Destination UK

A Visit to Stourhead, Wiltshire

Posted on
April 17, 2018

There has been one National Trust property on my to-do list for what seems like forever – Stourhead in Wiltshire.
On our recent visit to Longleat we drove past the familiar brown sign and I made a promise that this would be the year we visited and we did just that in the Easter holidays.
Silly me didn’t put the satnav on as I just assumed that as I had seen the signpost near Warminster that it would be close by, but actually we panicked a little as the signs disappear for a while and we thought we had missed our turning.
Stourhead is a huge 1,072-hectare estate at the source of the River Stour, in Wiltshire.
Stourhead
We were very lucky to visit on one of the only sunny days in the Easter holiday, having left home in fog, and picked up our Cadbury Easter Egg trail booklets, heading into the estate to solve the clues.
Stourhead NT
Despite the rain over the last few weeks, the paths were clear and mud free which was a real blessing although there was a strange haze hanging over the area.
Easter Egg Hunt
We had to follow a map to find the clues to follow the ‘song of spring’ to discover who has helped with the arrival of spring, which led down to the stunning waters edge.
NT Stourhead
The River Stour is fed from greensand springs at Stourhead where it forms a series of stunning artificial lakes. The river actually flows south from here, very close to our house and out to sea at Christchurch, so it was really interesting to see where the river starts. The egg hunt was over pretty quickly, so the kids collected their prize and then we got to explore the grounds at our leisure.
Easter Eggs
The gardens at Stourhead are described as “Perhaps the most beautiful and magical of all of the great landscape gardens, Stourhead presents an English 18th-century view of Arcadian paradise” and I can see why, even when they are not quite in bloom.
Stourhead Swans
There is something unique to explore and find around every corner which kept the kids interested, despite it being the longest walk we have down around a National Trust property.
Stourhead Urn
The kids were keen to visit the Temple of Apollo which was situated over the opposite side of the lake.
Temple of Apollo
The pathway to the temple led us passed a historic rock arch which was perfect to explore.
Rock Arch
Past an old working water wheel, set against a backdrop complete with woodland and waterfall.
Waterwheel
Along a path by the lake where we could get up close and personal to the resident ducks and swans.
Swan
The Temple of Apollo overlooks the magnificent gardens and offers a beautiful view back across the lake.
Stourhead
Inside are several statues which all relate back to the the story the kids were finding for their Easter Egg hunt. Isaac was especially interested and was full of questions for the staff that were inside.
Temple of Apollo inside
A little farther along the path is a Gothic Cottage where the kids got to have a sit down on some cute wooden chairs.
Gothic Cottage
Then it was time to explore the fascinating ice houses which date back to the 17th century and were a means of providing ice all year round.
Ice House
We spent a good few hours exploring everything that Stourhead has to offer but still missed quite a bit, so are planning on returning to see the gardens in full bloom and again in autumn to see the flaming autumnal colours of the trees reflected in the magnificent lake, which are apparently breathtaking.
Stourhead Tree
There are also holiday cottages available to rent on site, a large NT shop and a cafe serving food, drinks and ice cream and of course plenty of picnic areas to relax in, so Stourhead is perfect for a day out for any age.
Stourhead Church
Oh, and it’s a photographers dream location!!
Magnolia
Have you visited Stourhead before?

Country Kids
 
 

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19 Comments
  1. Reply

    Treasure Every Moment

    April 18, 2018

    Aww we’ve not been to this National Trust property, but it looks beautiful. I love visiting a NT house and gardens for a family day out in the spring/summer 🙂

  2. Reply

    Sim @ Sim's Life

    April 18, 2018

    We have never visited Stourhead but it looks absolutely wonderful! Glad you had a fantastic day, the pictures are amazing! I am hoping to get out and about more often this year and this looks like the perfect place to check out 🙂 Sim x

  3. Reply

    Talya

    April 18, 2018

    I love exploring places like this – we have never visited Sourhead but it is definitely on our list of places to go to. Looks like you had lovely weather for it!

  4. Reply

    Kelly

    April 18, 2018

    I’m going to Wiltshire next month so will definitely visit this site – I’ve never heard of it before but its beautiful!

  5. Reply

    Sonia Cave

    April 18, 2018

    These gardens look amazing to explore and so much to see. They are really stunning, what a beautiful place

  6. Reply

    laura dove

    April 18, 2018

    Oh wow it looks gorgeous! We love getting outdoors and exploring new places!

  7. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    April 19, 2018

    Those are stunning grounds, definitely one to add to the list, and you can’t beat a good easter egg hunt x

  8. Reply

    Fiona Cambouropoulos

    April 19, 2018

    I have seen so many posts from here over the years I almost feel as though I’ve been! The gardens are so stunning with the big lake and outbuildings. I really must visit one day to see these gorgeous sights for myself. How lovely to discover the river actually runs close to your home too. Always a bonus to arrive while the Easter Egg hunts are on and I must say the gardens look more spring like than I would have expected from the weather we had at that time.
    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  9. Reply

    Stephanie

    April 19, 2018

    Stourhead is my favourite National Trust, is is simply stunning and so much to see

  10. Reply

    Sara | mumturnedmom

    April 19, 2018

    What a gorgeous day you had! It looks so beautiful there, lovely grounds to walk around. An Easter egg hunt is definitely a bonus too! #countrykids

  11. Reply

    Grant R

    April 19, 2018

    What a beautiful day for such a wonderful place. It looks like a great day out. 🙂

  12. Reply

    laura dove

    April 19, 2018

    Gorgeous day out! We love exploring the outdoors, and I love an excuse to take photos!

  13. Reply

    Yeah Lifestyle

    April 19, 2018

    We love National Trust properties as we are members as well. Not been to Stourhead so this looks like an amazing place to head to especially with the kids. So lucky that you had good weather for it too…

  14. Reply

    Lindsay Troncone

    April 20, 2018

    Wow! It looks so lush and green! I need to add this to our list!

  15. Reply

    Lauretta at Home and Horizon

    April 20, 2018

    Stourhead looks like a very lovely place to visit especially with your family. The photos are gorgeous. I’m sure you all had fun!

  16. Reply

    Helen Costello

    April 20, 2018

    We’ve never been to Stourhead but are very much enjoying exploring the country using our NT card so you never know! Love the waterfall and the wheel.

  17. Reply

    Jade Bremner

    April 20, 2018

    It looks great even more so when there is a chocolate treasure to find x

  18. Reply

    Beth @ BethinaBox.com

    April 20, 2018

    Do you know? Stourhead isn’t far from me and we’ve never been there. I think it’s going to have to go on our summer bucket list. 🙂

  19. Reply

    same day Agra tour by car

    May 1, 2018

    Great Post., Thanks for sharing these all wonderful memories with us. Really I glad to read this article. I also wants to visit this place beafore die. Keep sharing.

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk