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Things to do in the October Half Term Holidays in Gloucestershire

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Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park is situated in the southern reaches of the Cotswolds in South Gloucestershire
Dyrham Park is situated in the southern reaches of the Cotswolds in South Gloucestershire

About Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park is a spectacular late 17th-century mansion, garden and deer park in South Gloucestershire.

This baroque mansion was built in two stages between 1692 and 1704 for King William III’s Secretary of State, William Blathwayt. Building upon an earlier Tudor house, the Huguenot architect Samuel Hauduroy created the west front of the house while William Talman, Comptroller of the King’s Works, built the east front. Talmann also built an orangery, inspired by the example at Versailles, onto the south front of the house.  Little of the interior has changed over the years and therefore Dyrham boasts one of the best surviving Baroque interiors in the country. The rooms feature oak wainscoting, walnut panelling and leather-hung walls. The Great Hall is the historic core of Dyrham; once the heart of the original Tudor house, it is all that survived from that period after Blathwayt’s rebuilding.

A £10-million project is underway to restore, revitalise and reimagine Dyrham Park so visitors can get a flavour of the life of William Blathwayt in the late 1600s by stepping into the impressive baroque mansion house with its collection of fine art and Dutch Delftware.

The 270-acre (110 hectare) ancient parkland is full of magnificent trees and breathtaking views and space for all the family to enjoy. Young explorers can run free, be at one with nature and tick off challenges on their 50 things list.

The gardens were designed by George London in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and included a formal Dutch water garden, but most of the features were replaced in the late 18th century with designs by Charles Harcourt Masters.  Splendid borders, idyllic ponds and a wildflower orchard are all features of the stunning garden which is being sensitively developed as a 21st-century garden with echoes of the past. The park is listed Grade II* on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

Dogs at Dyrham Park

Dogs are not permitted in main deer park and garden but are allowed in dog-walking area next to the main car park. Assistance dogs are welcome.

Disabled Access at Dyrham Park

There are designated spaces for disabled visitors although many wheelchair users may find the parkland too steep a gradient to access. There is one disabled toilet in the reception building. The park has no hard surface paths and is steep and uneven in many places and is therefore unsuitable for wheelchairs or mobility scooters. The parkland has areas of deep water which can be muddy.

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