One thing that there is no shortage of in the UK is impressive country houses. As a result of the financial circumstances of many of the old families that owned these places, a lot have ended up in the hands of the National Trust. One of the most attractive estates is Stourhead in Wiltshire. This was not originally on our schedule during our UK trip but we had a change of heart regarding our original plan for the day and decided to head to Stourhead instead. We are still members of the National Trust so this was a freebie for us (if you excluded the amount spent over the years on membership!).
When we visit these estates, our focus is usually on the grounds rather than the houses themselves. While I am interested in the external views of the house, the interiors are often a bit repetitive and something I will only bother with if I have plenty of time and there is something special about the insides. Normally, I am far happier walking around the grounds. In Stourhead’s case, the grounds are quite stunning. There are many buildings scattered around the estate, there are lakes, bridges, temples and a village within the estate including estate cottages and a pub. I imagine you could avoid ever having the leave if you were so inclined!
Visiting these places in September is a good idea. The weather is still pretty nice but the holidays are over and so the number of people attending has significantly dropped. I think it is fair to say we were amongst the youngest people there! If we lived closer, I would certainly enjoy visiting Stourhead at various different times of year. I imagine the fall colors will be impressive and winter would be very nice to see.