Monday, August 10, 2009

The Manors of Somerset-Stourhead

On our third day in England Naomi's dad drove us to Somerset. Now at this moment I need to say a little bit about driving in England. First I was glad that it was not me in the driver's seat. Second navigating English roads, especially in the country side is feat upon itself. I am truly amaze that we didn't get lost in the maze of roads that criss cross England. So my hat is off to Naomi's dad for facing that task and getting us to where we were going and back again to Bournemouth with only a few small adventures in between.

In Somerset we went to three English mansions/manors Stourhead, Lytes Cary, and Montacute. All three were magnificent in their own right. But, I am going to start with Stourhead since it was the first we visited and our group's favorite of the day. Stourhead's has a superb landscape garden, which was designed and built by Henry Hoare II. After his tour through Europ, he was inspired by the nature paintings of Italian artists. Henry Hoare II goal was to bring art to life at Stourhead through a landscape garden. Here are just a few of the pictures that Naomi and I took of the grounds around Stourhead.

The kitchen garden of Stourhead. One interesting fact is that some of served in the cafe comes from these gardens.

This is the walled flower garden and part of the kitchen garden.

A butterfly that I cannot identify at this moment due to having only North American Field guides.

The green house

This beautiful fern was growing on a rock ledge in the green house.

The entrance into Stouhead mansion.

Stourhead itself.

The beginning of the landscape garden walk.

Now this is one big tree to hug. This tree had the leaves of a tulip popular, however I have never seen one this big before.

This is some type of exotic tree that I saw a few times in England but never got the name of.

Stourhead's parthenon

The view of the Temple of Apollo from the Shades at Stourhead The temple to Apollo (This picture is from the National Trust website the temple was being restored during our trip there)

Just one of the many scenic veiws.

Looking out of the grotto to the stone bridge.

Another view of Stourhead's stone bridge.

The Stone bridge and a view of Stourhead's parthenon.

Well after my walk through the garden I think I got the feel of what Henry Hoare II was trying to achieve. I hope that the pictures gave you a similar feeling as well.


  1. I visited Stourhead a couple of months ago. It is a very impressive garden and the views were wonderful.

  2. I've always wanted to visit England just for the gardens. Hopefully, I'll get to do it one of these days. Heck I watch crappy English movies just for the outdoor scenery and views of the gardens.

    Thanks for the tour.