Polesden Lacey is one of the most popular properties of National Trust and deserves fame as the house is gorgeous.
The renown is also because in 1923, Dame Margaret Greville, the owner of the house, invited the future King George VI and Elizabeth the Mother to spend a week of their honeymoon there, while Mrs Greville was in London.
Mrs Greville was famous for entertaining royalty, politicians and celebrities at extravagant weekend parties in Polesden, between 1909 and 1942.
Polesden Lacey was built in 1821-3, and Mrs Greville and her husband bought the house in 1906.
They commissioned architects Davis and Mewès, famous for remodelling the Ritz Hotel in London, for entirely renovating the house.
Sadly, her husband died in 1908, one year before the renovation was ready.
On her first party at the house, the guest of honour was none other than King Edward VII.
But she hosted over the years people like Winston Churchill, Beverly Nichols, Queen Ena of Spain and several others.
Margaret died on 15 September 1942 and left the property to the National Trust, “for the largest number of people to have enjoyment thereof”.
The Edwardian house is located on the North Downs at Great Bookham, near Dorking in the beautiful Surrey county, England.
For those who don’t know, North Downs is a ridge of hills in south-east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent.
Polesden Lacey has excellent views across the Surrey Hills and 1.400 acres of countryside to explore on four way-marked routes around the estate, each in differing difficulty and lengths.
In the spring you can see the beautiful bluebells, wisteria and butterflies, plus the stunning cherry trees.
In the summer, the dragonflies, beautiful orchids and more than 2,000 roses in trimmed areas and climbing over the pergola.
In autumn, the herbaceous borders are full of bright colours and lovely scents.
In wintertime, the winter garden is a hidden masterpiece that comes to life with colour and fragrance with delicate yellow aconites and carpets of snowdrops flower.
On the last Wednesday of every month at noon, a member of the garden team will give a brief explanation of different aspects of the garden.
Inside the house, it has a world-class collection of British, Dutch and Italian paintings, excellent examples of fine silverware, European and Chinese ceramics and exquisite art objects.
To properly conserve the house, National Trust needs to “rest” de floorboard, because it was not built to support as many visitors as it receives nowadays.
For that reason and also to take care of the textiles, some rooms are closed from time to time.
The property has a coffee shop, gift shop, book shop and a lovely garden shop and the profits go to the conservation of it. For more info, check their website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey
I visited Polesden in June, and although the formal garden wasn’t in full bloom, it was gorgeous nonetheless.
Adults: £10 and child £5 (verified in June 2020)
It is free for National Trust Members.
How to get there?
The easiest way is to drive, and there is no train or bus station nearby. The address is Great Bookham, Surrey, RH5 6BD.
However, on their website, they ask to insert this Post Code KT23 4PZ, instead of the one in the address above.
Boxhill & Westhumble 3 miles;
Bookham 2.7 miles,
Dorking 4 miles,
Leatherhead 4 miles.
There are taxi ranks at Dorking and Leatherhead stations.
– Shere (10 miles) is a lovely little town where part of the movie “The Holiday” was filmed;
– Leith Hill Place (11 miles);
– Mayfield Lavander Farm (14 miles)
– Winkworth Arboretum (20 miles)
I love driving around the countryside and visit these historical places and the nature surrounding it.
If you would like more suggestions about places to visit here in England, check it out here.
Have a lovely day!