The Gods shone on us today and a group of 11 spent several hours exploring the beautiful grounds at Cliveden. We were greeted with sunshine and some light fluffy clouds as we assembled in the car park of the National trust gardens and extensive grounds at Cliveden near Taplow in South Buckinghamshire.
We first visited the Water Garden, its pond shimmering in the morning light, and currently undergoing repair. Thence we walked to the magnificent Fountain of Love with its exquisite statues. A stroll down the Long Garden with its beds filled with late flowering summer plants as well as beautifully manicured trees some shaped in the form of birds added to our enjoyment.
By chance the National Trust was having an open day and we were fortunate in being able to have a guided tour of parts of the house at Cliveden, now run as an exclusive privately run hotel. This was an unexpected opportunity and our knowledgeable guide recounted the the history of Cliveden since it was first built in 1666 until it was finally converted into its present day use as a luxury hotel. It is still owned by the National Trust and leased from them. For more info see https://www.clivedenhouse.co.uk/the-house/history/
After our morning promenade we stopped for lunch at the Conservatory Cafe and enjoyed their delicious food and where we were able to relax and consider further exploring the grounds of Cliveden. This included a walk on the original Terrace of the main Building which provided us with a breathtaking view over the Parterre and the rolling countryside beyond. We were also lucky to be able to visit the Astor Family chapel with its beautifully painted ceiling and glass tiled mosaic walls and also the War Memorial Garden containing the graves of men primarily from Canada who died in a nearby Canadian Hospital in Taplow during the first World War.
This was the first BMT Gardens visit and I very much hope members who came on it enjoyed it and I hope will join us on further garden walks. For more information about the Gardens Group please link https://www.goc.org.uk/groups/gardens/
I look forward to seeing you all on all our other walks and events.