In the village of Holt, near Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, not to be confused with Court House, East Quantoxhead, Somerset, on the coast, visited recently. This was the first of two visits, with my friend Daphne, to National Trust properties (gardens only) on the same day recently.
The house, ‘an early Georgian gem’, which is never open for visitors, was built for one of the area’s prosperous cloth manufacturers. The garden was set out at the beginning of the twentieth century by then owner Sir George Hastings, and developed a few years later by subsequent owner, Lady Cecilie Goff. To quote my book on the gardens of the NT, ‘It is a compartmented garden, … each section has a formal structure. Generally it is a quirkier composition [than Hidcote, ‘England’s most influential twentieth century garden’] : Lady Cecilie loved springing surprises.’
A one-way system and social distancing were in place. It was, of course, grey and overcast, with rain threatening, and a bit of a breeze.
It was coming up to lunchtime, and we had picnics with us. But I had been over-optimistic with (insufficient) clothing to sit in the breeze, so we moved on to the location of our second visit, and ate separately in our respective cars.