Snowhill Manor – Costwolds Secret Garden

1st World War Sapper

Odd Collection



National Trust


Since becoming National Trust members, my wife and I have wanted to take full advantage of the array of properties on offer with them. We have pretty much set ourselves the target of visiting all of the places that are within a few hours drive from us, here in Northamptonshire.

Whilst flicking through the pages of the National Trust handbook, which we received on becoming members, I spotted a few locations in the Cotswolds. I absolutely love this part of the world.

Rolling hills, stunning scenery, tranquil rivers and streams and nice quiet roads. In particular, my eye was caught by a certain Roman Villa. Having searched for the best National Trust days out, Snow hill Manor came up….in the Cotswolds!

It was a sign, we must go!

Upon arrival, the car park was attended, although a touch small. We got to the entrance and queued to get in. We were handed a card with a time slot to visit the House. Just outside the ticket office a toilet awaits which is great for the little ones after a long ish journey.

We stopped at the café for a quick refreshment before heading down to the Manor.

A large cart ferries people back and fourth if you fancy an easier day or are disabled. If you struggle with walking long distances, this will be ideal for you. We strolled on.

Half way down – we were glad we had walked. We came across a Hazel run. Low Hazel hurdles which form walk ways and dens in the woodland just off the beaten track. My daughter Eliza absolutely loved it. Such fun running around it and discovering what was hidden at the end. In a clearing a large tree stump had been carved into a seat for little ones and personally, I think that anything that helps children use their imagination Is brilliant.

Do you remember walking into somewhere that brings the magic of imagination alive? Little dens and walkways make this a brilliant stop on the way down to the Manor house.

Soon, we came to a sign board with illustrations of all of the wildlife you may expect to see in and around the Manor. We played a game to see who could see the most animals and insects from that board.

I won!!

Basically the Manor was never lived in by the former owner Charles Wade, instead he bought it in 1919 literally to keep his odd collection safe inside. Instead he resided in a lovely, cosy barn just opposite the manor. You can look all around where he ate, slept and lived. Brilliant!

The gardens around the Manor house are beautiful. A miniature harbour, monuments and outbuildings can all be seen and investigated. Lots to look at including a dovecote?

Our time had come to visit the house. His collection has been called “ODD” but to be honest I didn’t agree. It looked like the possessions of an adventurer. Charles liked colourful, out of fashion items and collected them.

Then I am a little odd!! LOL


Toys & Games


Ancient armour


Unusual items

and lots more

Having spent a good few hours here we made our way to a Roman Villa also in the Cotswolds. Read about that later!

A fantastic day out and well worth a visit.


What the kids thought..


Eliza (Aged 4) – I liked the place that went round and round. With the things! (She means the Hazel walk)


George (Aged 12) –  Being able to see where he actually lived and how it would have looked! (Actually quite a grown up answer from him!)


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