Tyntesfield – National Trust

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We went to the National Trust property of Tyntesfield on a hot Monday in July. There is a newly built large car park and a visitor centre with the restaurant and gift shop on the ground floor and the entrance to the main property and lands above. When we were there the lift was out of order but I think there was a longer route round the outside which could be taken by those who could not manage stairs. We were told it would take about 10 mins to walk to the house. In actuality it took over half an hour of walking from the car park to the house entrance. Had we known of it we would have taken the bus which leaves from the left hand side of the visitor block but is neither visible nor signposted from the car park. We did take it back!

The house was worth the hot walk, however. It was built in the mid 17th century and lived in by four generations of the Gibbs family each of whom made changes to it but never threw anything away. It was finally bought by the National Trust, with the aid of many public donations, in 2002. The Trust is working hard to sort and preserve the many items collected and stored in the rooms over the years by the Gibbs family and in the end by the auctioneers. It is still a work in progress though much has been done. Some rooms have been left in the state in which they were found to give visitors some idea of the work which was, and is needed. The others are laid out as they would have been when the family was in residence.

The exit from the house is through the Chapel which is lovely and gave us a chance to sit and rest in the cool before we walked down the hill to look at the kitchen garden. Here we had a pleasant light lunch in the little café before catching the bus back to the visitor centre. We then had a wander around the shop and an ice-cream in the Cow Barn restaurant before returning to the car park.

Overall a very worthwhile, interesting and enjoyable day out but I would advise getting the bus on a hot day unless you are relatively fit as the site is quite hilly.

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