Mottisfont National Trust after Lockdown. We have a little tradition which is to visit Mottisfont in the first couple of weeks of June for my birthday. The walled gardens and the roses are the best I have found so far in all the National Trust properties we have visited. And since I have a thing about roses it is the perfect birthday treat. However with lockdown I did wonder if I would get the chance.
When the National Trust started to open up properties I was delighted to discover that Mottisfont was amongst them. Although just like all properties they are like gold dust. Going on sale on a Friday morning for the coming week. I managed to pick up a lunchtime slot. As you drive down to the carpark there are plenty of signs explaining that it is pre booked tickets only. At the edge of the carpark you give your name and and they mark you off the list. Your time slot is for half and hour and you need to enter during this time. However you can stay as long you like until closing.
Once you are check off the list you do not need to show tickets or membership cards at any other time during your visit. When we visited the toliets at the main entrance were open but the shop was not. However the lady welcoming people in explained that it was due to open on the 15th of June. Around the toilets and at the entrance there was tape on the floor to remind people to stay 2m apart. She also explained that there was a one way system put in place around the rose garden and also along the river.
The walled gardens
The boys were keen to head off so we walked up past the house to the rose garden. Mottisfont is popular this time of year because of the roses so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to walk around the gardens and take picture of the boys without lots of other people being in the photos. There is one way around the garden which you enter from the side and not through the kitchen garden as usual. The route takes you around the outside before going up the middle. It is not possible to walk on the grass areas. Although there are plenty of benches down the sides still.
Because the paths are quite narrow I can see how it would be easy to get stuck behind someone. Or feel like you need to hurry along. Once out of the walled garden there are usual picnic tables on the lawn. The kitchen garden is open as are the toilets and the coffee shop within the walls. All National Trust toilets are operated on a one in, one out basis. The coffee shop is selling hot and cold drinks, ice creams, cakes and pastries. We actually opted to get an ice cream from the little camper van just outside the gardens. The main coach house gardens cafe, book shop and ice cream parlor were all shut.
It is possible to walk around the house so we opted to go around the back and lounge on the lawns for a little before heading to the river. Going over the iron bridge, we played pooh sticks before following the signs up one side and down the other. None of the play areas were open much to the boys disappointment. However the river was full of rainbow trout that kept their interest.
The whole experience was very relaxing. It was well managed and there were not too many people despite being a sell out on the tickets for the day. We hope to try out some of the other National Trust properties close to us to explore soon.
Other National Trust properties we have visited recently
We have been lucky enough to visit a couple of National Trust properties since lockdown started to ease. You can read about the other ones below:
- Polesdon Lacey National Trust after lockdown
- Wakehurst Place after lockdown
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Mottisfont National Trust after Lockdown