Paintings and parks in the South West

Morning sunlight coming through the columns of the Temple of Apollo at Stourhead
Temple of Apollo at Stourhead National Trust Images / James Dobson

World-famous gardens, Renaissance houses and a gallery full of portraits make this an appealing itinerary for the South West.

In a day: 

Morning: Stourhead
Start your visit at this spectacular, Palladian mansion in Wiltshire and discover the secrets of the Hoare family and the inspirational paintings hanging on its walls. 
The jewel in the Stourhead crown, however, has to be the world-famous, 18th-century landscape garden. Book ‘The Story of Stourhead Landscape Garden’ tour and one of our gardeners will guide you around the magnificent lake, encountering mystical grottoes and rare and exotic trees. 
Rest your legs over lunch in the award-winning restaurant, serving freshly prepared seasonal dishes, before travelling the 35 minute journey to Montacute House. 
Afternoon: Montacute House 
This glittering Elizabethan house adorned with Renaissance features contains the magnificent Long Gallery; the longest of its kind at 52 meters, the gallery displays over 60 Tudor and Elizabethan portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. Wander around the garden surrounded by a landscape park before a refreshment stop in the Courtyard Café. 

Turn your visit into a short break by adding:

  • a day trip to the city of Bath Spa, where you can explore both the city itself and discover its hidden gem, Prior Park Landscape Garden, offering spectacular views of the city. 
  • a stop at the delightful Tintinhull Garden, created around a 17th-century manor house.

Stop en-route at:

  • the extraordinary Victorian estate of Tyntesfield, just ten minutes off the M5.
  • the ancient deer-park and house of Dyrham Park, located five minutes from the M4.