

Stourhead-gates

The azaleas and rhododendrons were in full bloom during our visit on 31 May, it would be lovely to go back and see how the gardens change through the seasons.

Rhodo-Stourhead

If you are familiar with the garden when is your favourite time of year to visit?

Stourhead landscape garden, Palladian mansion, parkland, woods and chalk downs are located at Stourton, Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 6QD

The garden is open all year from 9am until 6pm (or dusk if earlier). 

« | »