I don’t think I see enough of the UK. I seem to spend so much of my time staring at a screen or scrolling through social media; I see all these beautiful places on Instagram and save them, but I never actually seem to get so far as to visit them myself. Growing up, a big part of my family holidays were spent exploring stately homes or castles and their gardens, and it was something I always looked forward to; but lately, it just hasn’t been an activity that ever crossed my mind.
My boyfriend is the opposite: his family never spent much time looking at historical buildings, and it just wasn’t something he’d ever done for himself. So we came up with a plan that when I finished my degree, we’d try and make more of an effort to go and visit some places, and maybe even invest in a National Trust membership. Last Saturday we decided to put our plan into action!
We had a little time to kill on our way back from something really exciting (sorry to be so cryptic, but I promise all will be revealed in a few weeks!), so we decided to get in some culture and stopped by Dyrham Park for the afternoon.
Aside from the cute cafe and gift shop you would expect from a National Trust property (we may have been a bit naughty and shared a brownie and some ice cream…), the grounds to this house are seriously stunning.
The house itself sits at the bottom of the valley, and as we approached the house from the top of the hill we were greeted by the loveliest views of the house and its surrounding woodland. There was also a little surprise I wasn’t expecting – fallow deer! I have never seen them up close before, and to see so many little spotted deer trotting around on the grass was the cutest thing; almost like a scene from Bambi!
Built in the 17th century, the house took the place of an earlier tudor building and was built for politician William Blaythwayt, and also has its own stable block, orangery and 13th century church within the grounds. We ran out of time for exploring so didn’t make it to look at the church or even explore all of the gardens, but we did look around the house itself. The house is in the middle of an extensive restoration project, so we didn’t see it in its best light. If you do go anytime soon I’d recommend visiting on a dry day as you’ll probably want to spend the majority of your time in the gardens if you’re anything like us! The gardens more than make up for the house though.
All in all, it was one of the best stately homes we’ve ever been to visit; I definitely can’t wait to go back again sometime soon. I can also imagine it being a really lovely place to walk a doggo!
Have you been anywhere exciting recently? Has my post inspired you to get out there and visit a few more places in the UK? Let me know in the comments!