In my family we are active members of the National Trust and spend many a weekend exploring the various estates around us. This weekend we visited Stourhead in Wiltshire, which may be familiar to many Jane Austen fans from Pride and Prejudice (2005) and particularly the rain scene where Mr Darcy first proposes to Elizabeth.
Stourhead House was built in the 18th Century in the Palladian style for the Hoare family. Whilst we didn't get to visit the house due to Covid regulations, we enjoyed our walk around the stunning world-famous landscaped gardens.
The gardens were designed by Henry Hoare II in the style of landscape paintings, and there are bridges, grottoes and classical temples to explore along the beautiful walks.
The Temple of Apollo at the top
At this time of year, the bright green lawns are adorned with the spring blossom of daffodils and bluebells, and magnolia and rhododendron trees shine bright in various shades of magenta, baby pink and white. Swans, ducks and geese float in the glittering water, and there is something interesting to see at every turn.
The highlight of the walk for me were the classical temples and the Palladian bridge, as seen in Pride and Prejudice. While this version of the film is by no means my favourite (I am partial to the 1995 BBC miniseries), I thought the proposal scene at the Temple of Apollo was beautiful, if not quite faithful to the book.