Montacute House – National Trust

133 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

5/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

July, 2015

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Wife

Reasons for trip

Montacute House will be recognised by BBC viewers as it featured strongly in the recent series Wolf Hall. It was used to represent the scenes inside Henry VIII’s palace at Greenwich, and on entering it is obvious why it was chosen.

The interiors are excellent recreations of the Elizabethan period and make it easy for the visitor to imagine what life would have been like at that time. We found the information sheets available in each room to be the best we have encountered in National Trust properties – easy to find (unlike some!), clear, brief explanations and not too much unnecessary detail. The sometimes unused spaces on the upper floors of some such houses is put to very good use in Montacute, with rooms used to illustrate characters from the Elizabethan and other historical periods through their portraits.

The ground floor of the house is accessible to visitors with mobility issues but access to the upper floors is of course via staircases and therefore may be problematic. The cafe was for once disappointing, as it is quite small with a narrow entrance where unfortunately we had to queue outside in the rain! There is a nice terrace outside, so it is a pity the inside facilities are limited. The NT shop was excellent as usual, if a little pricey.

Surrounding the house are beautiful gardens and a lot of parkland with both short and longer walks available. There seemed to be many special events going on over the summer holiday period, including, on the day we visited, a costumed display of horsemanship. This however took place at the far end of the family picnic area, down uneven steps and across a longish field, causing some of the older visitors to turn back.

All-in-all, a very enjoyable day at certainly one of the best NT properties we’ve visited.

David

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