Petworth House and Park

When I was younger I remember mum and dad dragging us to various National Trust properties, gardens and stately homes and I am sure we never really appreciated them! One of the places I have always lived near to is Petworth House and Park in West Sussex. I haven’t visited since those childhood days and I’ve been meaning to go back. So back in September I found a day where the weather looked okay and headed to Petworth.

Lombard Street

I deliberately chose to park in the village (which has a good size free car park) rather than the estate so that I had a chance to also potter around the village. It’s a really quaint village filled with some unique shops – particularly if you are after antiques.  The main carpark for the National Trust property is slightly out of the village and the path goes uphill so may require more effort!

My top tip though is to pop into the little fruit and veg shop next to the public car park – they make their own fresh smoothies and homemade cake and I enjoyed a heavenly slice of chocolate and banana loaf!

Back viewPetworth House is a 17th century mansion – and it is quite a stark building to look at from the outside. However, it is set in some beautiful grounds with a lake and deer, and has some lovely views of the Sussex countryside. The park was really quiet so I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around. The weather was dry, but not that sunny so I didn’t spend as much time in the grounds as I may have – for National Trust members who get in free it would be a lovely place to take a book and read on a sunny day, or sit and paint if you are artistic!

Inside the House many of the ground floor rooms have been opened for visitors, although some are still in use. A couple of the private rooms do get opened on weekdays and I was lucky enough to go and be nosey at a couple of them – it seemed slightly weird seeing these beautiful rooms that looked likely they were in museum, but then dotted around with personal photographs and magazines on the side.

Wall

There are two rooms which are definately worth a visit. The first is called the Carved Room where the walls are all made of wood which has been intricately carved into fruit, leaves, cherubs, instruments and other wonderful things. The carvings have mainly been created by Grinling Gibbons. I found it fascinating – although I am not sure I’d want it in my house as it would be hell to keep dust free!

The second is an area which has been turned into a gallery with some magnificent painting and sculpture by the likes of Turner and Van Dyke. There were some very knowledgeable staff on hand to talk to you about the art, but also didn’t interfere if you’re the sort to want to browse on your own.

Overall, it was an enjoyable day and I’d certainly visit again. More photographs from my visit on my Flickr set.

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