In contrast to some of our earlier visits this year, the cloudy skies and lack of sunshine was welcomed by many of the members as they climbed onto the coach.

The skills of Tony, our driver, were certainly challenged as we wound our way through the lanes and into the drive leading through the estate to Coombe Trenchard.

First impressions were of a pleasant but not outstanding house, however as we started the journey to the terrace overlooking the gardens towards Brentor, the whole experience started to unfold. A warm welcome from Sarah, a delicious and generous lunch served in the converted coach house, with seconds and thirds.

Following lunch, the story of the ownership of the estate was given as an introduction and the party then divided into two, in order to be guided round the house and through the gardens.

On entering the house, the magic of a property whose features have been left almost untouched since the beginning of the twentieth century was stunning.

The current owners have worked to ensure that their home retains all the important elements of the original Arts and Crafts designs whilst still making a comfortable family home.

The estate is still undergoing restoration following years of neglect, but the gardens still reflect the past grandeur of entertaining and the country house parties, that must once have been pivotal in the life of this fascinating property.