Stately days out in the East Midlands

Plan a visit to Packwood House, a fine manor house with opulent tapestries, stunning stained glass and a famous yew topiary dating 350 years just a short walk from the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal

Stratford-upon-Avon Canal

Abi Whyte

Posted on 22/05/2019

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This fine manor house was built in the late 16th century for a wealthy Warwickshire farme, underwent a series of mini transformations over the centuries, and then was stripped back to its Tudor roots by Graham Baron Ash in the 1920s.

Today the house is owned by the National Trust, and while its opulent interior includes tapestries, stained glass and 16th-century furniture, the crowning glory can be found outside the walls – its famous yew topiary dating back over 350 years. It has been meticulously clipped into conical and cylindrical shapes, which, if you stand back to observe it all, depicts the Sermon on the Mount. This summer the topiary will be the backdrop to some exciting outdoor theatre productions, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Wuthering Heights.

Leading on from the garden is a walk down to a lake and a wooded glade, which you might still see carpeted with bluebells this time of year. There’s also a Welly Walk in the wooded area for children, plus lots of fun opportunities for den building and tree trunk hopping. And don’t miss the Prospect Room, ‘a space perfectly suited to daydreaming’ positioned beyond the lake with panoramic views of the estate. It was installed in 2017 by artists David Murphy and Catherine Aitken, and will be removed this year, so try not to miss it.

And the best part – you can combine your visit with a beautiful walk along the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal to Baddesley Clinton, a 15th century manor famed for its priest holes. The five-mile walk starts and ends at Packwood, and takes in part of the Heart of England Way.

Plan your visit to Packwood House and Stratford-upon-Avon Canal

Tony Hisgett