I H A V E • always fancied myself as ‘Lady of the Manor’. I swear in a previous life I was, or I like to believe I was … knowing my luck I would have been a servant stuck downstairs in the kitchen
Today we paid our first visit to Wentworth Woodhouse, which is just a 10- 15 minute drive from my house. I cannot believe I have never been before – it’s so near.
It really is a hidden gem.
It was great to take in some history , indulge in some culture and explore again. I have a hunger to learn more , explore more. After months of nothingness [thank you COVID] it felt good to be back out experiencing new places.
The house is currently being renovated but it is open to the public again.
Pulling up in the carpark the first thing that surprised me was the size of it . It’s huge. Think Chatsworth House scale, but I do believe slightly larger.
We had the chance to walk around a tiny part of it and then pop outside and take in and wander around the delightful gardens. It is so grand. It rained a little when we ventured outside but we didn’t let it dampen our spirits.
I plan to return again without my BF and Dad. My Dad is finding it difficult to walk long distances and therefore hampered us somewhat. I would love to have spent more time in the gardens. I practically had to bribe the BF to do the tour with us in the first place. He did however tread the light fantastic with me on the large tiled ballroom floor and he is therefore forgiven.
So a little bit of background information.
THE HOUSE •
Wentworth Woodhouse is a Grade I listed country house in the beautiful village of Wentworth. Wentworth itself is worth a wander, it’s delightful. Lots of pretty houses, a grand church and lots of places to indulge in cake, coffee and antiques.
It is currently owned by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. It is without doubt one of the finest and grandest Georgian houses in England and at 606 ft, is famously considered to have the longest facade.
It opened in 1740, has 5 floors and over 300 rooms.
Wentworth was built principally for Thomas Wentworth, later Marquess of Rockingham and comprises the unusual combination of two back-to-back houses, which began with the West Front from 1724-28, followed by the East Front from 1731-50.
It’s list of architects includes, Ralph Tunnicliffe, Henry Flitcroft and John Carr; the West Front is built of brick in the English Baroque style, whilst the East, is in sandstone and is a classical, Palladian masterpiece.
THE GROUNDS •
The parks at Wentworth Woodhouse were originally laid out by Humphrey Repton and he described it as one of his most ambitious projects. The house would once have sat within vast pleasure gardens, much of which have unfortunately long disappeared, although a programme of restoration has begun.
THINGS TO DO •
Obviously a tour of the house and garden is a must but there’s lots of other things to keep you occupied..
Afternoon Tea •
Served in The Long Gallery it looks absolutely beautiful. Don’t you think there’s something very special about partaking in Afternoon Tea in a stately home. It seems fitting, regal even.
Finger sandwiches, cream scones and Earl Grey has my name written all over it.
Prices range from £21.95 – £26.95
Sittings are available between 11:30am and 1:30pm every Saturday and Sunday.
Hire a Garden Cabin •
A new feature are the 2 garden cabins which you can hire for the day. Each cabin has internal seating for 8/10 people. It makes a great base for exploring, you can even preorder afternoon tea to have in there if you feel all fancy.
Activities for the garden, deckchairs and picnic blankets are all provided. With it currently being the children’s summer holidays this would make an ideal day out.
Prices start at £60 for the day.
Spot the fantastical beasts •
Four of nine Barnsley’s fantastical beasts can be found in the gardens from 30 July until 5 September. The nine artworks were commissioned by Barnsley’s Arts and Events team and created by artists from across Yorkshire and the North.
I think I spotted them all and was particularly taken by the glorious whale located on the main lawn.
Directions by road
The driveway is on Cortworth Lane, directly opposite the end of Clayfield Lane. It is not far from Wentworth Garden Centre.
Entrance Fee and other information
£10 for House & Garden access
£6 for Garden Only
Free Parking • for the elderly or people who find walking difficult there is a shuttle service from the carpark to entrance of the house which runs on donations
It is closed Monday and Tuesday
Website • HERE
PLEASE NOTE • Due to the age and nature of the house, unfortunately there is no disabled access to the uppers floors.
Oh and lastly since popping a few photos on Instagram it has been recommended by numerous people that I read the book ‘Black Diamonds ‘by Catherine Bailey which charts the history of Wentworth. It’s on my list !
If you do feel inspired to visit please let me know how you get on and most importantly enjoy!