If you’re looking for a beautiful place for a Sunday stroll, Forde Abbey near Chard is definitely one to check out. We think it’s a bit of a secret treasure! Dating back almost 900 years, Forde Abbey is a family home as well as a living, breathing, working estate.
Go visit and you can have a nosey around the historic house and the little chapel in the grounds…
You can grab a cuppa and a cake in the monastic setting of the Undercroft tearoom…
… and there’s a fab plant centre too, if that floats your boat!
For us though, it’s the 30 acres of gardens and lakes that really really steal the show! They’re simply stunning - and well-behaved dogs on leads are allowed to explore them too (yay!) so Petal was pleased :)
If you’ve read some of our other blogs, you’ll know that nine and a bit months ago we took on a two-acre garden of our own, with absolutely no gardening experience (I know)! It had previously been opened as part of the National Garden Scheme and keeping it looking it’s best has been… how shall I put it… a bit of a challenge, but we’ve got stuck in, learned as we go and had a shed load of fun in the process. Then we saw the gardens at Forde Abbey. Wow. If only our gardens looked as awesome (and perfectly manicured) as this!
As well as their kitchen garden - which produces enough fruit, vegetables and flowers for use in the house and tearoom for most of the year - there’s some fantastic highlights to take in as you wander around Forde Abbey, drinking in the beauty of the place. None of them are cooler the Centenary Fountain, which sits proudly in the middle of the Mermaid pond.
Created in 2005, it’s the highest powered fountain in England and at various times of the day, it's switched on for a pretty dazzling display!
We’ve also got a bit of a soft spot for The Rock Garden and the gorgeous swing seat in ‘The Mount’ area, but to be honest there’s a whole host of lovely hidden spots for you to sit back and relax in, with the best possible views.
Possibly the coolest thing about Forde Abbey though is that it really does have something for everyone - whether you’re young, old or somewhere in between (like us)! There’s lots of events to get involved in and when we went, it was all about Halloween fun. We had a go at pumpkin rolling, down the hill in front of the beautiful house. The winner was the one who rolled it the furthest down the marked out course. I lost! Grrrrr!
We also followed a trail around the gardens to find some fairly spooky stuff hiding in the trees...
And we met a gigantic spider that would definitely have been at home in the Forbidden Forest of the Harry Potter books!!
Coming up at Forde Abbey they’ve got 'An Audience with Father Christmas' on December 10th (yep - even Santa is taking the time out to visit, so it must be fab!) and Florist Grace Alexander is running a series of workshops on December 3rd, as she 'Decks the Halls'there.
So, if you want to have a go at Christmas wreath and table centre piece making, or simply experience some Christmas magic in a truly gorgeous setting, Forde Abbey is the place for you. Put it this way, we’ll definitely be going back!