We hadn’t planned to visit, but after a whole day of rain we needed to get out for an autumn ramble. Helpfully the evening before Radio 4’s PM programme had interviewed the head gardener from Stourhead. The passion he displayed for the garden was infectious and helped us to decide that a visit to see the Autumn colours was a must. We were not disappointed.
Situated in Wiltshire just off of the A303 it is one of the best landscape gardens in the world. With tremendous views, situated at the source of the river Stour, which then runs south all the way through Dorset until it reaches the sea near Bournemouth.
Its a great garden for kids, as well as everyone else. There was a tree trail highlighting champion trees and a simple spotter’s guide on offer. However there was no play area. None was needed.
The garden was very busy – lots of people must have been listening to Radio 4. There were lots of families with children and all seemed fully occupied with the endless opportunities for collecting leaves – we played a game matching the red of my son’s jacket, running around, clambering over tree trunks and stumps, jumping in puddles and mud courtesy of the previous day’s rain and playing under branches full of beautifully coloured leaves.
The vistas were spectacular, the light superb and the refection of water from the beautiful lakes mesmerising. No human being could be unaffected by the rich tapestry created by the trees. It is a garden that has a restorative effect on adult and youngsters alike.
Now enough of me waxing lyrically. I just hope that everyone sometime somewhere gets to experience such beauty.