Last weekend we visited Mottisfont House, just on the other side on Stockbridge. A couple of friends had recommended it recently and so as it promised to be a lovely sunny Autumn afternoon we set off to meet my sister with my nephew and her partner.
Previously an abbey and then later converted into a house, it was bought by a wealthy lady called Nancy Russell in the 1930’s, who used it as her country retreat and used to go there on the weekends to throw parties for the rich and famous.
Set in beautiful gardens surrounded by streams, it is now owned by the National Trust, and is open all year except for Christmas. The house is open to walk around – it has a very Downton Abbey feel to it I thought, you can imagine glamorous women swanning about in gorgeous 30s dresses, and you also get to go upstairs and see all the maids quarters too.
The children collected horse chestnuts and swung from the branches of the chestnut trees. The sun was just starting to come out so it was perfect for taking some lovely pictures and video.
Then we headed to the Old Coach House to warm up with some soup. The cafe was busy but really warm and inviting. They have a few little rooms there with dressing up bits for the children to try…
One of the loveliest parts of the gardens is around the streams and river than run through the property. There are two lovely little play areas for children – one is a boggy, muddy area with wooden climbing frames set above it all. Wellies recommended!..
The other is a water damming stream where you can pump water and then use wooden dams to stop and start the flow. The children loved it.
Have a look at the video I made of our day out…
Top tips for the trip:
Journey Time and Parking: About one hour from Abingdon and lots of easy parking just outside.
Entrance fee: £34 for a family, but free for National Trust members. WE bought our NT membership for the first time this year and are trying to make it worth it by visiting a NT property once a month!
Opening Times: 10am until 5pm but can vary so check the website!
Eating: There are 2 nice cafes here, The Coach House sells more snacks and sandwiches and the cafe in the House sells main meals too. Both seemed nice.
I can imagine Mottisfont house is a lovely place to visit at all times of the year, though if you have children I really recommend going in milder weather so that they can appreciate playing with the water in the dam stream. It is mainly outdoors, though you have the chance to warm up in the cafes and house if you are there on a cold day.
Do let me know if you go there on this recommendation and tell me what you think!
Thanks for reading x