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Cotswolds Summer Adventurer Tour
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JPC wrote a review Sep 2019
Amsterdam21 contributions5 helpful votes
Lovely location and interesting house and good cafe. There seemed to be rather a lot of volunteers eager to help.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Response from KelmscottManor, General Manager at Kelmscott Manor
Responded 5 Sep 2019
Thank you for your review. We are pleased that you enjoyed your visits. Our volunteers are very helpful and we have one in each room to assist visitors as well as look after our collection.
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sunflower189 wrote a review Aug 2019
West Sussex, United Kingdom167 contributions52 helpful votes
The car park which is almost next to the church where William Morris is buried, is a short walk from the manor. It takes you through the pretty village of Kelmscott. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great the day we visited so we couldn't make the most of the garden. The house more than made up for it; there was much to see and admire relating to William Morris' designs and the NT volunteers were able to pass on interesting information about the house, William Morris and his family. There were also family portraits and photographs displayed. Anyone interested in William Morris should visit the house.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Response from KelmscottManor, General Manager at Kelmscott Manor
Responded 31 Aug 2019
Thank you for your review. We are delighted you enjoyed your visit, Our volunteers are very informative but we are not a National Trust house.
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Laura wrote a review Aug 2019
Oxford, United Kingdom2 contributions
As a resident of Kelmscott, I wanted to revisit the Manor before conservation and expansion changes this rural retreat for ever. We arrived early afternoon and had an hour to wait before timed entry to the house. We couldn’t have lunch as hot food had run out, but did buy some souvenirs in the shop, which now includes some local products at good prices. Upon entering the house, the room guides were welcoming but the collection is starting to look quite drab, as others have mentioned. Is over exposure having a negative impact? At one time, to protect the collection, visitors were strictly limited to ~12,000 a year I believe, far fewer than current levels of ~20,000 and much less than the 40,000 a year expected in the future, if Lottery Funding conditions are to be met. It is painfully evident however that the house is in need of major conservation and this is something I wholeheartedly support. It is such a pity though that the Manor are funding this conservation by expansion, with new buildings where existing space could have been used instead, rather than trying to preserve the quirky charm and appeal which makes the Manor so unique and worth its expensive entry fee. I just wish that the Society of Antiquaries had concentrated its fundraising on essential conservation work and necessary improvements to facilities only, then they wouldn’t have needed to raise such large sums of money at the expense of the very nature of Morris’s Heaven on Earth and sadly, Kelmscott village.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Response from KelmscottManor, General Manager at Kelmscott Manor
Responded 30 Aug 2019
Thank you for your review. As a resident of Kelmscott we are delighted you chose to use the benefit of free admission we offer to all villagers who visit the Manor when we are open. We have been exceptionally busy in August as more people have, like you, wanted to see the Manor before the repair and improvement works start and, although hot food may have run out, salad lunches and sandwiches were still available. As part of the works we will be enlarging the kitchen area of the tearoom which will allow us to provide a better service to our visitors. We are delighted that you wholeheartedly support the conservation of the manor estate. The estate includes 13 listed buildings and structures, most of which need major structural work to walls and roofs and the vast amount of the grants we have received from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other sources will be focused on essential conservation work and necessary improvements. As well as working on the restoration and improvement of the buildings on site we have allocated significant funds from the grant to improve and expand the field car park at the top of the village to accommodate more cars as well as coaches in order to remove all manor traffic, including staff and volunteers from driving through the village on open days. This will help to preserve the village from unnecessary traffic associated with the Manor, but unfortunately won’t help with the continued issues with the pub which, as you know, has no car park. Our new education building will allow local schools and community groups to visit and will stand on the same space where a building stood when William Morris lived at the Manor. These visitors, as well as coach parties, will be pre booked and will be part of the annual visitor numbers coming to the Manor. However, our public open days will increase from two per week from April to October to three per week for the same period. We have agreed with villagers that we will not open on Sundays. This season shows that a reduction in open days does increase the number of visitors per day arriving at the Manor, as you witnessed when you visited and, by extending our open days by one more day per week should reduce the amount of visitors coming to the manor on individual days.
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Ian B wrote a review Aug 2019
Oxford, UK22 contributions4 helpful votes
A pleasant stroll through English countryside and a lovely Cotswold village takes you from the car park to the Manor. The less mobile can be dropped off by the house. Or include a visit along your walk on the Thames Path. The house was beautifully restored in the 60s and is hugely evocative of Morris, his wife and interests. The room stewards are well informed and helpful. The garden is a little gem. The cafe offers light lunches and snacks. Go. NOW: it may not open next Summer due to conservation work and other improvements.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Response from KelmscottManor, General Manager at Kelmscott Manor
Responded 23 Aug 2019
Thank you for your review. We are pleased you enjoyed your visit.
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RhonaT wrote a review Aug 2019
1 contribution1 helpful vote
I made my 5th visit to Kelmscott Manor yesterday - I've been visiting since my student days decades ago! The day was perfect. The village and manor looked beautiful, staff were unfailingly courteous and knowledgeable and the catering was excellent. It goes without saying that the house itself was inspirational and the gardens homely (not too manicured as NT gardens can be) and picturesque. Thank you to all the staff involved for keeping up the usual high standards - everyone we encountered was polite, helpful, enthusiastic and a mine of information. But 2 things are worrying me: 1. Reading some of the other Tripadvisor reviews I'm sad that so many people find fault with precisely the aspects of Kelmscott which are its strength. Of course it's remote and a bit hard to find...that's the whole point! I'm so glad it still has that remote feel which must have originally attracted Morris. I think that cars should be kept away from the manor itself, and for able-bodied folk the walk through the village is all part of the experience and an absolute delight. For those who can't make the walk, obviously other arrangements need to be made, and from what I understand, this is already done and no problems arise. I would be horrified if Kelmscott Manor bowed to pressure to have more parking up at the house itself. 2. While on my visit yesterday I noticed an appeal which is being made by the Society of Antiquaries. I'm happy to support conservation work on the buildings, but I'm concerned about the mention of facilites such as an education centre and larger catering space. Please put the education centre in the large barn which currently houses the temporary exhibition! As a retired museum education officer I understand the need for such a space, but please don't spoil Kelmscott with extra buildings. Hopefully Kelmscott is not hoping to attract huge hordes of school visitors at once - that would be really inappropriate given the size of the property. I feel strongly that to enlarge the facilities too much and to try to attract large numbers of school parties would change the nature of the place and detract from its special magic. Some places are small and that's how it is! Don't become just another homogenised NT-style property - stay special!
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Response from KelmscottManor, General Manager at Kelmscott Manor
Responded 23 Aug 2019
Thank you for your five star review and for returning to the Manor once again. We are delighted you enjoy your visits. Regarding car parking, as part of our project we plan to remove all cars and coaches from the Manor to the field car park at the top of the village. This will include staff and volunteers so that the enclosed estate will become free of traffic on our open days. Those visitors who cannot make the 10 minute walk through the village will be able to journey on electric minibuses to get to and from the Manor gates. The restoration plans do include a new education building which will stand on the site of an old byre on the south side of the courtyard which is currently used as a car park. This will reinstate the courtyard as it was when William Morris lived at the Manor and the education building will be thatched just as the old byre was. The catering space will not be enlarged but, as the ladies toilets will be moved to another barn, the kitchen area will be enlarged so that we can provide catering more easily to our visitors. School and community groups will be catered for on days that we are closed to the public and the size of the education building will mean that we will only be able to accommodate one or two classes at a time.
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