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“Great setting, but loads of work still to do to the house”
Review of Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Dyrham
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Dyrham Park is home to an ancient deer park, 17th-century house and formal garden. In 2015/16, the house underwent a huge conservation project to replace the leaking roof and install a biomass boiler. The house and garden are now in a state of transformation and include new tours, areas and exhibitions.
Reviewed 6 April 2018

We had time only to see the house, so I am unable to comment on the grounds. However, just to visit the house takes you through part of the grounds and you have to admire its enviable setting. There is a strong Dutch theme about the interior of the house as it was built and furnished by its first owner, William Blathwayt. He was a Netherlands-lover, and fluent in Dutch. He built this property from 1692, just after the assumption of the English throne by the House of Orange. He considerably extended an older Tudor house (the current Great Hall is all that is left of it). Desiring to flaunt his wealth, some of the rooms were decorated with Spanish leather. In one room this is still intact, though faded. Another room still has on show two highly controversial pieces from the slave-trading era. Blathwayt was not himself a slave-trader, but some of his commercial interests profited from slave labour. The pieces are stands with a dish resting of the back of a slave - complete with chains! In the 18th century no-one seemed to raise an eyebrow at this, but now they cause revulsion.
We left the property slightly puzzled. We know that the house has had a chequered history since it passed out of the hands of the Blathwayt family, which would explain why many of the rooms you visit are in a poor state of repair or lack any decor to speak of; one has a state bed intended to be used by Queen Anne which looks like it has just been dragged from centuries in a dusty attic. But why is this still the case? I know the work of conservation and restoration is expensive, but that is what the NT is for. It looks as though the NT only took it over a few years ago and hasn't got round to fixing it yet! But it has owned it since 1961! What have they been doing these last 57 years?
Finally, this is not a place to visit if you are on a tight timetable. The handbook doesn't make it clear that it can take at least 20 minutes to get from where you park your car to the entrance of the house. This is because on a busy day (the grounds were crawling in the Easter holidays) you may park at the far end of the car park. Then it is a further 15-minute walk down a very steep hill to the house. There is a shuttle bus, but if you just miss it, that's a 15-minute wait. Fine if you're not in a hurry.

Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen R, Public Relations Manager at Dyrham Park, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2018

Thanks for your review Michael. Dyrham Park's house is currently in the middle of a major transformation project following a very successful but expensive project to repair its leaking roof so there is a great deal on painstaking conservation work going on. Do come back and see some conservation in action over the next year or so - we have free tours to show visitors some of the work that goes on. And please come again when the project is complete. We'll take on board the comments about the handbook not pointing out the time it takes to get back up from the house. Many thanks.

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"car park"
in 249 reviews
"deer park"
in 84 reviews
"national trust"
in 175 reviews
"formal gardens"
in 68 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 75 reviews
"long walk"
in 37 reviews
"the main house"
in 32 reviews
"shuttle bus"
in 71 reviews
"tea room"
in 43 reviews
"walked down"
in 14 reviews
"renovation work"
in 14 reviews
"lovely place to visit"
in 18 reviews
"lovely grounds"
in 19 reviews
"sunny day"
in 27 reviews
"hot chocolate"
in 14 reviews
"lovely walk"
in 21 reviews
"nt property"
in 27 reviews
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65 - 69 of 1,034 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2018

Went for our first visit to this wonderful park on Easter day. As we had no children with us it was probably not the best day to visit as they has an Easter egg hunt which had attracted lots of families - ideal if you have children. We enjoyed our visit though and explored the gardens and lost terraces. We had planned to visit the café but the queues put us off - it was extremely busy! We will return on a quieter day to visit the house and check out their refreshments, which looked good!! Also they have extensive grounds which were closed due to the wet ground but again, something to look forward too when the weather improves - well worth a visit!

Thank Cathy163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen R, Public Relations Manager at Dyrham Park, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2018

Thanks for coming and for your understanding about the business! It's probably our busiest day of the year. Do come back again and see the site in the sun.

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Reviewed 1 April 2018

Being only a short drive from were we live we visit here regular. It is a great place for photography. The views from the park are great, on a good day you can see as far as the Brecon hills. Besides the Deer roaming the parkland there is plenty of wildlife to be found around the house and church plus the woods.
The cafe in the stable yard offers a good place to take a break and enjoy a beverage and a selection of food either inside or either of the two outside sitting areas.

Thank Rick326
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen R, Public Relations Manager at Dyrham Park, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2018

Glad you enjoyed your visit Rick. Thanks for the review.

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Reviewed 27 March 2018

The day was cold but it was a good trip. Plenty of parking and space for Kids to run around. The walks in the park were not paved but enjoyable seeing the deer, Plenty of Toilets near the house. The house and church are wonderful to see. Minibus runs from the car park to the house. Great place to stop coming to or from Bath.

Thank Ducknzzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen R, Public Relations Manager at Dyrham Park, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2018

Thanks for your review.

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Reviewed 24 March 2018

We had been staying in Bath and were heading up the A46 going towards Tetbury. The concierge in our hotel had suggested a detour to this property. I had heard of it and had indeed passed signs for it on previous visits to the area but had never considered it as a stopping off point as it was less than 10 miles from Bath, our destination.

At 11 am on a very cold midweek day after a weekend of heavy snow, we were surprised just how busy it was and I imagine in summer that car parking would be an issue. The walk down to the house from the car park took about 20 minutes and was all downhill. There was a little shuttle bus for those who preferred not walk which seemed to run every few minutes. There was a good viewpoint about halfway along the route where you could admire the house down at the bottom of the path.

We gatecrashed a private group (unknowingly) and had a tour of the gardens with an extremely knowledgeable guide. The weather was perfect to admire the views from the bottom end of the garden, looking up to the church and the house.

We had a quick lunch in the cafe and timed it well as it filled up very quickly. We also had a look in the shop which was rather overpriced we thought. (A bottle of perry cider was £6.50 whereas a slightly smaller bottle of local perry from Waitrose was £2.75).

That aside, however, it was a perfect morning and I am so glad we did the detour off the main road.

Thank lillibet12309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen R, Public Relations Manager at Dyrham Park, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2018

Thanks for the lovely review.

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