Nunwell House and Gardens has been a private family home since 1522 and guided tours are available of the rather grand house and its five acres of gardens. When we say rather grand, we mean the kind of property that would put Downton to shame – with chandeliers, ornate decor and architectural significance, so if you holiday on the Isle of Wight during one of the periods when the house is open we’d recommend visiting.
The house is just outside the village of Brading, and if you’d rather just look around the picturesque gardens you can pay the reduced rate. One of the nice things about Nunwell is that the house has been added to over the generations, so while the earliest part of the building dates back to 1522, you’ll also find a music room that was added during the Victorian era. This is a house with a story, and the guides are always happy to tell it.
You probably already know that King Charles I was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle before his execution after his defeat, but did you know that his last night as a free man was spend at Nunwell? He went straight there after escaping from London, and you can still see the fireplace where they dried his sodden clothes and the room in which he slept.
The fountain that decorates the property’s front garden came over from Crystal Palace, and you’ll also find a rose garden, the walled garden complete with avenues lined by graceful bay trees and picturesque perennials that make for the perfect English country garden.