In the last six weeks, I have had the pleasure of visiting the splendid Burghley House near Stamford in Lincolnshire on two separate occasions. Having never been before it has since become one of my favourite garden, stately home and picnic spot combos.
I love a nose around a big house; snooping in corners and dreaming of the other me sweeping down broad, polished stair cases in crinoline and lace. There are plenty of opportunities for daydreaming in this wonderful country pile, where you will be enthusiastically aided and abetted in your wanderings by the knowledgable room guides. On our first visit we had a curious 5 year old with us who was just as thrilled by the stories surrounding the many paintings the guides had to tell as we were.
Like most of the large gardens in England (or that’s how it appears to me), the gardens and Park land at Burghley were designed by the hardworking Capability Brown. There are plenty of pleasing vistas across the park and a quirky sculpture gardens with a changing array of sculptures. When we visited it included Paul Byatt’s delightful Sheep Skin Gloves. Sculptural sheep constructed from fleeces of hundreds of rubber gloves and rugby ball heads.
The most fun part of the gardens has to be The Garden of Surprises. Moss houses, water features and a mirrored maze.
Plenty to keep all ages of visitors entertained for hours and thats before you even get to the shops, garden cafe and orangery restaurant.