Hatchlands Park, near Guildford in Surrey is a National Trust Georgian gem of a country residence and still a family home today. The entire ground floor of the house is open to the public and features paintings, antiques and musical instruments. The property is set amid 400 acres of rolling parkland and it is hard to believe that London is less than an hour away.
The park was designed by Repton in the early 1800’s with a Gertrude Jekyll parterre being added to the South of the main house in 1914. Sadly at the time of our visit the parterre was closed to the public due to box blight, which the gardeners at Hatchlands are currently trying to eradicate.
GARDENS AND GROUNDS – AND DOGS ARE WELCOME
The gardens around the house are mainly laid to lawn and bordered with shrubs, with mature trees surrounding a stone temple, giving an interesting focal point. I would advise not to go ‘just for the garden’ since apart from the (currently closed) parterre, there is not a lot of garden to see.
It is the grounds that offer ample space for the visitor to roam freely, with walking trails, meadows, ponds and woodlands to explore. Dogs are welcome and they have worked hard here to create a welcome for families and dog walkers alike. We timed our visit to view the bluebells, a breathtaking mass of colour beneath the freshness of the newly sprouted canopy of leaves above.
TEAS AND MORE
The former kitchens and stable yard now provide an opportunity for visitors to rest and refresh, with a small gift and plant shop. The delightful tearoom is situated within the original kitchen where the range cooker and dresser remain. The coffee and walnut cake comes highly recommended and the hard-working staff were still offering a friendly welcome even at the end of their busy day.
In the summer months, the park hosts outdoor theatre events, and there are frequent family inspired activities planned throughout the year.
If you are looking for a day in the Surrey countryside with the bonus of a garden, house and tea rooms, then Hatchlands Park is a must.