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Review: Polesden Lacey - National Trust

Attraction - Historic house or stately home

Great Bookham, nr. Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6BD, United Kingdom

A great day out!

  • By SilverTraveller Rowsie

    115 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • March 2017
  • Family including children under 16

18 people found this review helpful

A great place to visit if you are in the Surrey area is Polesden Lacey. In the village of Great Bookham, Nr Dorking this National Trust property was once the lavish country retreat of Maggie Greville. Maggie was an eminent socialite with a quick wit and a sharp tongue who thrived at the heart of Edwardian Society.

My son and his family treated me to a day visit to Polesden Lacey for Mothers Day this year. Even from the outside you can see what a fabulous party house this would have been. The formal gardens are beautifully kept and beyond these is the Parkland area where you can take a leisurely stroll down Long Walk to the area for children called The Squirrels Play Area.

Inside the house the rooms were designed by Mewes and Davis (interior designers to the Ritz) and Maggie Grevilles brief was simple. They were to create rooms in which “to entertain maharajahs!” They certainly did but for all it’s splendour it also has a warm feel about it.

You can roam the servant’s hall and see the attic bedrooms where the male servants lived. These private spaces have only recently been opened to National Trust visitors. You can read what it was like to be a servant in Maggie Grevilles household. My grandson was especially amused to learn that when the family were away the servants would roller skate down the corridors! They also had a social club which is now the gift shop.

Polesden Lacey is a fascinating place and we spent all day exploring the house and grounds. I would strongly recommend it for a visit. There is a good Granary Cafe where you can get a meal (although unfortunately we left it so late there was only soup left!). There is also the Dairy Courtyard for ice creams and coffees or teas.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 7 Comment(s)

  • pzmaid
    almost 3 years ago
    I love a good historic house and if I'm ever in the vicinity I'll make sure I visit Polesden Lacey.
  • Happy-Feet
    almost 3 years ago
    Have never visited the house - really must do from your informative review. We have, however, visited Polesden Lacey gardens and well remember the beautiful parkland and the grandchildren rolling down that hill! We had a lovely meal there too in very pleasant surroundings in the courtyard. This National Trust property has a great deal to offer for all ages.
  • discerning-traveller
    almost 3 years ago
    I wouldn't go as far as 'superior' :) Seriously, though, Versailles is truly amazing. I had to put to the back of my mind that KIng Louis X111, who built it so lavishly, did so in the knowledge of the poverty around him. Not a new story!
    Such a while ago now but I seem to remember that we tagged it on to a Paris trip, getting the train from there to Chatres. Would need to check that but think that right.
    Worth it if you're in Paris
  • ESW
    almost 3 years ago
    Not having been to Versailles, I bow to your superior knowledge!
  • discerning-traveller
    almost 3 years ago
    Opulent agreed but no where near as opulent as Verasilles! Not written a review as was years ago but the I have never seen such opulence.
  • ESW
    almost 3 years ago
    It is several years since I went to Polesden Lacey and I thoroughly enjoyed it too. Opulent just doesn't begin to describe some of the rooms.
  • discerning-traveller
    almost 3 years ago
    Great to hear what a good day out this is. I used to visit when I lived fairly near there over ten years ago