To be quite honest, the only reason why we were in Winchester was a matter of convenience. TH wanted to see Petworth House and i wanted to see Hampton Court. Spending a night in Winchester also helped to break up the drive from Rye to Devon.
Petworth House is in the town of Petworth and is a house that is famous for its art collection. There are paintings by artists such as William Turner, Van Dyck, Sir Godfrey, and William Blake. Every wall of every room of the house is covered with artwork, which I thought was an interesting way to appreciate art compared with museums featuring works of art of the same caliber. What was also interesting was the artwork did not distract from the rooms themselves which are beautifully appointed and decorated especially with such rooms as the Carving Room. As the name suggests, the room is decorated with intricate and detailed wood carvings – really quite extraordinary and probably one of the best rooms in the house.
The estate of Petworth House is also beautiful. We walked the garden, admiring the views and perfume of flowering trees. The garden features two temples styled with Doric and Ionic columns each. Despite the impressive art collection, I enjoyed the walk of the estate more. There wasn’t anything specific. Perhaps it was a mixture of the day being slightly overcast with the sun peeking out towards the end of our stroll, the fresh air, and just green everywhere. There were also people having a picnic on the estate which looked really inviting – such a wonderful idea!
We then traveled further north to visit Hampton Court, one of King Henry VIII’s residence. We had arrived in time to congratulate King Henry and Queen Kateryn Parr on their matrimony. It was interesting performance to witness.
Hampton Court is an enormous palace with many apartments to visit and extensive rooms to walk through. TH was very excited about looking at all the apartments because my interest with Hampton Court were in the gardens; it is one of the things the English are famous for.
The garden is immense and probably the largest garden owned by royalty that we visited. The air was fragrant with wisteria, which climbed along the sides of buildings. The delightful surprise was peering into tall shrubs that enclosed private gardens of colorful flowers or a decorative mini labyrinth; it was like looking into a secret garden of sorts. I would not think to look through the hedges had I not heard the faint splashing of a water fountain behind these tall hedges. Hampton Court also featured a rose garden however, given we were visiting in May, the roses were not in bloom.
We eventually arrived in the town of Winchester where we spent the night.
For more information about Petworth House, click here.
For more information about Hampton Court Palace, click here.