When my sister and her fiancé came to stay last weekend, I planned an autumn adventure to make the most of the lovely warm weather. I’ve wanted to visit Tyntesfield, a National Trust house near Bristol, for a while after seeing snapshots of its stunning parkland and kitchen gardens on social media. I’d heard that it’s especially wonderful in autumn so that’s where we headed in the sunshine on Saturday.
On the way we stopped off at Farrington’s Farm where they have a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. I’ve never been pumpkin picking before and I couldn’t find a farm nearby, but my colleague told me about Farrington’s the day before and it just so happened to be halfway between home and Tyntesfield. I didn’t expect it to be so popular but there were lots of families there collecting wheelbarrows-full of pumpkins to carve in the big barn. A wholesome outdoor activity, it’s worth going for the friendly atmosphere and there’s something quite rewarding about choosing the perfect pet pumpkin to adopt!
When we arrived at Tyntesfield it was really busy – it seemed like everyone in the South West had the same idea! As it was a sunny Saturday, there was a queue to park, buy tickets and to be served in the café but it didn’t taint the experience and was well worth the wait.
From the ticket office you step out into the expansive 500-acre estate with a number of different trails to follow; we walked through woodland ablaze with autumnal hues towards the house.
At the heart of Tyntesfield is a spectacular Victorian Gothic revival house which you can look around to discover the fascinating story of the Gibbs family who lived there over four generations. We didn’t go inside but instead admired the ornate Gothic carvings, towering turrets and the amazing views across rural Somerset from the terrace.
The main reason why I wanted to go to Tyntesfield, we followed the signs to the kitchen gardens and they didn’t disappoint. You can walk through the antique glasshouses and see all the produce that they’re growing, from colourful chillies to sprawling vines and odd-looking vegetables!
Exploring the walled gardens felt like stepping into The Secret Garden, one of my favourite childhood films. The flowerbeds were still bursting with vibrant colours and there were happy insects buzzing around enjoying the last of the warm weather before winter.
It was charming to see working kitchen gardens without any signs of the modern world, complete with a peek into the potting shed.
One of the outbuildings housed Tyntesfield’s main autumn attraction, an impressive pumpkin display stacked high with countless varieties of squashes and gourds grown in the gardens. I didn’t realise you could grow squashes in quite so many shapes and sizes and they looked striking displayed together in a pumpkin pyramid.
I love celebrating the seasons and a visit to Tyntesfield was the perfect way to embrace autumn. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m an old woman in a 25-year-old’s body and become a member of the National Trust!
Tyntesfield comes to life at Christmas with their immersive Victorian experience so I’m looking forward to going back soon and exploring many more historic houses and beautiful gardens across the UK.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any recommendations for National Trust places to visit!