The Vyne is a 500 year old Tudor property in the National Trust portfolio. It’s not one we’ve visited before so when I saw it had a Halloween trail this week we decided to give it a try.
There are two Halloween trails to choose from. The under 8s trail involves finding spooky characters who have a letter each to spell out a secret phrase. The over 8s trail involves solving riddles and then finding the answers around the grounds. The trail sheets cost £2 each in addition to your entry fee (free entry for National Trust members). Children get a chocolate treat when they complete it.
The grounds at The Vyne include gardens, woodlands and wetlands. There is a river running along the back of the house with a large lawn. Its a lovely picturesque spot to run off some energy or enjoy a picnic, although it was a bit too wet for that today! There are plenty of water birds, including swans, to see.
We followed the path alongside the river to the wetlands where you can observe the wildlife from a bird hide. It’s a beautiful spot to spend some quiet time. Take binoculars with you if you have any as there aren’t any in the hide. Apparently you can often see heron there, although we didn’t see any today. There were some other birds there though. No idea what they were as didn’t have binoculars with us to see close enough!
Right next to the bird hide is a little bridge and then a walkway up into the woods. We spent some time playing pooh sticks (with fallen leaves) on the bridge and were lucky enough to spot two crayfish in the water!
Up into the woodlands there are 3 marked walks you can follow, each a different distance ranging from 1.1-2.3 miles. We didn’t wander far as it was very wet and muddy and I unfortunately hadn’t taken our welly boots. Instead we built dens and climbed on fallen trees for a while.
After a good walk we went to explore the house. When you walk into the entrance hallway make sure you look up at the ceiling, it is stunning!
We explored the downstairs rooms that were open to visitors and then the book shop too which is in the old servants quarters.
We spent about 3 hours exploring The Vyne which included a pit stop for lunch. I think we might head back there again to explore the woodlands more and see the Christmas decorations too. If you are planning to visit soon make sure you book a parking space as they are currently having work done so spaces are limited. We didn’t do this so had to park in the lane outside.
- Toilets / Disabled Toilet Yes, some near the car park and some up at the house.
- Pushchair / Wheelchair Friendly Yes. Paths are mostly gravel and flat. Sloped walkways lead up to the woods which again have flat pathways.
- Disabled Access Wheelchair friendly paths, buggy transport from the car park up to the main house, accessible toilets, assistance dogs welcome.
- Dog Friendly Yes in the grounds on a lead. Please use dog poo bins provided.
- Refreshments available Yes there is a cafe on site
- Car Park Yes free parking on site
- Gift Shop Yes and a book shop too.
- Baby facilities Yes, although the baby change facilities are basic. I’d recommend taking a changing mat with you.
Address: Vyne Road, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9HL
Price Band: ££ (FREE for National Trust members)