Yes it is a National Trust property but not with the kind of pretentiousness that some places boast and definitely not of a (large) size that will tire or bore you.
In recent years the NT has been able to reclaim parts of the house and garden from the period of tenancy (and the changes made by the tenant) that in the case of the garden has involved digging up the tennis court!! and tipping it into the swimming pool before returning the land to garden and produce growing. The house is now fully accessible and these changes alone make for a vast improvement to the whole setting.
It's a delightful house that was clearly once a home in the recent past and therefore benefits from feeling complete rather than a place where antiquities lie for viewing by passing visitors. Because the owner had no heirs, the house was bequeathed to the NT and this generosity has resulted in a place really worth several hours visiting.
In the house look out for a magnificent sideboard (purchased around WWII for £8) and the drinks/cooler trolley beneath. In the garden, go and find the distinctive sculpture of the yews near to the orchard (I thought the NT was too stuffy to allow such creativity). Although we visited just before the spring growth, we were lucky to catch a garden tour (with Roy) who was very informative, interesting and humorous. Although it is claimed this is one of the finest 20th Century gardens around, and so it needs little introduction, the tour really brought alive the beauty of the gardens and the care that was taken by Ralph Dutton, the owner, in its planning, landscaping, placement of sculptures and creation of vistas.
I have to say that I can take or leave some NT places but this grabbed me and the gardens alone deserve repeat visits at different times of the year. Hopefully, if you visit you will also enjoy the great interest and hospitality of the staff and volunteers who gave the impression that this is a place they are proud of...and rightly so.
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