Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, United Kingdom
Groombridge Place Reviews
Aug 08, 2006
Groombridge place is a 17th century moated house and gardens. The film "Pride and Prejudice" was actually filmed on location here. There are seven gardens here. The "knot garden" hada display of black tulips and bright blue pansies, making for a great contrast in the summer. The layout of the garden was inspired by a geometrical design in the main houseand was painted to represent a this gold inlay from some old panelling in the house. In the knot garden are a wicker man and woman, commissioned by one Simon Gerhold. Opposite the garden is a giant chess board...
From the knot garden is the 'apostle walk', so called because its surrounded by 12 drum yews on each side of the path thought to have survived since 1674!! This pathway was featured in the film "the draughtman's contract" by Peter Greenaway in 1983.
By the moat there is a secret doorway, which evidently leads to the secret garden. It's a tiny corner garden with cherry trees, azaleas and candelabra. Water from the moat trickles freely over the rocks too, making this a genuine serene spot.
The 'white rose garden' is just as it says. There are three ancient apple trees still standing here (from the 1700's). There are over twenty varietys of white rose. There are also foxtail lillies, primulas, tulips, peonies, poppies, hyacinths and lavender. This garden is a commemoration to the previous 200 year ownership of the estateby theWaller family. One member of the family was Edmund Waller, a leading poet of the seventeenth century, whose best known poem is "go, lovely rose!" *
The peacock walk has a variety of shrubs including rhododendron and azalea. This is also a roosting spot for the gardens Peacocks!
Another one of the many gardens of Groombridge place is the 'Drunken garden'. This was a favourite visting spot for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes. One of his famous stories 'the valley of fear' is set at groombridge place, though the house is renamed as birlstone manor
At the top of the estate there is a vineyard, and beyond that an 'enchanted forest' which had become rather a haven for children. This is a great place to take the kids, but probably not so relaxing to take a walk in...unless you like screaming kids on dangerous swings.However, one reason to go there is to see the 'zeedonk' one of only two crosses in Britain of a donkey and a zebra. You may also see some giant rabbits....they grow to almost 60 cm in height. Roaming around the forest are goats and in a nearby fieldalpacas. Also in the enchanted forest is 'tree fern valley' which has been planted (d'oh! just realised that i wrote planet) with trees imported from the alpine regions of Australia.
Other attractions include the Conan Doyle museum. It's a former diary house which now exhibits photographs and memorabelia associated with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The vineyard, which you read about earlier, produces its own wine (light and fruity flavoured) which is available to buy in the country store.
The price list is a little hefty, but worth it. £8.70 per adult and £7.20 for children. If you're a senior citizen, great, you're the same price as a child!
Bring a picnic rather than eating at the resturant. The resturant is not woth the money and there is a great picnic spot anyway
Dogs are not permitted, except for guide dogs or hearing dogs.
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