visiting newark park

Visiting Newark Park National Trust in Gloucestershire

Another day off, another day out. This time I decided to travel to a National Trust property that was a bit further afield, Newark Park in Gloucestershire.  

visiting newark park

Newark Park is just outside Wotton Under Edge. The advice given is stick with the directions on the National Trust website, rather than satnav. I followed the brown signs from my direction, and had no problem finding it. The single track road was a little worrying that I’d meet someone, but thankfully it’s pretty much one way, so I didn’t meet anyone where there weren’t passing places.

I arrived just before opening, but had time to scan my membership card at the car park machine. The toilets are at the visitor reception, and they were very welcoming there.

As the house doesn’t open til 11, I headed for a bit of a wander to the woodland walks which end up zigzagging down quite a steep hill down to the lakeside and through the estate.  It can be muddy and slippy, and probably isn’t practical for wheelchairs and pushchairs, unless you’re strong at pushing up hill afterwards.  The house and refreshments are at the top of the hill as you enter though, so no issue visiting those.

I decided my knee might not take the steepness going down, so backtracked back towards the refreshments kiosk, and marquee to warm up before the house opened.

newark park picnic area
view over the cotswold valley

With Easter approaching it was lovely to see the Egg hunt displays out and all the bunting around the gardens and driveway.  

You can’t beat a bit of yarn bombing (maybe it isn’t bombing if it’s organised thought), for cheeriness and bright colours to make you smile. There were certainly some lovely decorations on show, from flower wheels, a bicycle and a horse.

yarnbombing bike in front of newark park
yarnbombing flowers and wheel
yarn bombed wheel decorations

The tearoom is just a kiosk for hot and cold drinks, cakes, and ice creams, with a couple of savoury snack options.  There’s seating outside overlooking the beautiful Cotswold valley views behind Newark Park house. Or you can take shelter in the marquee seating area which is really nice. Don’t forget to recycle your takeaway cup, or you can get discounted drinks by taking your own reusable cup.

marquee tea room
2 peacocks on the lawn

When I arrived the peacocks were out on the lawn, so it was lovely to get quite close to them. No tail feathers on display though.

I had time to look round the formal gardens behind the house. There’s some lovely hedgework displays, benches to sit, and an unusual red shelter mirrored area. This was a bit of a mystery as it didn’t seem to fit well with the rest of a traditional manor house garden.

newark park house from the garden
overlooking the garden hedges designs
front of newark park approaching the house

Inside Newark Park – the house

There’s no ticket or booking system for the house. Although there were a couple of basement floor tours happening that you could book in for on arrival at the house. I didn’t have time to stay for one of these although it would have been nice to see the kitchen area.

The volunteers there were happy to answer questions, and talk through some of the house’s more unusual features.  I saw the ensuite and garderobe in the bedroom, and we heard about how the house was added to over the years from its early time as a hunting / party house. Right through to the most recent owners and the adjustments they made before passing it over to the National Trust.

dining room at newark park
bedroom at newark park
living room at newark park
thai decorative pieces

There’s some gorgeous touches through the house, with one bedroom looking quite light and airy with Laura Ashley bespoke bed linen and a false lowered ceiling for cosiness.

There was a room set up for children to try on costumes, with some puzzles try try out on the table. Another room you could find out more about the hunting parties that were held there.

One of the most stunning parts of the house is the panelled stained glass window which is one of the more unusual techniques of stained glass. Definitely one to see when the sun is shining in on the east side of the house.

beautiful stained glass window at newark park

As I was leaving there were quite a few more people coming in.  It’s not the largest house, but makes you feel quite comfortable. You can tell it was a home until quite recently.

A final walk through the garden, then out down the driveway past more yarn crafts as they blew around in the breeze.

topiary peacock and yarn bombing
grape hyacinth
yellow hellebores
looking up the long drive to newark park

Newark Park distance wise was definitely my limit. Over 3 hours round trip (thanks to a painful 15 mile road closure detour with 1 sign and guess work on when you were able to cross back to the road you were originally on). To make it worth visiting, you really need to be staying somewhere for more than you’re travelling and Newark Park didn’t keep me there for that long.  I love driving, but I’d rather be able to travel that distance and visit a couple of places. But to be able to do that within the school day, I need places to open at 9.30 rather than 11 (for the house).

However, if you’ve got children who are happy to potter around, spend a lot of time walking down to the lake and exploring the woodland walks, then you can spend more time at Newark Park to make it worth a long journey.

If you’re looking for more inspiration nearby Newark Park and the rest of Gloucestershire, check out my days out in Gloucestershire post.

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