Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, Dorking, Surrey
Just 4 miles from Dorking, Polesden Lacey is the Surrey country house where the Queen Mother spent the first part of her honeymoon in 1923; she and the future King George VI were friends of Mrs Greville, the socialite who owned this famous house in Edwardian times and hosted party after party with the great and the good as her guests. That’s exactly what Mrs Greville wanted Polesden Lacey for and no expense was spared on its extensive refurbishment that began in 1906.
Now it’s owned by the National Trust and you can see some of the rooms for yourselves, among them the opulent Gold Saloon which was decorated to impress both kings and maharajahs. The Portico Bedroom and Bathroom are very lavish too, especially for those times, the servant’s hall and housemaids’ room less so. You can see Mrs Greville’s substantial art and ceramics collection and her personal life – not many people had one of those back then.
When you’ve looked around the house go and explore the grounds; the gardens are wonderful and have views of the Surrey Hills; in the wider vicinity there are waymarked trails that take you through gorgeous broadleaved woodlands, an utter treat on a sunny autumn day. Round it off with cake and tea in the Granary Café, and perhaps treat yourself to a little memento from the shop.
Opening times vary throughout the year but are generally from 10.00 am
T: 01372 452048 All information correct at the time of writing