Bowood has been home to the Lansdowne family since 1754. The mix of historical treasures and well-loved surroundings gives this Georgian house a unique charm. While much has changed over time, the beauty of the house and gardens has not. Lying within ‘Capability’ Brown’s glorious parklands, Bowood perfectly captures a bygone age encompassing a woodland cascade, a tranquil lake, a pinetum and arboretum as well as the formality of flower-filled terraces.
During six weeks from late April to early June, according to the flowering season, the Rhododendron Walks are open to visitors. This is a spectacular attraction offering breathtaking vistas of colour and beauty covering over 60 acres. This woodland oasis of azaleas and rhododendrons is considered to be one of the most exciting gardens of its type in the country; it lies on a seam of greensand running from Poole in Dorset to The Wash on the East Coast. Recently, the Rhododendron Walks have been the subject of one of the most exciting and significant horticultural finds – over 30 original hardy hybrids which were thought to be extinct, dating back to the 1850s. The original plants date back to when the garden was first planted by the 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne. The present Lord Lansdowne’s great grandfather substantially expanded the garden on his return from being Viceroy in India. Many of the species originate from the Himalayas. Successive generations have continued to add to the collection.
OTHER THINGS TO SEE & DO
The Lansdowne family has spent over 250 years collecting art and historical memorabilia. Among many unique items around the house you will find Queen Victoria’s wedding chair, the Keith Jewellery Collection and Napoleon’s death mask. Also can be seen paintings by Clarkson Stanfield, Lear, Roberts, Bonnington and Turner as well as Flemish tapestries in the Sculpture Gallery, which is home to both classical and 19th century marbles.
Dr Joseph Priestley, tutor to the 1st Marquess of Lansdowne’s sons, discovered oxygen gas at Bowood in 1774. As well as this major scientific breakthrough, another great scientist, Dr Ingenhousz, worked on the discovery of photosynthesis in the laboratory. This is just one of the areas open to the public.
Bowood is also home to the premiere Adventure Playground in the country. Under 12s are guaranteed to have the time of their lives on the life-size pirate ship, giant slides, aerial rope-walks, chutes, trampolines and the scary space dive. Younger members of the family can enjoy their own play areas as well as ball pools, sandpit and swingboats. There is a Soft Play Palace where they can safely enjoy the slides, ball pools, net bridges and more, while adults can relax with refreshments.
The Georgian splendour of Bath, the natural beauty of the Cotswolds and the famous ancient sites of Avebury and Stonehenge.
PLACES TO STAY
The beautiful Bowood Hotel and Spa is situated in the heart of The Bowood Estate, just 15 minutes from junction 17 of the M4.
HOW TO FIND US
Located off Junction 17 of M4. Follow the brown signs from the motorway. The entrance is located off the A4 in Derry Hill village, between Calne and Chippenham.
Open Daily from 1st April 2011 to 30th October 2011, 11am to 6pm (last admission 5pm).
Senior Citizen £8.00
Junior (5-12 years) £7.50
Child (2-4 years) £5.00
Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children) £28.50
Group rates are available for 20 or more people.
FOOD & DRINK
Coffee Shop: Situated at the main entrance serving a selection of tempting hot and cold foods, including sandwiches, snacks and refreshments. Open from 10.30am - 6.00pm daily, last orders for food taken at 5.00pm.
Light refreshments are also available at the Soft Play Palace and the Adventure Playground (weekends and holidays only).
Sunday Lunch: Enjoy a delicious two course Sunday Carvery in our newly refurbished Restaurant. Book by 5pm on Friday and enjoy FREE entry to Bowood House, Gardens and Adventure Playground.
POSTCODE FOR CAR SAT NAVs
WEBSITE / TEL No.
www.bowood.org / 01249812102