Ty Mawr is a fabulous place, but not so much of a stately home - in its current state, at least. I believe it was a medieval hall house, but it is now a camping barn. You can stay there for a couple of pounds a night, but you'll need to take your own bedding, cooking equipment, etc. There's also a wonderful little cottage right next door – still basic, but definitely worth visiting. I’ve stayed there several times – with a group of friends, with my husband, with our two small children, and with another family with young children. It’s a fabulous base for a holiday, within easy reach of the mountains and lakes, several beautiful beaches, at least three steam railways, and the ice cream shop in Beddgelert! And it’s only about £25 a night, regardless of how many people are staying – and you can fit a surprising number of people under its fairly small roof; I think there are 10 beds/mattresses!
'Y Ty Cymreig' on S4C writes: Ty-Mawr, Nantmor is ... a truly rare survivor, being entirely built using the drystone technique. It is ... a true candidate for the ultimate Welsh house. There are also 19 records related to Ty Mawr in the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.
I live there and it's great!
The garden surrounds the 13th century Priory, now a private dwelling house. It has fine herbaceous and rose borders, plus a long rockery to the front of the house with magnificent views over loch Etive.
Either side of the drive are mature trees, interesting shrubs and many spring bulbs. The soil is neutral, so it suits many different plants. The main highlights are the daffodils in April, scattered colour in May and June, some Rhododendrons and Azaleas, plus Prunus, Viburnum and other shrubs. The herbaceous borders are at their best in July and August and Roses peak around the end of June. There are plenty of shrubs with good autumn colour and the main herbaceous border continues to flower well into October. Next to the garden are the ruins of the old Priory chapel, currently in the care of Historic Scotland, it is open with the garden.
We visited the hall last year and went round with the guide, who made it all the more interesting, well done. We had a walk round the lovely gardens afterwards and bought a few plants for home, a very pleasant afternoon out thanks to the staff, who were very pleasant and knowledgeable.
I have a lovely time visiting strawberry hill. The house is quite something, I really liked the library. The room guides were very knowledgeable about the rooms, and I liked the pictures of what the rooms looked like throughout the history of the house. After visiting the house, I had a coffee and scone in the cafe, both very tasty! In the cafe I was visited by one of the resident cats of the house. All in all a very nice day out. I am planning on coming back for their jazz festival in June 2012.
My husband and I used to reenact in the Civil War Society and spent two weeks at Kentwell in 1981 on a living history fortnight, this was the year before we got married. It is often talked about by us to our two daughters and now four grandchildren! Very memorable experience, well worth doing if you can. It was a lovely setting and that was back then, no doubt even more stunning now, good luck to you all there.
I have visited both Kenwood House and Hampstead Heath many times, in fact I have been going up to Kenwood House and the heath since the 1960s. The house is very impressive and the numerous works of art and grounds instill in you a sense of grandeur. The grounds are very extensive and I have done conservation work on the fencing in the grounds. Kenwood House is not far from Jack Straws Castle or the Spaniards Inn, which is where Dick Turpin was.
No-one can fail to like the house and grounds, there used to be open air concerts in the summer there. I once saw Richard Baker, the newscaster, in the Cafe and there used to be a carriage there. Also there used to be a gypsy caravan in the grounds.
I visited Southside House in the 1990s. It smelt of wood smoke and polish, very lovely feeling about it, lots of not very good paintings by the family. It is the only place I have ever been to that kept the Powder room intact - from the time when you had your powdered wigs refreshed by putting your head into a separate room through holes in the wall and a servant powdered them inside - stopping the powder going everywhere. It is a must.
Very odd opening hours and I could never get back in again as every time I went it was closed. But worth persevering as it is really different from the usual run of the mill houses. Small wandering halls and room from all periods making for a special day out.
What a beautiful historic house. Julian took me through when I was visiting England a few years ago now and I was very appreciative of his knowledge of the Fane Family. He and Julia were very gracious in letting me see the family portraits and showing us over the church where there is also a great and wonderful history. Certainly worth a visit if you are interested in history. Thanks.
