On a rainy day in February this year, we made a visit to Polesden Lacey – a beautiful National Trust country house located in the middle of a 1400 acre estate in the Surrey Hills.
(Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, nr Dorking, Surrey RH5 6BD).
As far as a day visit goes, this place has it all – even when it’s raining! We started off by looking around the magnificent gardens and had a short wander through the woodlands.
It was pretty muddy and we weren’t really dressed for the occasion. I imagine though that in the height of summer when the flowers are in full bloom the place would be even more magnificent. There are a number of different gardens too that were being worked on – the cottage garden was particularly quaint and when in bloom will look so pretty.
We headed fairly quickly to the house to look around inside and avoid the miserable weather. We were lucky enough to have been selected as secret key recipients which meant we got access to areas of the house the public don’t normally get to see.
The house itself was splendid. It is where Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother took her honeymoon and it was home to the famous Edwardian hostess Mrs Greville, who entertained royalty and the celebrities of her time.
There was one room that was particularly impressive and the photos certainly don’t do it justice – the glittering all Gold Saloon which was designed to impress kings and maharajahs. It was awe inspiring. A lot of the artefacts were covered over on our visit to protect them from sunlight and dust, but we understand they’re opened up for people to see later in the season. When we entered the gold room, a pianist was playing the grand piano and it made it easy to imagine how parties must have felt in that room!
I found the light in the house difficult to take decent photos and you’re not allowed to use a flash. It actually felt quite cold and eerie as you walked around in points as the curtains were drawn to.
If you have the opportunity to visit, we recommend it. The house is open from 11am, £15 for adults and £7.60 for kids (both free if you’re a NT member). Go in the spring or summer! 🙂