“A-n-n looks dreadful, but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished.” So says the beloved Anne of Green Gables. And I reckon the elegant Vyne mansion in Hampshire is quite the kindred spirit as a regular old ‘i’ would not do. No, being spelled with a ‘y’ changes everything.
And this, indeed, is a dwelling that truly sets itself apart. This striking Tudor home has graced the Hampshire’s countryside in southern England for 500 years. Over the centuries, its rooms have hosted Henry VIII, boarding school girls and evacuees during World War II. But those who inhabited it the longest were the Chute family who kept it in their possession for just over 300 years…and I can understand why they never wanted to leave. But fortunately for us, they kindly bequeathed it to the National Trust in 1956.
And so, thankfully, we now have the privileged opportunity of exploring the exquisite rooms of this house as well as its beautiful grounds. As we visited The Vyne in mid-February, snowdrops abounded everywhere. But should you visit at the time of my writing this post (March), cheerful little daffodils are making their appearance.
The grounds boast of a lake just at the back entrance of the house, ancient woodlands, a 17th C summer house, walled garden and formal garden. As there is something for everyone to enjoy, it is a wonderful place to meet with friends or family. And that is just what we did: meeting with my husband’s brother, his wife and three children. Adding our own five kiddos into the mix, made a grand total of 8 children, all of whom thoroughly enjoyed themselves walking and exploring the woods. And if you are heading to The Vyne in April, the ground is sure to be covered in a stunning blanket of bluebells (although, do call in advance to make sure they are in bloom).
If you enjoy bird watching, do bring your binoculars to enjoy the views and birds of The Vyne’s unique wetlands.
If you are going at peak season (half terms, summer), I would recommend getting there right at opening time, as the free car park fills up quickly. If you find yourself coming later, rest assured, there is parking on the road just outside the main entrance.
There are so many beautiful walking trails. If you have a favourite spring flower, it could very well be making an appearance. As I mentioned above, sweet little snowdrops were everywhere during our visit. Click here for an example of a spring trail walk.
Got a four-legged friend? Yup, dogs on leads are welcome.
Picnics are permissible, but please leave the bikes and balls at home. No worries though as there is so much to explore and take pleasure in.
Address: Vyne Road, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9HL
Tired from your walks and needing refreshment? The Vyne has an incredibly lovely and cosy tearoom, complete with bricked walls and beamed ceilings, which I highly recommend. (Coffee lover? Try their delicious lattes!)
I have given just a wee peak into this vast, stunning property. For I cannot share everything or “there’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?” :) I hope you will be able to explore this magnificent estate yourself. I have a feeling you will want to go again and again.
Happy Travels. :)