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Friends excursions: Longstock Park Water Gardens and Houghton Lodge


Friends events

● Fully booked

Tuesday 11 July 2017
9am — 7.30pm

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Houghton Lodge exterior

© Robin Ball

Join fellow Friends of the RA on a trip to Longstock Park Water Gardens, considered by the International Water Lily Society to be ‘the finest water garden in the world’, and visit nearby Houghton Lodge and its beautiful gardens, sweeping down to the picturesque banks of the River Test.

Owned and managed by Waitrose, Longstock Park Water Garden was created by the Beddington family in the 1930s and further developed by John Spedan Lewis (founder of the John Lewis Partnership) in the 1940s as a place for his staff to relax. This serene and tranquil garden is a perfect location for reflection and nurtures a diverse variety of plants from around the world, including over forty different types of waterlilies alone. Head Gardener, Rob Ballard, will introduce the history and highlights of the garden, after which there is time for relaxed exploration and contemplation.

We then travel a short distance to Grade II-listed Houghton Lodge where lunch will be served in the Orangery and followed by a private tour of the house, which is only open by appointment a few times a year. Built in 1793, Houghton Lodge is one of the finest and earliest surviving examples of a “cottage orné” – a genre of picturesque Gothic architecture that flourished for about 25 years from 1790. Houghton was thought to be designed in 1793 by John Plaw – one of the pioneers of the style – and was probably intended as a fishing lodge. On our tour with a family member, we will learn about the history of the “cottage orné” style, see the beauty of the exquisite interiors and learn the story of the house.

With extensive fine trees and lawns sweeping down to the banks of the River Test, Houghton Lodge is one of the most beautiful privately owned historic houses and gardens in Hampshire. We have time to leisurely explore the gardens and enjoy tea and cake before heading back to London.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Tuesday 11 July 2017

9am — 7.30pm

Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 9am.

£95. Includes coach travel, two-course lunch with a glass of wine, tea and cake.