Muddy goes to Greys Court, Henley
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Yes yes, I know I wrote about bluebells recently, but there’s only one week-ish left to see these incredible displays and I don’t want you to miss it.
These pictures come from Greys Court, the National Trust manor house just outside Henley and close to Stonor, Bix and all those gorgeous viewy-walky villages. I thought the Harcourt Arboretum was impressive when I went a few weeks back, but this place knocks it out of the water for the sheer scale of the bluebell woods. You can see them from half a mile off, winking royally at you.
The walk itself is either a toddler friendly 750 metres (roughly speaking, I didn’t bring my tape measure) or a more stretchy 2-3k depending on how you’re feeling and you can access the woods from the car park or via the house gardens.
I mean, come on, look at this!
Right, that’s enough bluebelling from me.
What else to tell you? Well, the house itself is lovely from the outside, a picturesque 16th mansion with gardens that still show their medieval origins.
There are timed visits through the house itself and I was definitely keen, but you can see the weather from the pics – it was too beautiful a day to be indoors, so we wandered around the gardens instead.
There’s quite a bit to occupy gardeners, couples and kids here (teenagers? You’ll have to make the call on that one). There’s a lovely simple take on the maze – basically it’s an ‘open’ one with swirling brick path instead of hedges, which you – for you of course are an engaged, interested parent! – can run around with your kids trying to make it into middle. Or, um, do as I do and goad them on from the sidelines.
On the nibbles side of things, for ’tis no secret I’m a bit piggy, here’s an above average National Trust cafe with some funky branding going on.
Outside there’s a pretty courtyard area with maybe 7-8 tables outside, but on sunny days it’s understandably pretty busy.
If it’s supershiny, I’d definitely recommend a picnic as an alternative to queuing up for 10 minutes – there are load of lovely picnic spots and it’s quite the done thing at Greys Court by the looks of it. The view below is typical and just gorgeous.
It’s the sort of place you can spend all day, or if you want to combine it with something else, come for a morning and zip off to The Quince Tree (Stonor), The Five Horseshoes (Maidensgrove), or for something a bit more chichi Orwells in Shiplake.
What’s that I hear you say? Where’s the Greys Court loo shot? Just to finish up then, because let’s be honest, knitted bunting is worth a blog post in its own right.