We go through phases of using our National Trust membership. Usually over Christmas we’ll visit a couple of places, and when we’re on holidays I’ll try and persuade N to visit with me. But at home it’s harder to get him out unless we’re meeting friends. My flexi days off are a great opportunity to make the most of it, and head out somewhere new.
This time I decided on Greys Court near Henley. It was a shame Nuffield Place was shut for winter as they’re so close it’s possible to visit both in one day.
Greys Court is a lovely manor house. Not ornate, but like a normal family house, just on a larger scale. When I arrived I was in time to join the ground floor house tour. These run at 10.30 before the house opens to the rest of the public at 11. As it was mid week on a gloomy day it wasn’t busy, but I don’t know how many people they’d have on the tour during peak times. As a free tour, it’s worth going on to find out more about the history of the house and the families who’ve lived there over the years.
The tour guide Caroline was very knowledgeable and the tour was itneresting to hear. I was a fan of the kitchen – a huge Aga and lots of space, although I’m not sure about the baby pink table and chairs.
Once the house was open at 11, we were able to explore upstairs as well. No weird silver bathrooms like at Upton House, just a normal family manor house.
As well as the house there are various walks around the grounds, plus the only donkey wheel in the UK. Not having N will me I didn’t visit the play area, but I did want to check out the gardens. With the tower undergoing work and being blocked off, I couldn’t se a way in that way. There didn’t seem any other way into the gardens looking at the map. Greys Court could have done with some signage to help tell you where you were and how to get into different places.
Instead, after a bit of an aimless wander, I headed back to the car in the hope of getting into the gardens that end. It wasn’t to be. I was disappointed not to see them, even though there wouldn’t have been much there in November. We’ll just have to return in summer.
It was still a lovely visit – definitely a bonus to do the free house tour.
Have you visited Greys Court? What are your tips for what to see and finding your way around?
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