Posted 13th Jul 2015
Steeped in heritage and nestled in a stunning landscape, Weston Park allows you to take a step back in time and experience the Royal treatment
Pulling into the long winding drive of Weston Park is enough to have you in awe of this immaculate stately home. Every inch of the grounds is a gardener's paradise, from Lady Anne's Garden to the Walled and Teardrop Gardens where perfectly kept grass and lovingly nurtured flowers grow, surrounding the main house as if an island among a sea of green.
Greeted by one of Weston's charming butlers, you are escorted to your room, named from Bridgeman to Porch, Play Room to the Nursery, after those who have lived there or for the purpose they were once used. With 28 elegant rooms, each with its own personality and impressive décor, you are transported to an earlier time as you enjoy the pleasures of what once was a family home.
Originally owned by Elizabeth Mytton and Thomas Wilbraham, they set about creating a masterpiece with Elizabeth taking the reigns, bringing her vision to life with help from architect William Taylor. Grand dining rooms, impressive bedrooms and beautiful flooring emerged from their ideas, with the finishing touches coming later when the striking paintings hung on the walls were added by their daughter Mary. The vast collection of paintings that adorn the walls of Weston, from portraits of important family members and friends to their beloved horses and the stunning landscape of the house amongst the vibrant gardens, were Mary's father-in-law's, the 1st Early of Bradford, and his brother, Lord Torrington, who had amassed an impressive collection which she brought to Weston in 1735.
Mary had married the 2nd Earl of Bradford of the first creation, however with no male heirs, the estate moved to their daughter who then married Sir Orlando Bridgeman. Their son, Sir Henry Bridgeman, moved into Weston in 1760 and set about making £12,000 worth of improvements, including building the Temple of Diana, the Roman bridge and the great barn. Later, when the house handed down to the 3rd Earl, huge improvements were made to accommodate Weston's growing popularity following the introduction of the railway. A Victorian Wing, the Orangery, Loggia, Smoking Room and Billiard Room were added and the dining room was transformed giving it the light and airy feel that it has today with high ceilings and stunning artwork covering each wall, each one proudly sitting in ornate frames.
Having not lost the character and charm that was first instilled into its walls, Weston is a world away from your normal night's break, the grand marble staircase leads to corridors of rooms, with stunning views of the pleasure gardens or views overlooking the Italian gardens that are neatly kept by a team of only three gardeners – it is a breathtaking sight.
Further into the gardens you are met with the Temple of Diana, a luxurious, slightly more modern take on Weston. Built in the 1760s, under Sir Henry Bridgeman, it's exterior boasts a strong circular design from architect James Paine with an upstairs lounge area backing onto the beautiful vistas of Capability Brown's 1,000 acre parkland masterpiece. Three bedrooms, three bathrooms and two further reception rooms means that the Temple of Diana brings old-fashioned charm mixed with modern touches.
Whether you visit for a day or stay for a night, Weston Park is an experience above all else, not just a hotel but a place that is reminiscent of its colourful past. With modern conveniences such as The Granary, originally the great barn, and the deli and café which is overseen by head chef, Guy Day, who incorporates homemade specialities onto Weston's menu including delicious locally sourced ingredients, Weston Park is bursting with tradition and a wealth of heritage for you to uncover.
For more information about Weston Park's history and staying at Weston visit their website, www.weston-park.com.
By Lauren Morton
Images courtesy of Weston Park