I discovered this gem of a place browsing through the National Trust website. What a find!
Ascott is the countryside residence of the de Rothschild family in Bedfordshire, close to Wing and Leighton Buzzard. It was donated to the National Trust in 1949. The gardens and parts of the House are open from March to September from 2pm. You can arrive earlier as the tea rooms are open from 1pm.
I arrived before 1pm. If you do this, like me, you need to wait at the gate until one of the car parking wardens come and open it (Needless to say, I didn’t wait — I opened the gate myself not realising it wasn’t open. It didn’t go down very well!)
So .. I was one of the first to arrive on this Spring afternoon and headed to the tea room for a light lunch. I read the leaflet and map and noticed that if you have a large bag you are asked to leave it at the entrance to the House. As I did have a large bag with my camera and lenses which I didn’t really want to leave in reception I decided to concentrate on exploring the gardens on this visit. (I had made enough of an entrance as it was!)
The magnolias were magnificent!
Then to the lily pond. I love this cute thatched skating hut.
From here I followed the path to Lynn Garden.
The white Spring blossom was so pretty. Preparation had begun for the summer flower beds.
Every section of the gardens had it’s own character and charm. This one was formally planted and symmetrical but still felt relaxed. It was awash with Spring flowers.
At the next turn it was a host of magnolia trees in shades of pinks and creams set against a backdrop of a spectacular view over the Bedfordshire countryside.
As I walked back through Madeira Walk I caught a glimpse of Wisteria just beginning to bloom.
I love all the little sitting places.
The topiary sundial.
I could have spent many more hours in this tranquil and beautiful slice of Bedfordshire. We are so lucky that this family and the National Trust have preserved this House and gardens and that we can all now benefit from that.
I will definitely be back!
Find out more about the National Trust
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Originally published at www.onepurlrow.co.uk.