The Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, England

Places To Visit In United Kingdom

Nestled in the heart of the Surrey countryside, Polesden Lacey in Great Bookham, England, is a historic house that offers a glimpse into the opulence of the Edwardian era. Managed by the National Trust, this grand estate is renowned for its stunning art collection, beautifully manicured gardens and grounds, and its rich history. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a nature lover, Polesden Lacey has something to offer everyone.

History of Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey was originally built in the 1820s but was extensively remodelled in 1906 by the renowned architects of the Edwardian era, Charles Mews and Arthur Davis. The house was then purchased by the wealthy socialite and patron of the arts, Margaret Greville, who transformed it into a luxurious country retreat. The house played host to many lavish parties attended by the elite of society, including royalty. After Greville’s death in 1942, the house and its contents were bequeathed to the National Trust.

Attractions at Polesden Lacey

The main attraction at Polesden Lacey is undoubtedly the historic house itself. The house is a treasure trove of art and antiques, with an impressive collection that includes works by renowned artists such as Van Dyck, Reynolds, and Gainsborough. The house also boasts a collection of exquisite furniture, porcelain, and silverware.

Outside the house, the gardens and grounds are a delight to explore. The 1400-acre estate includes formal gardens, a rose garden, a kitchen garden, and vast areas of parkland and woodland. The views of the Surrey countryside from the estate are simply breathtaking.

Visiting Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey is open to the public throughout the year, with different opening times depending on the season. Admission to the house and gardens requires a ticket, which can be purchased on arrival or in advance from the National Trust website. National Trust members can visit for free.

  • House and Garden Ticket: Adult £15.00, Child £7.50, Family £37.50
  • Garden Only Ticket: Adult £10.00, Child £5.00, Family £25.00

Guided tours of the house are available, offering a deeper insight into the history and treasures of Polesden Lacey. The tours are included in the admission price and are highly recommended for first-time visitors.

Tips for Tourists

Here are some practical tips for tourists planning to visit Polesden Lacey:

  • Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved, especially if you plan to explore the gardens and grounds.
  • Check the weather forecast before your visit. The gardens are best enjoyed on a sunny day.
  • Bring a picnic. There are plenty of picnic spots in the grounds.
  • Don’t forget your camera. The house and gardens offer plenty of photo opportunities.
  • Allow at least half a day for your visit to fully enjoy all that Polesden Lacey has to offer.

In conclusion, Polesden Lacey is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Great Bookham, England. With its rich history, stunning art collection, and beautiful gardens and grounds, it offers a unique glimpse into the opulence of the Edwardian era.

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Oliver Hawthorne
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