Godinton House & Gardens

Location: Ashford, Kent, TN23 3BP

Visited: April & July 2017

I was not familiar with Godinton until it was featured on the local news highlighting the unveiling of “Tempesta” a most beautiful face sculptured from a huge bock of marble salvaged from an abandoned quarry in Tuscany, I fell in love and decided to visit her.

Godinton House 2017(3)

On arriving at Godinton after a longer drive than I had anticipated I knew I was in for a treat when I spotted the Marmite jars full of flowers at the reception.

I booked in for the house tour which takes about an hour but was worth the time and is the only way to see inside the house. On both visits the guides were very informative and full of tips about the house,  you could tell they were really interested in the property and its 600 year history. Sadly no pics allowed inside so you will have to visit to see for yourself but Godinton is a very impressive whilst still homely and personal house. Each room is a contrast and still has many original pieces and collectables especially porcelains. The great hall and Jacobean staircase with beautiful wood carvings and panels, the Chinese room and then the more personal bedrooms are all worth seeing.

The outside of the house is just as lovely and is surrounded by the rose garden, Italian Garden, Walled Garden, Wild Garden, Lily Pond and beautiful borders.

In July I visited for a second time for Sculpture in the Gardens and was impressed by the display. and again by the gardens.

Don’t miss lovely homemade cakes and tea in the old Billiard Room.

Here are a few more photos of the gardens and sculptures, I will be looking forward to my next visit to Godinton and Tempesta…

Beautiful Borde Hill Gardens…

Location: Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1XP

Borde Hill Gardens are wonderful enough to have lured me back for three visits, twice to explore the sculpture exhibitions and once to see the lovely magnolias. The gardens surround a stunning Elizabethan Manor with glorious views over the Sussex Weald and the Ouse Valley, you can also spot the Ouse Valley Viaduct.

The gardens form a pattern of outdoor rooms including the Garden of Allah, the  Azelea Ring,  the more traditional Rose Garden and my favourite Italian Garden which would be one of my perfect places to sit on a sunny day and read a book.

The sculptures are carefully placed in surroundings that compliment them perfectly and over the past two years that I have seen the sculpture exhibition apart from the handful of “live in” sculptures which remain on the property the pieces were very different, hopefully this will continue so I can experience the joy for many years to come.

The gardens are colourful and beautiful with an impressive variety of plants and flowers, the original garden was created in the early 1900s with plants gathered by the great plant collectors from their travels to the Himalayas, China, Burma, Tasmania and the Andes.

BG Tips ~ Worth visiting during events like the sculpture exhibition (usually May-Oct), magnolia or rose seasons, classic car meets or even the musical Sundays in the Summers months.

A few more favourite pics….

 

How it all started…

Two years ago on a sunny day in September I decided to go on an adventure… Now to some people that could mean jetting off to the other side of the world but I’d already done that and after living on a little Caribbean Island for many years I decided that upon returning to the UK my new adventures were to be closer to home. Anyone that knows me is fully aware that my sense of direction leaves a lot to be desired but armed with a borrowed satnav, my newly acquired National Trust membership card and my trusty little Peugeot (henceforth referred to as Betsey) I embarked on my first solo exploration of this beautiful country we call England.

We are now two years and many enjoyable trips and photographs later with additions being added to my visit wish list on a regular basis. Some places I visit I have discovered through word of mouth, the National Trust or by looking for places near to where I have chosen to visit and many of these I had never heard of before visiting so hopefully by sharing pictures and information others can also enjoy some of the lesser known gems.

Sculptures are my absolute favourites but I love “snooping” around the gorgeous houses and learning their history plus exploring the gardens and taking hundreds of pictures of flowers. I adore peonies and have recently developed a fondness for dahlias so I make sure I keep a look out for special sculpture exhibitions and flower festivals.

I am by no means an accomplished photographer but I enjoy capturing images that allow me to revisit places months after experiencing them and out of the many pictures I take I always have a few favourites for each place so I thought I’d start a blog to share these and hopefully provide a little insight into the places I visit and to maybe encourage other people to explore these beautiful historic houses, castles, gardens and palaces in our wonderful country, plus there’s usually the added benefit of a cuppa and a delicious slice of cake! I hope you enjoy the pictures (and the cakes!)…