After skipping going out for most of last week because it was too hot here in London (27C is now too hot for me, when did I become such a sissy?), I ventured to Chiswick House and Gardens when the weather was a cooler 22C. It was marvelous, sun was peaking through the clouds to give us warmth but at the same time the cool breeze makes walking around more comfortable. As many of you know by now, I do prefer the cold more than the heat.
I met two of my friends there for a walk, one’s a Filipina who’s here in London as an expat with an intention of seeing as much of London as she can before she leaves the city for good. The other one’s a Londoner who’s never been to Chiswick House and Garden even if it’s a mere 15-min drive away from where she lives. She’s a bit of a nutter, I tell you (hello KK!).
I can’t believe she’s never been here before, I’ve always told my British friends how lucky they all are to have beautiful and historical places like this at an arm’s reach because we didn’t have anything like this in the Philippines that’s for sure. Well I guess it’s human nature to not realize what we have right? Because I don’t think I’ve ever explored much of the Philippines as well when I was still living there.
Chiswick House is an 18th century Palladian-style villa surrounded by 65 acres of beautiful gardens located in West of London. It was built as a riverside retreat for the Earl of Burlington and was never intended as a private residence. The wealthy people at the time just deemed it fashionable to have a house by the river Thames as a retreat or a place to entertain their guests and if they have the money and the means to build it, why not?
Since 1984, the house has been cared for by the English Heritage and had a much-needed restoration of the gardens in 2005. These days, you can hire the villa or the conservatory for weddings, civil ceremonies and other private parties. If you’re ever getting married here, can I be invited please? I’m normally not the wedding guest kind of person but for a wedding in this beautiful setting, I’d go (or maybe even crash it).
Chiswick House was closed due to covid-19 but the garden was accessible to the public and free of charge as always. It’s not as big as some of the gardens I’ve visited which I think just added to the charm and beauty of this place. I suggest that you download the map of Chiswick Gardens from their website here. Some of my favourite stops in the gardens are the following:
The Cascade is a waterfall that descends on a series of rocks into a lake. The green space just beside the lake is perfect for picnics or just a place to gather your thoughts or in my case, wait for my friends to arrive. 🙂
One of the most famous photography stops in Chiswick House and Gardens is definitely the view of the house from across the lake. I actually have more than 10 different photos of this view on my phone right now because I couldn’t get enough of it even if I’ve seen it before.
The Classic Bridge is another famous photography stop in Chiswick Gardens, it overlooks a peaceful lake where ducks and other wildlife is abundant.
The Famous Cedars of London offers an amazing backdrop to any photo sessions which was what we did when we were there. I made my friends twirl for me on the camera for my video as well as photos. Lol.
The Italian Garden is a delight to explore with the flowers in full bloom and the conservatory standing prettily as a backdrop. Unfortunately, the conservatory was closed due to covid-19 but the well-manicured Italian Garden makes up for it.
There were a lot of families having picnics as well as people walking their dogs in the gardens. It’s a relatively small and compact garden but enough to give everyone space to enjoy it without being too cramped. They do have a cafe which was open at the time but only for take aways, the toilets unfortunately were still closed when we visited.
How to get here:
By train, the nearest station is Chiswick via the South Western Railway. It’s a 30 to 40-min train journey from Central London and from the train station itself – it’s a mere 15-min walk.
The garden and conservatory are accessible to the public for free from 7am until dusk all year round. However, it is still advisable to check their website for any private events or if they are carrying out essential works in the garden before your visit.
Chiswick House is still closed at the moment due to covid-19 but on normal days, there is an entry fee of approximately £9 per adult to access the house. There are however free tours of the house which takes place during Mondays and Wednesdays at 12nn and also Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays during 12nn and 1430hrs.