The beautiful 18th Century Harewood House is one of the treasure houses of England and is close to Leeds, York and Harrogate. Inside there is a vast and varied art collection including many personal items belonging to Princess Mary who lived here when she married the 6th Earl of Harewood.
Although photography is not allowed inside the house I can tell you that each room was more impressive than the last and the house is in immaculate condition. I think my favourite room has to be Princess Mary’s bedroom with it’s beautifully decorated Chinese wallpaper dating back to the 1700′s. It wouldn’t have actually adorned the room when the Princess lived here, it was only hung in 2008 after being discovered in an out building where it had been gathering dust for over 150 years!
If you’re a fan of antique furniture you’ll love the collection of Chippendale including one of their most expensive ever productions, a beautifully carved bed draped in green silks, you can’t miss it if you visit, it’s one of the biggest beds I’ve ever seen!
The best views at Harewood are undoubtedly from the rear of the property where the landscape really equals the architecture in grandeur. I imagined what it must have been like to live here as a Royal lady and I reckon I would have made a pretty good princess!
Whilst I wandered around the pretty gardens I bumped in to a lovely lady named Alex, celebrating her pregnancy with a group of friends. The afternoon tea looked splendid, cheers girls!
There are over 100 acres of gardens at Harewood with a dazzling range of plants from all over the world, enough to keep any green fingered garden lover happy for hours! No wonder it takes 98 volunteers to keep Harewood open to the public every day!
Don’t worry if you don’t know your rhododendrons from your Eucryphia (me neither!), there is plenty more to see at Harewood including a wonderful bird garden, home to penguins, flamingos, owls, macaws and cranes to name a few. There are labels throughout the garden that give fun facts about the birds, their habitat, diet and behaviour.
If you’d like to get even closer to the wildlife that lives here, penguin feeding takes place at 2pm everyday and the experience costs £10. I would have done it myself but I was too busy browsing the bookshop and missed my chance!
I’m sure I’ll go back to Harewood House, I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on their events programme throughout the year (VW Festival in August? Yes please!) I’ll also be packing a picnic to enjoy my favourite part of Harewood, the idyllic views.