Open all year round - making the most of your visit
The garden, shop and tea-room are open from 11am everyday except Christmas. The house is open from 12noon daily except Tuesdays. So when is the best time to visit?
When to visit the house
During the day
The front door opens at 12noon, and the first 45 minutes can be pretty busy. If you want a more relaxing visit with fewer people and more chance to chat to the volunteers then it might be worth leaving it until a bit later in the afternoon.
But don't leave it too late - the door closes at 3pm, giving you an hour to go around the house before it closes. However if you love Morris, Pre-Raphaelite art or Art & Crafts you might need to set aside more than just an hour. We have 28 rooms to see over three floors, and they're all bursting with things to look at.
During the week
Unsurprisingly we are busiest on the weekends, especially Sundays - the gardens are a great place for families and there's a fun atmosphere through the house with the piano playing and billiard balls cracking. During really sunny weekends we sometimes even run out of parking (although that's rare). The weekdays are a bit more relaxed. Don't forget the house is only open on Tuesdays during July and August.
During the year
The begining of the year is always a good time to visit if you enjoy taking your time and enjoying the art. From Boxing day until the middle of February only the ground floor is open, but these rooms have the main art collection in them. We get busier from Easter onwards, and our popular childrens trails and activities start running through the school holidays. We always try and have a smaller family trail in the house to match what we're doing outside.
The busiest times in the house are through July and August and at Christmas, and at these times we tend not to do as many formal introductions, instead leaving you to wander and enjoy at your own pace. Christmas is an especially magical time - our volunteers work really hard and in a day transform the house with traditional decorations.
When to visit the garden & grounds
Our garden is a great place to bring all the family - dogs as well! Play games on the lawns or picnic anywhere you like (picnic benches are available in the orchard).
As the house is closed on Tuesdays the site is always a bit quieter so if you want the feeling of the garden to yourself for some peace and tranquility it's the best time to visit.
Through the seasons
The first snowdrops of spring normal show through with the start of February, and the daffodil banks really get going at the end of the March. The wisteria on the south front is an amazing site in April and May, as do the rhododendrons by the pools, but the main floral show comes in to its own in June with the roses and herbaceous bedding.
By September the herbaceous borders are one but the roses often stay with us until the start of October. By then the leaves will have turned and the woodland areas take on amber and red hues. Whilst winter may not be a great time to visit for flowers, and many of the grass paths are getting muddy, it is a good time to appreciate the architectural design of the garden and how the house sits in the landscape.