Recently we did a short road trip to Wales and it was a great success! We were lucky with the mild, sunny weather, no traffic jams, nice hotel with a spa and great places to visit on the agenda. The first stop during our journey was Tredegar House, a National Trust property near Newport.
This 17th century house is called on the most significant in Britain, and it certainly is grand and impressive – and also comes with an interesting story (like most of the National Trust properties do). Today the property has 90 acres of gardens and parkland, including a lovely lake with a trail around it.
The gardens include an orchard, a formal garden, mineral gardens and parkland, so there is something for everyone to see. For the children these is also a garden trail, a playground and some lovely horse swings in the formal garden.
The house itself is staged for a formal dinner party, Lord Tredegars clothing is laid out for him as he’s getting ready for another fancy party, and in the great room one can lay down on the daybed and admire the gilded and painted ceilings in the room while soft music is being played. The games room has been set up for children to play games, dress up with old costumes along with a shadow puppet theatre. This is one of those lovely properties where one is allowed to touch and explore!
The mineral gardens were an interesting feature – the main focus is on the contrast of colours between different materials – from black slate down to the white seashell borders: here topiary and flowers play a minor role.
The stables were the biggest surprise to me – the ceilings are at places triple-height, the floors with lovely herringbone patterns. I could happily make home in these stables – with some work of course. We were quite delighted to find the arch-nemesis of Dr Who here also – a Dalek (yes, I must admit watching this always during the season). BBC has actually used Tredegar House for several TV series and other programmes!
One can easily spend half a day here while kids do their quiz trail and play in the playground. After the house tour a walk around the lake, through the forest, by the stream is a delightful experience. And of course to the true National Trust tradition one must stop at least for a home-made cream tea. I would also recommend the lunch here, absolutely delicious!