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Visit to Kelmscott Manor and Buscott Park, May 2018

Kelmscott Manor gave specific instructions on the route and the size of the coach but instead of a 33 seat coach 28 members and friends boarded a 54 seat and set off on the journey. Soon we were passing Reading as we travelled along the M4 instead of the A417 as advised but to our relief we arrived at our destination on time after negotiating the narrow twisting roads leading to the Manor.

We were welcomed with coffee, or tea and scones and divided into 2 groups, taking turns to tour the house and garden. It was a beautiful day with a bright blue sky and as we listened to our guide describing the lives of William Morris and his friends the actual birds mentioned in the poetry arrived exactly on time as the reading. It was quite magical.

The tour of the house was equally fascinating and our guides were superb, leading us up a set of stairs which had one and a half steps and showing us the most important features of the house and its contents. Soon it was time for lunch of ploughmans with cheese or ham or the other choice of soup and bread rolls, all cooked freshly in the Manor kitchens.

As we left precisely on time to travel the short distance to Buscott Park our place was immediately filled by a large number of vintage cars, so the Manor staff waving us goodbye were there to greet their next visitors.

Buscott Park was very different from Kelmscott. The contrast between a comfortable cosy home with the emphasis on age-old skills and craftsmanship, to a stately home where money was no object, beautiful furniture, and elegant rooms decorated with the paintings of Burne-Jones, Murillo and Rembrandt.

The gardens led down to the lake and we were free to explore and enjoy refreshments before boarding the coach for the journey home.

Everybody enjoyed the day and I know the driver went home very happy with the extra bonus of lavish presents from his passengers.

Pam Syrett