I took my mum to Hestercombe yesterday for our first visit we had both hoped to go for sometime however having been advised against paying for full price entry because of the size of the gardens had held back however having obtained free tickets we decided to go. Anyhow the weather was perfect and the formal gardens looked stunning (even with the odd flower starting to go over) the views towards Taunton and the Blackdown hills also lovely. Beyond the formal gardens the valley was pretty in a landscaped natural way (no apparent garden flower or shrub planting here which I found unusual) and the waterfall seemed idyllically pretty.
We had lunch in the cafe which was good quality and the price of the sandwiches and panini's was ok but the mains were a little pricey similiar to what you would pay for lunch in a independent restaurant. I am however glad we ate in the cafe as had we of brought a picnic we would not of been able to eat in the gardens as I don't think they allow picnics for some reason inside not sure why though, im guessing litter?! But there is a picnic area near the entrance if needed.
Also they have just aquired the house and were hosting their first exhibitions funded by the Arts Council. The work on display was modern with some pieces by well known artists including Tracy Emin. Personally I found this of interest despite most being relatively small in size as felt it was nice to see contemporary work of this nature in the area and I hope the gallery in time becomes a success.
To sum up I would visit again but not sure if I would want to pay the full entrance price. But with discounts available for online ticket purchase and with a Gardeners world discount card this can be overcome fairly easily.
Please note I am a adult visitor with my mum not a teenager, but there was no suitable category for this type of visit.
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