Snowshill Manor and Garden, in the Cotswolds, is well known for extraordinary collectibles on display inside the Snowshill Manor. My visit was to the Snowshill Garden, and did not include visiting inside the buildings.
During this week of my self-guided British garden tour, I had bid farewell to my husband in London, took a train to the east, and, once I realized how very limiting it was to try to be a tourist visiting gardens on my own without a car, rented a vehicle for the second time. On this day, travelling with my GPS car guide through Cotswold villages and farmlands en route between Hidcote and Snowshill, I deeply appreciated the freedom that a car offered me for travelling through the countryside.
I would not, it is very clear, have been able to fit Snowshill into my day without my own vehicle. When I pulled into the almost empty parking lot, I realized how fine I had cut it. But, I was able to get into the property, though not the manor itself, and that was enough for me on this calm, quiet, cloudy day in the beautiful Cotswolds district.
The village of Snowshill, in Gloucestershire, serves as a charming example of just how picturesque Cotswolds villages really are. The village of Snowshill was simply beautiful. The architecture and use of stones, now weathered and yellow, together create a gorgeous effect. The almost complete absence of roadway signs and directional or advertising signs contributes to a sense a timelessness in the setting. I was able to take the time to stop my car and wander around a bit on foot after I returned from my visit to Snowshill Garden.
Snowshill Manor is a National Trust property, and visitors generally are able to see the collections inside the manor house and the priest’s house, where Charles Wade had lived and displayed his assortment of interesting and unique items.
The path towards Snowshill Manor from the parking area skirts the edge of some pastures, with gently rolling hills behind. I loved seeing this view of the Cotswolds and the centuries-old boundaries of hedges and stone fences carving the properties into small parcels of greenery and open fields. I loved everything about this area of the country, and appreciated how the Snowshill garden fits naturally into its surroundings. As you can see in the photos, there is a relaxed, natural look to the property. The walk along the edges of the woods and pastures, and the views of the kitchen garden, the miniature village garden, and the walled garden spaces and perennial borders – all of these spaces and aspects were lovely. There was a home-like feel to the informal areas of the garden, and I felt I gained a good sense of what the estate had been like in earlier times. I particularly admired the effort being applied now to keep both the Snowshill Manor and its lovely garden open and accessible to members of the public.
Renovations were underway to restore and reconstruct the miniature village. Reading about the restoration afterwards, I got the sense that this project was a work of love by a passionate team of gardeners and skilled volunteers and tradespeople. I look forward to seeing how this turns out on completion.
The Manor has its own gift shop and a second-hand bookstore, plus picnic tables where visitors can relax and enjoy a cup of tea along with some home-made cakes from the Snowshill Manor tea-room.
Copyright images and text: Nadine Kampen / cookiebuxon.com
Photo location: Snowshill Manor and Garden, Snowshill, Gloucestershire, England (June 2016)
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