Well I did at least. Made our way to Dyffryn house and garden and got stopped by a police motor bike that was part of a calvacade of bikes and then two black Daimlers and then a police car and then more police motorbikes. We were made to wait ten minutes or so after last one went through and I said to Gilbert “perhaps it’s the Queen and they don’t want us too close”. Nah he reckoned, the road would be closed if it was the Queen. Oh well, we headed on only to find they had all gone to the same place as us. Dyffryn Gardens.
The place is massive and interesting because it had been let go badly and then donated to council who used it as meeting rooms and for conference hireage. For thirty years council let many different groups use it including scouts, dance troupes, weekend artists, training courses and the list goes on and on. You can imagine it didn’t have the most careful of treatment until it was leased to a hotel group who began to strip it out to refurbish as a hotel. Unfortunately they went bankrupt after ripping out floors and ceilings and old wiring, and then walked away.
National Trust had been looking after the gardens and so then took over the house and have restored just five of the rooms to different degrees so we can see the house in its various stages which was sad but interesting. We could see the interior walls open and exposed and various graffiti.
The grounds however are amazing. If you’ve heard the term ‘garden rooms’ this barely begins to describe it. The map gives you an idea of what we walked around. The very dark grey shading is the house in a ‘Birdseye’ view. Now given the first pic showing you how massive the house is, you can appreciate the enormity of the grounds. I’d guess some 30 acres. SEVERAL walled gardens. It just went on and on and we loved every minute of it! Well I think Gilbert did too? Got more ideas for our home garden. Definitely a maze. Kids there were loving that and we found an easier way to do a vine walk. Gotta go sketch it up…
Oh, you wanna know…was it the Queen? Well I’m not fussed on the Queen to be honest but this was a bit exciting to see who exactly might be going to the same place as us. There were suited special force and police everywhere, but they were just casually chatting with each other. Turned out it was a practice run! Don’t know what for, but that was our momentary ‘not’ brush with the rich and famous.