Lifestyle

City girls in Surrey 

I’m still amazed at how many amazing parks there are in London and the surrounding areas. So much to see and not enough time! This weekend, my friends and I decided to go to Painshill Park, an 18th century landscape garden based in Surrey. It’s perfect for a summer weekend – we saw lots of people fishing by the lakes as well.

We took the train from Waterloo to Surbiton station and then took the 515 bus to the park. The journey isn’t particularly thrilling and takes quite some time but I personally thought it was worth it once you get to the park. If you can drive, even better (and probably a lot more convenient and quicker too!).

img_3174
Ready to explore!

img_3184

img_3186
Let’s get going!

The park is inspired by Renaissance and contemporary art as well as visits to Italy on the Grand Tour, by Charles Hamilton (the creator of the park). He wanted a tranquil landscape that was full of ‘follies’ i.e. structures mainly for decorative purposes, water, trees, shrubberies and a vineyard. The park is sign-posted and the ‘historic walk’ that goes to all main sites is, all in all, about 2.5 miles.

img_3464
Vineyards
img_3468
Outfit of the day – Zara all day every day!

img_3200

img_3652
The gothic temple
img_3252
Temple interiors
img_3544
Amphitheatre ruins

img_3504

img_3527
Forest exploration

img_3441img_3614The main reason I have wanted to visit Painshill Park is because of the Crystal Grotto. I came across some pictures a while ago and it looked like nothing i’d ever seen before. The grotto is on an island that is accessible via the ‘chinese bridge’. On approach, you can see beautifully crafted structures, recently fully restored, that are all man-made though give the appearance of volcanic rock. Once you step inside, it’s as though you’re in a fairy tale – it is truly breathtaking and my photographs really don’t do it justice! It is definitely the best feature of the park. Just remember that it’s only open on the weekends from 12-4!

img_3285
The chinese bridge
img_3299
Before the entrance
img_3570
Literally like this is in a fairy tale
img_3343
Chair goals
The stunning interior of the grotto

img_3380

img_3586
Stalactites made of calcite, quartz, gypsum and fluorite
img_3378
So beautiful
img_3431
No picnic is good without strawberries
img_3417
A whole lot of sweetness (and some carrots lol)
img_3392
Chinese bridge from afar
img_3448
This tree reminded me of an elephant’s foot – so cool
img_3646
The ‘turkish tent’

Overall, a great day and a place that I would highly recommend visiting, even if it’s just for the crystal grotto! You can easily spend the whole day here but, if you’re in a rush, I’d say 4 hours are more than enough to see everything.

Have you been anywhere new and exciting recently? Would love to hear about it!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s