We enjoy coming back to the UK, as we live in Tenerife and like to visit historic properties. Stansted is a charming period house with extremely large grounds. We even watched a local cricket match for a while, yes and it was a beautiful sunny day as well. I found the most interesting part of the house, was downstairs, where the servants worked and lived. It certainly gives you a totally different perspective on how the working class lived in those days, but I must admit, the staff at Stansted House seemed to be taken care of extremely well. If you are in the area, it's well worth a visit and highly recommended.
For the best part of 30 years I have enjoyed this lovely park excellent for walking around in a beautiful safe environment. The park was improved when the flood meadows were turned into a pond and wildlife area.
The castle and immediate grounds are very beautiful and are kept very clean by the maintenance staff and the picnic areas are lovely with a nice open area for children to play as well as a play park.
My great-grandfather was a pupil at this Blewcoat (Bluecoat) School in the 1850s/60s and I made a trip to London especially to visit the building. Tucked away between (ugly) modern giants this little building is reassuringly inviting and most pleasing to the eye. The front and back doorways of the cube are almost identical and there is only one room between them; the west door is blocked on the inside with a large (restored) fireplace where the doorway once was. I find it curious that when both doorways were in use, you would have entered by one door only to find yourself immediately confronted by the exit door! The one room is the total sum of the school but whilst it has been very tastefully refurbished into a comfortable, peaceful coffee and NT gift shop, I couldn't help but feel that the luxurious carpet and swank Chesterfield sofas did nothing at all to reflect the harshness of the wooden benches and splintery floorboards of the period school; indeed if it were not for the sign informing us that it WAS once a school,and the little statue of the 'Blewcoat Boy', I don't suppose that anyone would ever know - sadly every trace of school-life has been obliterated. I asked if there was a leaflet or any information about the school to be had but no - nothing at all. Even so, it was worth a visit and a lovely peaceful corner in which to grab a quiet coffee....and of course we should thank the NT for saving it from demolition.
What a fantastic stately home and estate! I was taken aback by the beautiful Robert Adam interiors, Chippendale furniture, wonderful Ayrshire settings and had a lovely lunch in the old Coach House Cafe. Thank you to our guide and all the helpful staff. We'll definitely be back next year!
Absolutely amazing that this has been discovered. The Roman Amphitheatre has been restored beautifully and is a must see if you are visiting Chester. The history goes back to about 74 AD which makes this city nearly 2000 years old. If you get the chance to go on a Roman walk to discovery the history in full.
I think this house is one of the most interesting that I have been to. The guide was fantastic - an absolute mine of information! Will make sure it is on my list for another visit.
Not only is this castle an amazing place to visit and located in a beautiful spot, it is also a fantastic part of the history of England. There are no sign posts so study a map carefully before you attempt to find it. I found it thanks to asking locals for directions. It is a shame and I find it surprising that it is not better maintained nor publicised, as it is a wonderful place to take a few hours out of your day to visit. The castle is exquisite while the river and the trees surrounding this wonderful ruin make it breath-taking.
Although hard to find King John's Castle is scenic, beautifully located and magnificent. Dating back to the 12th century and intimately tied to the history of the Magna Carta this is a must see for anyone in the area. It is a shame that it is not very well maintained and parts of the stones were falling onto the gravel below.
I travelled from the other side of the world to see the famous literary shrines of Britain and Gad's Hill Place was the most important on my list. Imagine my frustration then when the place wasn't even signposted. It took some time and the aid of locals to locate its position but even when I knew I must be standing within fifty metres of it, there was no indication of its existence. Please, this was the home of arguably the world's greatest ever novelist. How many thousands of fans must be frustrated and disappointed yearly?
A fine old building, dating from c.1496, to hold the harvest tithes due to the Abbey of St Augustine - payable by tenant farmers working the Abbey's large tracts of ecclesiastical land. A simple massive structure, built in blue lias stone, with a heavy roof of thick Cotswold slate, using recycled timbers in the roof trusses. This barn has a timeless air, set in a quiet location, adjoining Ashleworth Court, and the nearby Ashleworth Quay. It has stood for 500 years - a functional building of simple beauty.
We visited Kiplin Hall for the torchlit Ghost Tour in October 2011. Not only was it very interesting to hear the stories of several of the ghostly inhabitants, but the Jacobean interior is amazing too. Well worth a visit.
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