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“Stunning country house and gardens”

Parham House & Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: One of the top twenty in Simon Jenkins's book 'England's Thousand Best Houses'. Idyllically set in the heart of an ancient deer park, below the South Downs, the Elizabethan house contains an important collection of needlework, paintings and furniture. The spectacular Long Gallery is the third longest in England. The gardens include a four-acre Walled Garden with stunning herbaceous borders, plus Pleasure Grounds. Parham has always been a well-loved family home, and only three families have lived here since its foundation stone was laid in 1577. Its tranquillity and timeless beauty have changed little over the years. Now owned by a charitable trust, the house is lived in by Lady Emma Barnard, her husband James and their family. Open from Easter Sunday until the end of October. Please see the website for days and times.
West Sussex
Level Contributor
92 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Stunning country house and gardens”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2013

We've been here a few times over the last few years. We always love the tour of the house...so many truly interesting features. The staff are always very knowledgeable and happy to give you some information about the incredible paintings or antiques etc...there are some great stories attached to them. I particularly love one of the drawing rooms where they have hung paintings of the people who were probably actually there socialising together many many years ago...it brings the house to life.
Outside there are some terribly pretty gardens full of a fantastic variety of plants, as well as a lake and a kind of maze (but flat!).
If you get to go on the Parham Gardens weekend in July you'll be delighted to find many stalls set up selling plants, gardening items, gifts and country brocante.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank ccif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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160 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Orpington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Architectural gem by the Downs”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2013 via mobile

A beautiful unspoilt Elizabethan manor house full of great paintings particularly of the Stuart period with the 3rd longest long gallery in the country. Lots to see with an interesting exhibition on the family history. The room guides were very interesting but although every effort has been made to retain a lived in feel i agree with another reviewer that i would have liked more information on the exhibits particularly the paintings. The cafe is excellent and the walled gardens are fascinating. Well worth a visit

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank r1chard311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orpington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Magical place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2013

The review below surprised me as my husband and i were bowled over by the atmosphere and beauty of this home. I am not sure if going during the week made a difference but we found the guides really friendly and knowlegeable. Yew, we did take the time to engage with them, but i actually hate people approaching me so i would give full marks to guides who only give me information if i ask for it! I prefer to soak up atmosphere first then get my questions together and chat. the views of the south downs and deer were lovely and the gardens great. the little church was very sweet too. we had our tea in the restaurant with a delicious strawberry tart, probably obt the cheapest thing but a brilliant change from a slice of cake or a cream tea.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Michele C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Level Contributor
76 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Overpriced and badly organised”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

The gardens are quite nice, not spectacular, but in places were a bit overgrown and in need of attention. They need to employ more gardeners. The house is ok but there is no information about the items in the rooms, or the history of the house unless you ask a guide. Apart from a nice gentleman who actually talked to us in the long gallery, in all other rooms the guides just stood or sat there doing nothing! They didn't volunteer any info or engage with visitors at all.

In the first room there were loads of paintings with no info but with random numbers on them-No56, then 216, then 83, 175 etc so I asked the guide who said there was a list of paintings and info in a booklet which she then took out of a locked cabinet and asked me to return to the front desk at the end! Hardly accessible, and a totally boring and very time consuming way of getting the info as you had to flick backwards and forwards through the photocopied booklet to find the painting number- and they weren't in order in the book either!

I walked half way round the house before even finding out when the house was built and who owned it. By the time I left, I knew hardly anything about Parham House. It was just so badly organised-the staff and owners need to look at other stately homes to see how the experience can be made interesting and engaging for visitors because it certainly isn't here!! A great pity really as there is plenty of potential. As a result I thought it was very overpriced as there was no info to read in most of the rooms and the visit was therefore quite short.

If you pay 10%extra they giftaid your fee and you get a free coffee/tea but I thought that giftaid was only for taxpayers and they don't even ask this. I also thought that it was governments tax portion of your fee so don't really understand why you ended up paying more. The café we went into afterwards was overpriced and understaffed- we waited at the till for 2 minutes before calling out to see if there was anyone about!!

All in all I wish we had visited elsewhere during our limited time on a weekend away.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank victoroscar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Well thought out garden”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

We spent a lovely afternoon walking around this beautiful garden. We went at the end of August so some of the plants had gone over. There was lots of different areas to see. It was very peaceful bt the pond. The Wendy house was great . Had a good look around it. Would have been nice to be able to buy an ice cream to eat in the garden. St Peter's chuch was worth walking to. For lunch we both had a jacket potatoe with cheese and salad. Very tasty.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank 283sue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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