Lytes Cary Manor, Charlton Mackerell, Somerton, Somerset
By manor house standards Lytes Cary Manor near Somerton in Somerset would be considered ‘small’ or ‘intimate’ but that certainly doesn’t mean it won’t take long to look round. This is the kind of place where you want to linger; it has some sort of magic that it weaves over you and the overall feeling is one of a pervading gentleness that makes you feel quite honoured to be here.
With that in mind take your time to browse the collections in the house and the very fabric of the building – it dates back to medieval times when it was home to an acclaimed herbalist, Henry Lyte. In the early 20th century the Jenner family moved in and began the hard work of laying out the Arts and Crafts style gardens that you see today. There’s a series of garden ‘rooms’, each with a different theme or mood, separated by yew hedges and walls built of local stone; of note are the glorious flower borders, the herb beds and the admirable topiary.
There’s a chapel here too, which is lovely, so pop your head in and have a look; bibliophiles will want to stop at the book shop barn and if you’re peckish or not, the quaint little tea shop is always a temptation. Same with the gift shop really, the National Trust stock some good stuff so have a look, buy something to remind you of your visit.
Dogs; they’re not allowed in the gardens, unless they’re assistance dogs, but you can take them for walks in the wider estate. There’s a trail along the River Cary which is particularly nice, especially on one of those hot summer days when the sun glimmers on the water and you can see for miles across the countryside.
Opening times vary throughout the year
T: 01458 224471 All information correct at the time of writing