On a hot, sunny, summer weekend this is a great place to bring the kids for a picnic or sit and laze around. There will be plenty of space as 1) the gardens are huge and 2) it does not get a huge number of visitors.
Other plus points are that what you see of the house is lovely, there is a nice walk down to the pavilion and there are plenty of trees if you need some shade.
Downsides are that most of the house is not open (only a few rooms) and there are almost no eating facilities (just snacks and drinks from the gift shop).
If you have kids, you need to know there is quite a bit of water, so you'll want to keep a close eye on them, the toilets are not in the house, but the gardens and yes they do have ice-creams in the gift shop.
And if all the picnic food is gone and you are in need of sustenance, then pop to The Star and Garter in the nearby village of Silsoe.
This is a manor with fabulous gardens. It was the home of the De Grey family from the 13th century until the early 20th.
Today it's a nice mix of open lawns, wooded areas, water features, out-buildings, statues, and flower beds. It's immense, and there was plenty of room for all the picnicking families I saw on the bank holiday weekend.
There are huge ponds with waterfowl, statues in the woods, and pavilions built for orangeries, lawn bowls, etc.
It's about a fiver for an adult to visit. It's an English Heritage site, so members get in free.
There's a gift shop at the entrance/exit.
Much of the manor itself is closed to the public at the moment. But it's the gardens that are the big attraction here. Their size and spaciousness (and the relative lack of fame for the place) make it a really pleasant spot for walking or just sitting on a lawn.
This is a huge English Heritage place. There is a house, but not much of it is open to the public.
Its great for wandering around the gardens.
If you are an English Heritage member you can get in free.
There is often shows there which have an extra charge (even to members), but these shows tend to be well visited and very interesting.
I have been to the st Georges day one, which the kids loved, and there were plenty of activites to do.
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