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Clandon Park

March 22, 2012

Last weekend we went to visit Clandon Park in Surrey. Clandon park is an eighteenth century Palladian mansion by the architect Giacomo Leoni, set in beautiful gardens and owned by the National Trust. The house was originally owned by the Onslow family, who still own the surrounding land.

We had such a lovely day and as well as getting my history fix there was loads for my 6-year-old daughter to do. On arriving we were told that for £2.50 they were offering short pony rides for the children. My daughter loved this and we only had to queue for about ten minutes for her turn. While we waiting there were fabulous views of the back of the house and we were right next to a meadow full of beautiful daffodils.

After the pony ride we had a look at the grotto and the Maori meeting-house that was brought over from New Zealand by the  Onslow (the then owners) family in 1892.

Because it was mothers day they were offering children the chance to make small posies for their mums, which was a really nice touch. My daughter really enjoyed selecting some flowers and putting them together for me, with the help of the volunteers.

The house is fabulous, Leoni is a particularly significant architect and you can see why. I was really impressed by how many rooms were open to the public. The collections of furniture and porcelain are amazing and as usual all the volunteers were informative and helpful.

The highlight of the house would have to be the state bedroom with the original early eighteenth century bed. The volunteer informed us that despite being a state bedroom the only royal to ever sleep there had been a french princess. The marble hall is also very impressive and features an amzing ceiling and sculptures.

I was impressed that my daughter was given a quiz to walk round the house with which really encouraged her to take in the details of the house. There was also a table half way through with some colouring and word searches for the children. I really like the fact that children have been catered for, allowing me to have more time looking at the house.

We had a quick bite to eat in the restaurant after looking round. it was a busy day and there wasnt much left in the way of sandwiches, but I did have a very nice cup of tea.

I would recommend this day out to adults and children, although catering well for children it would still be fun to come without them and I also felt that children were encouraged to appreciate the house rather than mess about and be a distraction.

I took a few pictures on my I Phone but next time will try and take my SLR to get some better snaps.

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