A chance spot on Twitter led us to Cerney House Gardens on a warm, overcast Saturday lunchtime. Despite having a well designed website, nobody we knew had heard of Cerney House Gardens and so we were rather unsure as to what we might find.
Barely driving off the main road, but with enough windy bends and tree lined roads for it to feel like we were in the middle of nowhere, we followed the sign for parking, only to find that we had sole custodianship of the gardens for the afternoon. Feeling rather lucky, we popped our walking shoes on and headed, camera in hand, for the garden gate, golden Cotswold gravel crunching underfoot.
What immediately strikes you about the gardens is how uncommercialised they are; having recently visited The Eden Project, which is impressive in its own right, the contrast is stark. A wooden honesty box adorns a little shed with free maps of the garden in a quirky hand drawn style. Later, we stepped through a doorway and found a fully equipped kitchen, resplendent with vintage china, yummy homemade cakes, a pottery studio with lots of unusual and attractive designs and other local goodies like the excellent Dolcetti ice cream. Rather than extortionate prices and generic offerings, we were charmed by the home away from home feel and little book to jot down your purchases. Flicking through previous pages gave a sneaky peek into other visitors choices and an idea of how their visit had been.
Outside, we found a fragrant array of flowers, lovely ripe apples, vegetables peeking up out of the soil and a rather portly Gloucester Old Spot snuffling behind a crumbling stone wall.
If all the Cotswold’s bees, butterflies and winged creatures weren’t already buzzing around the magnificent lavender, they surely will be packing their bags and visiting soon once the reviews are in, given how popular it was. I took these videos to show you as we felt rather privileged to witness the thrum of so many tiny wings in the sunshine.
Rather a lot, wouldn’t you agree? Heading back out to the car, we were left reflecting on a gloriously sunny afternoon spent in our own private idyll. We rather suspect this might be the only attraction in the Cotswolds where you can manage several hours on a sunny summer Saturday without seeing a single soul. Definitely one to return to and we would highly suggest you visit too; just please not when we are there :-P.
Entrance costs £5 for adults and only £1 for children on an honesty basis and more details can be found on their website.