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Mottisfont, near Romsey

A romantic house and gallery set in beautiful riverside gardens, the National Trust's family friendly Mottisfont is a great day out

Weekend Escapes
Read our review of Mottisfont, near Romsey

A National Trust must-see, Mottisfont is known and loved for its romantic 18th-century house and gallery, built around a medieval priory and surrounded by ancient trees, rolling lawns and wetlands. Wherever you wander here, you’re never far from the beautiful, crystal-clear waters of the River Test which runs through the estate.

The British socialite and art patron Maud Russell made Mottisfont her home in the 1930s, commissioning artists to create works inspired by Mottisfont’s past – including an extraordinary drawing-room painted by Rex Whistler. These artistic traditions are continued by The National Trust today, with a permanent 20th-century art collection and major exhibitions in the top-floor gallery.

Outside, from spring blossoms and blooms to a stunning walled rose garden (come in June to really make the most of the rose season), leaping trout in the river and colourful autumnal hues, there’s plenty of natural highlights.

Visiting families have bags of space to run, jump and play, and a calendar of great trails and activities. Worth noting that Mottisfont is the National Trust’s No.1 place for Pooh Sticks – with several bridges to play on. Excitingly, all of Mottisfont’s Wild Play areas are also reopening during the May 2022 half-term. Kids can go wild in the Boggy Climbing area and splash around in the brilliant Pump, Pool and Paddle.

Love a good weekend amble? Head out on this downloadable six-mile estate walk and enjoy glorious Hampshire countryside.

When it’s time for a pitstop, refuel with refreshments, sandwiches and hot meals at the Coach House, where you can also find a great second-hand book house tucked away in the stables. Alternatively, grab drinks, snacks and sandwiches at the Walled Garden Kiosk. After, treat the kids (and yourself) to scoop or two of Hampshire-made Jude’s Ice Cream from one of their converted horse boxes.

Worth noting too that Mottisfont has a very good gift shop by the visitor entrance and exit. Look out for grown-up buys from local makers, like Long Barn Lavender goodies.

Not far off the M27 or M3, Mottisfont has plenty of free parking (around 400 spaces). At busy times like school holidays and rose season, you may need to book in advance. Please check the website when planning your visit.

This month in hants

near Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0LP

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