Dyrham Park revisited

dyrham-park

I am really enjoying revisiting National Trust properties that we’ve not visited for too many years. Places we visited as a young couple, before children. Dyrham Park is just such a place. We used to take picnics and join friends in the evenings to enjoy outdoor music concerts. It was a place we explored.

It has changed, but, as the man on the gate reassured me, the house is still in the same place. Nice to know!

Two decades ago, I remember parking right by the back of the house. Driving down the winding road. I remember the space in front of the house was awaiting restoration and was pretty unremarkable.

I can sincerely say that a couple of decades makes a big difference. We really should visit more often. He was right. The house hasn’t moved.

looking-down-at-dyrham-parkThe car park is now near the entrance gate. There is a bus down to the house. We chose to walk, which took less than 10 minutes and gave great views on the way down. The children led the way, which meant we took the route as the crow flies, instead of the road. There are warnings that parts were steep, but we have climbed mountains, so that wasn’t going to stop us, according to the children.

among-the-deerI really don’t remember the deer, but there they were, everywhere, this time. When we spoke to one of the staff, he explained that the herd had been expanded over the last few decades. The herd dates back centuries with no new blood in all that time. I was surprised how laid back the deer seemed, especially as it is approaching rutting season. I encouraged the children to keep back and to stay calm. These were seriously laid back fallow deer bucks.

front-of-dyrham-park

The front of the house is so impressive. All the more for being set in landscaped gardens.

We went into the house. The roof is being restored at the moment, so only downstairs was open. The children liked seeing the rooms set up as they would have been, but they weren’t interested in the information boards that filled some of the rooms. They did enjoy the hot chocolate taster and noted the recipe so we can make it at home.

gardenIt was the outside that really caught their attention. We explored the church, the ponds and the orchards. We helped pick up pears and put them in the provided white sacks, ready for juicing into perry.

flowerThe gardens are a mixture of formal and practical. Even on the overcast day, we enjoyed the views created by clever landscaping.

topiary-face-at-dyrham-parkI’ll admit my favourite was the topiary head tucked in at the side of the house. Isn’t he perfect? (Wonders if I can start cutting one of my box hedges into a similar shape)

deer-in-the-adventure-play-areaAll good things have to come to an end. On the way back to the car, we took the path via the woodland play area. Not often that a deer makes itself comfortable near to where the children are playing.

natural-play-equipementFortunately neither the children or the deer were put out.

dyrham-park-adventure-play natural-play-equipment-2 under-the-bough dyrham-park-adventure-play-2They had fun. Walking, balancing, jumping, crawling through. Playing together. It was quite an obstacle course. They made up their own rules and played. Watching them landing in the autumn leaves, I could not have designed a better play area to end the day with.

flower-by-the-chapelIt was a perfect autumn afternoon out. I’m glad we went back.

Country Kids

22 thoughts on “Dyrham Park revisited

  • Saturday 15 October, 2016 at 10:07 am
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    A lovely return visit. I really struggled to get mine interested in visiting National Trust places, it was like a bribe! I love how yours enter into the spirit of the place and find fun in the simple things like fallen logs. If I could get mine past the grump of going they would do the same, so long as they discovered the logs of course! It does look the most impressive house and I would love to visit. I am fascinated by the deer and the fact they haven’t changed any of the stags in so long. We try to change our stag every 3 or 4 years to stop inbreeding, and it is quite an operation!

    Thank you for sharing your visit on #CountryKids

    • Saturday 15 October, 2016 at 8:50 pm
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      There are a few grumbles from one of them, but the other two are always keen on an outing. They all enjoy it once we get there. I think National Trust have gone the extra mile to make it more fun for the slightly older children in recent years, as well as the younger ones. You never know quite what you will find. I was surprised by the deer too. Maybe a few have jumped the fence.

  • Saturday 15 October, 2016 at 9:19 pm
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    I love that the play area had only natural structures. Looks like an amazing place to explore. #countrykids

    • Tuesday 18 October, 2016 at 11:12 am
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      I love play areas like this one. When I looked at my photos, I realised I had only photographed half of it.

  • Sunday 16 October, 2016 at 8:36 am
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    This looks magnificient, right up my street and we are heading to Bristol in April so I think we need to plan a visit. Mich x

    • Tuesday 18 October, 2016 at 11:13 am
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      Hope you do have a chance to visit.

    • Tuesday 18 October, 2016 at 11:13 am
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      It was so tucked in that I’m sure people could easily miss the topiary. Fun to find.

  • Sunday 16 October, 2016 at 8:51 pm
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    What a stunning place and a great collection of photos. I adore that topiary head! It looks tucked away and a hidden treat. My children always moan when I say we’re going to National Trust properties but they always have a great time exploring the parks, gardens and houses.

    #countrykids

    • Tuesday 18 October, 2016 at 11:14 am
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      We get the moans too. It’s amazing how they change their tune once we get there!

  • Monday 17 October, 2016 at 1:53 pm
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    That looks amazing place to visit, love the wood apparatus X #countrykids

    • Tuesday 18 October, 2016 at 11:15 am
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      It is a lovely property.

  • Monday 17 October, 2016 at 5:16 pm
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    How interesting to see the difference twenty years makes! It looks absolutely beautiful and I love the face in the hedge too 🙂 Sounds like you had a wonderful day x

    • Tuesday 18 October, 2016 at 11:27 am
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      It was a good day out and I was amazed at how much had changed, although I’m not sure why I’d imagine it would be frozen in time! Restoration takes time.

  • Wednesday 19 October, 2016 at 10:43 am
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    My kids don’t mind NT places but it’s going back again within weeks that they don’t like.Which doesn’t bear much hope for half term as we’re going back to two places we went to over the summer.I think it’s important for kids to see the season changes in places when you go back time a nd time again. Over from Country Kids.

    • Wednesday 19 October, 2016 at 1:36 pm
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      Absolutely. Return visits really make the seasons pop out, while it subtly creeps up on you at home. I’m hoping to get a few more visits squeezed in over the half term too.

  • Wednesday 19 October, 2016 at 1:42 pm
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    What a massive place and everything looks so big and makes your children looks small! I would always go bacj in there too just to see it as it so pretty and so worth going back to =) #countrykids

    • Thursday 20 October, 2016 at 1:56 pm
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      I hadn’t thought of them looking smaller there. I guess you have a point.

  • Wednesday 19 October, 2016 at 10:40 pm
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    What a lovely afternoon you had. That house looks so beautiful and I love the topiary head and the photos of your children balancing on the logs. A perfect way to spend an autumn afternoon 🙂

    • Thursday 20 October, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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      Autumn is a beautiful time to be out and about.

  • Thursday 20 October, 2016 at 9:41 pm
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    Oh my. Your photos says it all. Just stunning and beautiful place for autumn out and about. #countrykids

    • Friday 21 October, 2016 at 4:00 pm
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      Autumn is a beautiful time!

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