Syon Park House

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Described as the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, this large country house and garden in Brentford, by the River Thames (opposite Kew Gardens) is well worth a visit. Transport links are excellent, and sufficient parking exists. When there is an additional private function, they have their own separate facilities in the grounds.

It is amazing to realise that a private home (now administered by a Trust) can exist this close to the capital, yet seem like it is situated in the country. Frequent flights from nearby Heathrow airport remind one of the reality, and in the distance the large office block by the M4 motorway, can spoil photos from many positions in the park.

The incredibly furnished house does not allow any photography. A scale of admission prices allow one to choose the House or House and garden. I recommend the combined ticket which includes the must-see Great Conservatory. The Concession price is a good saving. Re-admission on the day is possible so you can wander between the many locations of interest without difficulty.

The site includes a large Garden Centre administered by Wyevale (so remember your Gardening Club discount card). The Refectory is professionally run and offers a range of meals at fair prices. There are often special deals for Seniors. Beware of eating here between 12.45 and 13.45. It can be very busy with long queues. On a fine day extra seating outside is available.

There are a range of gifts at the Visitor reception, and in the Garden Centre gift shop. As usual, some prices are high, but the Garden Centre prices seemed the same as local branches. Both Syon Park and Garden Centre staff were friendly and helpful. In the Refectory there is a high standard of friendly service from all the staff I encountered.

You will need a minimum of 4 hours to explore the house and park. You should walk around the lake for stunning views of country and nature. Paths are level and well maintained. When near the House look for the friendly 3 legged cat that manages well, but sometimes falls over. He is used to visitors and will appreciate a chat and stroke.

There should be more seats for visitors, and no mobility scooters are available. They have wheelchairs in the Garden Centre shop. For me, the best feature was the lake and gardens.

Hidden from view in the park is a hotel, which may appeal to you.

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