Wrest Park

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It was a warm and sunny day when I visited this "English Heritage" property for the first time. The road signs were poorly placed so there was some difficulty locating the place, but on arriving we were directed to the ample disabled parking area. This is a short distance from the cafe, toilets, shop and entrance. Friendly staff at reception quickly showed me the mobility scooter that I had reserved in advance, and after a quick familiarisation I was off to explore the Park at my leisure. There was apparantly no time limit, and I was given a map with suggested routes. I agreed not to drive on the grass, and to keep away from the water! The whole place is well designed for disability users, and as the site is mainly level it is ideal for elderly walkers. There are many seats available. In addition there are two golf carts offering free guided tours of the main points of interest. Access to the mansion is easy, but there are only three rooms to see and these are unfurnished. The house is situated in a magnificent location, surrounded by many formal gardens. The parkland covering over 70 acres is of great interest to gardeners and nature lovers alike. The cafe gets rather congested, and service is slow. This area could be redesigned. One thing that disturbed me was hot drinks being passed by hand to customers. Some users could have a problem with this! Prices are fair, and shop prices reasonable. This being the end of April, there were few visitors, but I feel in busy summer periods there could be congestion and queues. Overall it was a very enjoyable trip, and one would need around 3 hours to see enough around the garden and parkland, plus time for refreshments.

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