A colleague at work told me about this place - The Newt near Bruton.
You pay for an initial ticket, which then gets upgraded to a pass, valid for a year.
Now I originally bought the ticket way back in October in readiness for my birthday treat with my sister but once we went into lockdown, we felt our journeys wouldn't be essential so cancelled. I'm due to meet my sister there next weekend, for a socially distanced walk and present swap but it all depends on the weather. Sophie and I decided it would be a good idea to do a recce before next weekend and went yesterday. There is a no dog policy, so Sophie was more than happy to come. It's just half an hour up the road and I was really pleasantly surprised. It shouts 'money' whoever owns it has invested a lot of money into the grounds and the buildings and being in Bruton, it certainly attracts a London audience.
But it was lovely and I certainly will be going back, making full use of my pass.
You parked up and then walked up a boarded, lit walkway to the ticket office, then along further to the reception area, where we picked up a map.
This beautiful carved apple sculpture is the first thing you see.
I'd read up about this beautiful raised walkway, spiraling through the trees and although brief, it didn't disappoint. It will be lovely to walk along it throughout the different seasons.
Beautiful light and design.
The gardens and wooded areas are beautifully landscaped. We only explored one area, so will definitely need to go back. It's not your Poldens or Stockhill, no romping through the undergrowth but instead neat pathways wind their way through the wooded areas. I suspect it's a haven for all things fungi when in full season, so I look forward to returning for that.
The beautiful walled garden is in the central area, near the cafe and shop. It was quite busy by the time we returned from our walk but there was plenty of outside seating and an area selling warm cider.
The big surprise for me was seeing deer! I hadn't realised there was a deer park there.
As we walked the treetop walkway, we spotted two deer hiding down in the trees.
Once we entered the open area there was a field full of deer - incredible.
We then dropped down the pathway back into the wooded area and saw a pair of deer really close up, but then further along the pathway, there was a herd of maybe 20 or more deer just meters away!
It really was a beautiful place,
And I will be back!!
A super Covid Christmas attraction.