My wife and I continue to make the most our National Trust membership fees. Last year, we paid £72 and reckon we had over £300 worth of admissions! We have, however, exhausted visits to our most local properties so are now venturing further afield, this time to southern Somerset.
On arriving at Barrington Court, the welcome guide was almost apologetic to inform us that the house is empty i.e. unfurnished. This was completely unnecessary as the fabric of the house itself is elaborate enough to interest its visitors. It was in fact the house used for many of the sets of the TV series Wolf Hall, and it was easy to see why it was chosen to recreate the times of Henry VIII. There are even costumes from the series displayed in some of the rooms, which themselves are worth seeing for the quality of workmanship and attention to detail. I don’t know how long this exhibition will run, but it helped to provide a sense of life in a Tudor Manor House. The only anomaly seemed to be a wonderful staircase that we felt wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Scottish castle – until we discovered that was exactly where it had come from! Access to the upper floors for those with mobility problems would be difficult, but all the ground floor, cafe, shop and gardens seemed very easy.
The gardens were impressive – both the kitchen garden (produce on sale in the shop) and the more formal flower gardens. They were certainly well looked-after and amongst the best we’ve seen on our travels. The park surrounding the house offers opportunities to both walk an cycle for those wanting to be a bit more energetic! It’s one of those places you could return to again and again and enjoy each time.