Nestled deep in the Worcestershire countryside is a hidden gem. Witley Court was one of England’s most spectacular country houses, famous for hosting lavish parties and entertaining royalty. Following a fire in September 1937 however, the house and grounds fell into disrepair, until it was taken over by English Heritage in 1984.
Today the house is a shadow of its former self. After decades of exposure to the elements, only hints of opulent grandeur remain. There’s an ethereal sadness to the house and grounds, but it’s captivating and well worth a visit. Look out for charred timbers in the East Wing as this reflects how little of the house was actually damaged by the fire.
Take a stroll through the Woodland and Lakeside walks and keep an eye open for kingfishers. I was lucky enough to spot two. Sadly, they were moving too fast for a photo. There's also a Wilderness Play Area if you happen to have little ones in tow.
On the day of our visit, the weather was perfect for a picnic in the gardens. Just don’t sit too close to the Perseus and Andromeda Fountain if there’s a hint of a breeze.