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Spring at Stourhead

Travel / No Comment / February 22, 2012

Stourhead is one of the best landscape gardens in the South of England. A National Trust property to the west of Salisbury, on the Dorset/Wiltshire border it was sculpted in the mid-Eighteenth Century around a lake created by damming the River Stour near its source.

The design of the gardens draws its inpsiration from antiquity, framed through the eyes of painters like Lorrain and Poussin. Their works would have been seen by members of the Hoare family, who owned the estate, on their Grand Tours of Europe. Thus there stand in the grounds an obelisk, a Pantheon and sundry smaller temples and grottos.

One of the best times of day to visit is late afternoon, when other visitors have gone home. The grounds are open at this time of year until 6pm. This is when I took the photos below (click to enlarge):

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National Trust visitor information about Stourhead

Stourhead, indeed, is an ideal place to break a journey; it is only a couple of miles away from the A303 that links London with the South West. Here are some other National Trust properties with lakes that are within easy reach of motorways or trunk roads:

Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire, five miles from the M40;

Chartwell, Kent, six miles from the M25;

Cragside, Northumberland, right next to the A697; and

Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire, three miles from the M4.

Where do you enjoy visiting in Spring sunshine?

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