I had heard mutterings from chums who had recently visited Rousham Gardens and recommended a visit, so today we set off to find it. It's an extremely well hidden Oxfordshire secret and well worth a visit if you're in the area.
There's no tea shop so you will need to take supplies to keep the wolf from the door. Also, no dogs, and no children under 15.
Here it is. House (1635) and Bowling Green (1720!!). The house itself is closed unless you're with a party of people and pre-arrange but you're free to wander where you fancy in the grounds. There were only 6 other cars in the car park which meant we had a very secluded and relaxing visit.
Just before I go further, here is a chap that we saw on the way in. He wanted to make sure that I said "Happy Birthday Sarah" to my DD whose birthday is tomorrow. Most insistent he was, and who am I to argue with such a large, and slightly cross bull, with excessively long horns?
Mum and calf.
Although there is no tea shop, there was somewhere to stop and sit every 20 yards or so, so we took a flask of hot coffee and sat under a pear tree admiring the view to the church.
The view was of the local church (circa 1200) It has a peel of bells and an organ.
I went to photograph the herbaceous borders with textiles in mind. I've got a thing about seed heads and crowds of flower heads taken from low down. This one has definite possibilities.
A dahlia border. There is a veg garden as well as flower borders. I like a good veg garden, and confess to trying a raspberry and a plum in the hope no one minded. The bushes were dripping with fruit and it seemed such a shame.
Not a dove cote, but a pigeon house apparently.
And because I knew I was going to blog about this visit, a view inside the pigeon house. I found this a bit spooky but did it just for you!
In the fresh air again looking at the rose garden and the side of the house.
The grounds are extensive and you are free to wander where you want. Around every bend there seemed to be a statue.
The river Cherwell passes through....
More monuments and places to sit.
Upper and lower cascades
...with a pond in between.
Rills run through the woods to ponds.
And that's about it! It was £4 per person which was worth spending. It's open all year round from 10.30 until 4.30, so, now we know it's there, we shall definitely go again.