As with 2011, for 2013 I asked to visit Harewood House for my birthday. The weather was soooooooooooo much better (last time it was lashing with rain).
Ooooh, the lovely Chinese wallpaper that was “discovered” in an outbuilding, having probably been taken down by a Victorian who didn’t think it fashionable.
After a tour of the house (where I had a battle with one “room guide” who claimed that the Charles Barry bookcases were “original to the house in 1840!!!!” (building of the house began in 1758)), we visited the penguins and then were stopped in our tracks by a lawn laden with conkers.
We filled our pockets and decided they are so pretty that they’re now living in a slipware bowl in the hallway (until I suppose some child spies them and pierces them for a playground game).
Harewood House is one of those houses I claim to know from my childhood, but never had I walked “properly” into the gardens (having previously thought the formal gardens were restricted to the Charles Barry terrace).
HOWEVER, by the time of this visit I knew there was more. Even D insisted that the walled garden and Himalayan garden which we visited this time “must have been shut until recently”. I have no idea whether that is true, or whether we had never previously checked the website before visiting or bothered to consult the map.
D’s only comment about the walled garden was “they really didn’t want the staff near the house” (you have to walk down the hill, past the stables, across the lake and along its banks to find the walled garden – there isn’t a full circuit so you have to come back the same way to return to the house).
The walk around the lake was very pretty but it’s a long way so I’m not sure I’ll be anxious to take the walk again.
The walled garden looks like a recent “project”. The greenhouse needs renovating and there are plans for a cafe in what looks like the old gardener’s house.
When visited: October 2013