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“Unexpected pleasure!”
Review of The Vyne

The Vyne
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Henry VIII met with his Lord Chamberlain William Sandys who owned The Vyne in 1535. This former Tudor palace turned 17th-century family home is set in 1500 acres of gardens, woodland and wetlands. As a major roof project unfolds, a lift-accessible rooftop walkway is scheduled to open in spring. Visitors can dive into the history of the house with an exciting new layout on the ground floor. For the latest updates, please check the website.
Colchester
Level Contributor
71 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Unexpected pleasure!”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

As members of NT chose to visit on a whim while travelling to stay with family. Fascinating property, especially as it had a Tudor theme day. Volunteers, as always, knowledgable and helpful. The house and contents are not as grand as some, but an interesting insight into life at the time. Always love seeing the kitchens......none here, perhaps they had take-always!

Visited June 2014
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Thank ColchesterDavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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  • Any
English first
North Walsham
Level Contributor
156 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Pleasant setting, fine house”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

There is always a touch of deja vue when touring an English stately home, I find. The roped walkways, the lofty, decorated ceilings, the four-poster beds: all very impressive, but nothing we haven't seen before. The small domestic details are the most appealing. Kitchens hold great fascination simply because we can see the actual utensils folks were handling all those years ago. Here, at the Vyne, the kitchen is only visible behind glass (Unless I missed a door somewhere.) Maybe they are afraid unscrupulous visitors might make off with a jelly mold or a warming pan. Guides in every room are knowledgeable, and happy to chat with you about the history of the place. In one room, an inscribed medieval ring turns endlessly under a small magnifying glass. You are invited to vote on whether it was the One Ring which inspired JRR Tolkein to begin writing his magnum opus.

The great house, apparently, used to be a good deal greater in Tudor times. A model in one of the state rooms shows how it once rambled over the lawns which lead down to the lake now. The gardens are not vast, but they are very pleasant, and the waterside setting makes the old building very photogenic. There are even deckchairs on the lawn in summer.

The grounds are carefully manicured, and the walled kitchen garden is a model of nature tamed. There is a curious circular summerhouse, which used to boast several floors with garden views, but now resembles an echoing mausoleum. Wood scultures in one part of the park make an adventure playground of sorts for youngsters.

There is a tea room, serving modest victuals, and a garden shop, which was closed when we visited.

On the whole, a very genteel experience.

Visited June 2014
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Thank Fossicker66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“What a gem”
Reviewed 23 June 2014 via mobile

Having just joined the National Trust of Scotland (cheaper than the English version and you can pay monthly) we decided to make our first trip as members to The Vyne. Luckily for us, there was a Tudor weekend on at the time which added some colour to a delightful setting.

One thing to bear in mind is that the car park is (depending what end you're at) between 1/3 and 1/2 a mile from the house but the walk between the two takes you through some lovely countryside and the walled garden.

The new "hobbit" themed play area is lovely for the up to tens and the restaurant very nice also. Personally, I found the house itself less interesting - it was dark and fusty inside and one of the volunteers was a little grumpy. The Tolkien exhibition is tiny but the ring gorgeous.

We didn't explore the wood walks that surround the house but will do so next time. Dogs are allowed on leads in most areas and we didn't find it a problem at all.

All in all, a lovely day out - on a busy day I'd suggest getting there in the morning as the car park was heaving as we left at around 2.

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Thank KevPartner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
258 reviews
142 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Nice guides, but where is the picture list?”
Reviewed 16 June 2014

The house is nice, and the woodland walks are enjoyable. The cafe is fine (standard NT stuff, nothing special, though) and the gardens ok, but rather small. When compared to Calke and Kingston Lacy, the kitchen garden is a bit disappointing. It was a pity the shop was shut too.

In the house there are some very strong features, especially the chapel. The guide who met us at the door was very knowledgable and friendly, and generally the guides were good. However, the information sheets in the room were a bit disappointing: they did not have lists of the images of the pictures in the room. While the guides often knew who the portraits were of, they did not always know who had painted them.

It was also a shame the kitchen is now used as a conservation area, and so is not open every day - peering into the dark room, it looked an interesting space.

Overall, I feel that this place needs some curatorial investment in terms of the display/information. Take some lessons from Kingston Lacy, and improve the information throughout, and tell the servant story more fully too.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Historrygrrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Good Day Out”
Reviewed 5 June 2014

We went to the Vyne on a Saturday and we are not National Trust members so had to pay our entry fee.. We opted for the house and gardens, but to be honest I would not have bothered with the house if knew. Its nice, but looking at old housing is just not my thing. We were there for the gardens and walks.
On the day we went there was a falconry display which was really good, with the birds swooping at what seemed 100 mph between peoples shoulders! Impressive.

For non national trust members, and without the falconry display I would think it is quite an expensive day out.. but we had those things, so can't complain.

The woodland walk was very muddy even thought there has not been much rain recently. They could look at laying down some stones or at least letting people know abut the mud. We had a pram and it was so muddy we had to carry our pram with baby inside and be very careful not to fall on the slippery and deep mud.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Simonb30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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