We drove down to Mere in Wiltshire and stayed overnight so we could have the following day to look round the House and Gardens of Stourhead. The rhododendrons were in full bloom.
One of the attractions for me was Stourhead’s similarity to Stowe. The house and the garden with its temples and lakes are indeed of a similar period.
Stourhead garden was created by Henry Hoare II in the 1740s. The River Stour was dammed to form a great lake. Around the lake Hoare laid out a landscape garden to entrance his guests with stunning views and pacify them with serene walking pleasure.
As the garden developed, he added classical features, such as the Temple of Flora, the Pantheon, the Temple of Apollo and Gothic ruins to enhance the series of splendid and unexpected vistas.
A visit to the Grotto is fun, if a little damp!