Another day out we managed during the recent trip home to the UK was to Cliveden (pronounced CLIV-den) House.
The house itself is a hotel but the gardens are open to the public and managed by the National Trust. This is also the venue for a large flower show annually run by the Royal Horticultural Society; we just went on a normal day though.
Cliveden has a rich history; Once the home of Nancy Astor, the house was the meeting place of the Cliveden set of the 1920s and ’30s — a group of political intellectuals. Later, during the 1960s, it became the setting for key events of the notorious Profumo Affair. During the 1970s, it was occupied by Stanford University, which used it as an overseas campus.
There’s enough to occupy you for a day and there are a couple of eating placed too as well as a the obligatory gift shop. Access to the house is restricted but there are tours run to see some of it but only on certain days – we didn’t have time on our visit.
There are a range of different gardens, a maze and also a few longer walks/hikes.
Dukes Seat – This is the ‘front’ of the house, there were a number of contemporary art pieces dotted around the grounds, I have mixed feelings about how they worked in these surroundings.
North Paddocks – a formal lawn looking over the valley
Tortoise Fountain – which we could only see from a distance due to maintenance work
Rose Garden – a newly updated garden
The long garden
The Fountain of Love