Aside from reading, one of the ways I love to spend my time is pottering around stately homes and ruins, imagining what life would have been like way back when and generally trying to soak up a sense of place and time. To make sure I get my fill, a few years ago we joined English Heritage and since then, I’ve been on a mission to visit every one of their sites – we manage about one a month so I should be able to get there (I’m not that old).
With our holidays starting, I’ve been spending a fair bit of time with my nose in the English Heritage handbook planning day trips. Whilst a handbook isn’t necessarily a book, I thought posting about the places we visit (or have visited) might be a nice way to share a different slice of my life…and encourage me to keep on with my mission.
First up is Brodsworth Hall and Gardens just outside Doncaster, South Yorkshire (page 251 of the guide). We’ve visited there a few times, most recently at the start of the summer, on a slightly grey day, and really enjoyed it.
Brodsworth Hall is a Victorian country house built in the Italianate style. It has barely changed since it was built the 1860s. When English Heritage took over the property in the late 80s, they decided to conserve rather than restore the furnishings, showing the house as it was, not what it had been. I wasn’t able to take photos inside the house, but it is fascinating.
When we were there last, you had to book on a tour – when we went last year we had been able to walk around ourselves. As we’d been before, we decided to not worry about booking a tour and spent the afternoon in the gardens, which have been restored and were full of colour.
They are, according to the guidebook, “grand gardens in miniature”.
One of the things I love about Brodsworth’s gardens is there seems to be something different around each corner, including small areas of woodland and it is lovely to just wander.
When the sun is shining, there are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the scenery and the peace and quite.
And then, when you have bored your four year old silly by saying “isn’t that pretty” and “let’s just go up here and see what there is”, you can become super-mom by taking them to the adventure playground.
All in all, a great day out!