During our recent break to Pembrokeshire and Ludlow, we only managed to fit in one National Trust visit. I struggle to get N to agree to them, although because we’d done Heatherton World of Adventures the day before, he was happy enough to visit Berrington Hall on the way home from Ludlow (and he even didn’t moan – too much – about going inside the hall). After all, once he gets there, there’s always plenty to see for children, even the bored tweens!
Near Leominster in Herefordshire, Berrington Hall is a beautiful Georgian hall set within a Capability Brown landscaped estate. Perfect for exploring the grounds as well as viewing the unusually modern furniture and decor set up in the hall.
There are a couple of walking trails you can do – set out on the map provided, but we stuck staying close and just exploring the formal gardens. We were only stopping off on the way home so much as I’d loved to have explored and walked further out, we wanted to get home. That’s the joy of having National Trust passes, we can just stop in rather than having to make a full day of every visit.
Berrington Hall – the mansion
There’s a one way system at the moment, and they’re only letting in one group of people to the foyer at a time to avoid it getting too crowded. It wasn’t too busy when we were there, although we did catch up with other groups of people, but were still able to see everything and spread out.
Berrington Hall was built in 1778-81 for Thomas Harley, son of the 3rd Earl of Oxford, It’s one of the few creations of architect Henry Holland’s still intact today. Many of the interior’s designs include mythological references to the marriage of Harley’s daughter Anne to George, the eldest son of Admiral Rodney, one of the most distinguished naval commanders of the day.
The staircase hall is stunning with lots of light in.
Much to N’s despair, there’s a gorgeous exhibition on ‘A Dress Fit for a King’. This shares various Georgian mantua dresses through the decades from 1700s to 1770s. Culminating in Ann Harley’s stunning court mantua dress which was bought at auction in 2016, then carefully restored along with a replica which helped guide and restoration of the original dress. We got to see the dress, and find out about the work done.
The gardens at Berrington Hall are gorgeous. Not much was flowering in the walled garden yet, but we could enjoy the walk around, with the impressive topiary and beautiful blossom all being out. I could imagine the orchard looking wonderfully ripe with fruit later in the year.
Facilities at Berrington Hall
As usual with National Trust there’s places for refreshments, at both the tea room and stables cafe. The toilets were clean and tidy, and there’s a second hand bookshop open on certain days.
There’s a natural children’s playground although we didn’t check that out – N’s decided he’s probably too old for most playgrounds now.
We parked in the main car park which isn’t huge, but there’s overflow parking which was being used when we were there.
Berrington Hall is definitely on our to visit list for anything wondering which National Trust places to visit
Have you ever been? What would you most like to see?
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