Stourhead was one of the first grand Palladian-style houses to be built in this country, being finished in 1725. Owned by the Hoare family, the house grew over the years to accommodate the collection of paintings and furniture, much of which was acquired on the grand tour. Thomas Chippendale the younger was also employed to make furniture for the house during the 18th century and many examples survive today for visitors to admire.
With hills, water and classical architecture overlaid by a fabulous collection of trees and shrubs, Stourhead was described as 'a living work of art' when first opened in the 1740s. Meandering paths offer vistas through trees to classical temples and surprises at every turn. Stourhead is breathtaking in any season but on sunny spring and autumn days, the flowering spring shrubs and the flaming autumnal colours of the trees reflected in the magnificent lake are breathtaking.
Stourhead is the perfect place to run around and explore as a family. There's something different to do every time you visit. Being a landscape garden there is plenty of places to play games like hide and seek, but there is so much more that Stourhead has to offer.
Inside the house there is a family trail with a celebratory sticker at the end, and dressing up and traditional games can be found in the basement of the house.
A range of the National Trust's 50 things activities can be ticked off throughout the year (including run around in the rain!) and the scrapbooks can be picked up from visitor reception. Some of the activities that can be completed are explore inside a cave, build a den, roll down a really big hill, track wild animals and go bird watching. Stamps for completing any of the 50 things can be collected at visitor reception.
If you want to get a bit wilder then why not try one of the Tracker Packs? These are available all year and full of exciting activities to help you discover our wilder side and get you closer to nature here. They are full of fun objects such as binoculars and bug pots. You can use these objects to help you complete our activity work sheets. There is also a booklet in them full of information and facts about our animals, trees and environment. They are available from visitor reception and again you'll get a reward sticker when you return your pack to visitor reception.
If you like looking for nature and hunting for exciting things, then grab one of our Family Fun leaflets. Inside is a scavenger hunt that takes you all over our property, from the house to the garden and lake you need to search high and low. You need to try and find all items and tick them off as you go.
There's loads of fun to be had already, so leave the balls and bikes at home (these aren't allowed in the garden - sorry) and have fun exploring Stourhead as a family.
For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead