Britain’s Historical Houses: Charlecote Park, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire
The British Landscape is rich with ancient and majestic houses, hidden away in the nooks of cities and in the depths of the countryside. Britain’s Historical Houses therefore explores these houses and brings their stories to you, our readers.
Here we will be exploring Charlecote Park, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire.
Charlecote Park, located 4 miles east of Stratford-upon-Avon, will take you back in time with its Victorian-style furnishings, parterre garden, herbaceous plants, woodland and wonderful wildlife. There is much to see at the house and lots of history to explore too!
The house was built in the 1558 by Sir Thomas Lucy and the site had been in the Lucy family name for some time prior to this. Sir Lucy, an English politician, was probably best known for his links to William Shakespeare. Lucy came into conflict with Shakespeare’s family when William was young, and later with William himself who is said to have stolen game in the park. William was prosecuted by Sir Lucy for this incident in 1585 and it is supposedly this which drove Shakespeare from Stratford to London. Shakespeare later caricatured the Lucy family in his writings through characters in Henry IV and Merry Wives of Windsor.
A lot of conservation work has been done to restore the house and its gardens which is ongoing to this day. You can find out more about this restoration work here. Work has also been done to make the Park as accessible as possible to all. It is currently partially wheelchair accessible and braille and large print guides are available. Do ask about those at reception.
We would recommend that you do the following when you visit Charlecote Park:
- You should check out the wonderful furniture and art, including a painting of Queen Elizabeth I (who is said to have once stayed in the house in what is now the drawing room).
- Take a walk in the gardens! With its tranquil setting, beautiful flowers and scents of heliotropes, the gardens are a great place to relax and wind down. They were landscaped by Capability Brown – influential landscape designer – in 1760 and will provide miles of great walks as well as wonderful views of the River Avon. For a comfortable walking route of the gardens, click here. We’d recommend that you wear some good walking shoes, and be sure to take your binoculars so that you can catch a glimpse of the local wildlife including fallow deer, Jacob sheep, bats, hares, birds and bees! End your walk back at the house with a nice game of croquet
- Feeling hungry? There’s a restaurant on site which sells hot and cold foods as well as drinks, using local, home-grown produce.
- Take a tour or take part in the children’s quiz available! Various tours are available including costumed tours, and they’re all FREE! No need to book – just ask at reception on your way in.
- Pick up some great gifts in the Servants’ Hall shop while you’re there! Alternatively, there is a well-stocked second-hand bookshop on-site that you could check out, AND a Pantry which sells locally produced foods including flour, wine, jams and so on. It even sells honey produced by the park’s bees! Yum! More on that here.
Admission for whole property entry starts at £9.63 for adults and £4.81 for the kids (more with gift aid). Family and other concession tickets are available, as well as ‘Garden and park only tickets’.
Travelling by public transport? You can get a 10% discount voucher for use in the restaurant or shop. Alternatively, if you’re driving, free parking is available on site as well.
For more information, and to book, click here.
Need a place to stay? Stay at Walton Hall, only a ten minute drive away from Charlecote Park, Wellesbourne! This fine historic country house hotel boasts 65 beautiful acres and lovely, comfortable bedrooms. Need to unwind after your long walk in Charlecote’s gardens? Head to Walton Hall’s Conservatory Bar where you can have a drink and sample the bar’s foods. Alternatively, you could head to the Hall’s swimming pool to do a few lanes, or spend some time in its beauty rooms for some amazing spa treatments to really relax those muscles! Feeling more peckish? The award winning Moncreiffe restaurant, a 2 AA Rosette establishment, has views over the gardens and serves the finest fish and game dishes as well as afternoon tea!
Complement your stay at Walton Hall (and your visit to Charlecote Park) with a half hour drive into the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon and a visit to the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre to really put a bow on your trip. For more information, and to see what’s on at the theatre, click here.
Enjoy your visit to Charlecote Park!