Chastleton is a Jacobean mansion which has been unchanged for 400 years, and still has the old world feel about it as you explore. We went around when it was decorated for a Victorian Christmas, and the Christmas tree was in the Great hall with the fire alight, with animal heads looking down on you.
I first visited this house when it was occupied by the last owner Mrs Clutton-Brock, and she showed you around the ancient property, with the entrance porch packed with plants, and a feeling of gentle decay as if dust and time had settled on the property but with hints of past splendours. It was left to the National Trust, and they have not changed the feel of the place as you climb the wooden staircase up to the Great Chamber and Fettiplace Room, all the way to the top long gallery.
The garden will be open 15th and 16th February 2013 so you can enjoy the snowdrops, although the house opens in March. There are wonderful bluebells later in the year, and a topiary which is fine all year round.
There is disabled parking by the stables, and access to the grounds and the ground floor via a couple of steps, but there are stairs to access many of the upper floors.
You can picnic in the car park, but there is no restaurant, and it is worth arriving not to late in the day to ensure that you get a timed ticket for the house.
The property is quite near Moreton-in-Marsh or Stow-on-the Wold for a choice of tea shops and pubs, plus a pleasant exploration of Cotswold wool churches. This can make a good day out in the Cotswolds.