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“Nice gardens, house OK but not great.”
Review of Canons Ashby

Canons Ashby
Ranked #1 of 18 things to do in Daventry
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 21 August 2014

The Garden.
Excellent layout and well maintained. Interesting topiary and a great Croquet Lawn. There are a few steps and slopes, but all are manageable unless a person has a mobility disability, but it's not very big. Unfortunately the play area was off limits as that would have been a distraction for my grandson.

The House.
Some houses, Like Colton Fishacre and Anglesey Abbey are ones you feel you could easily live in, but not this one as far as I'm concerned. It is a mishmash of styles as one would expect over the period of ownership by one family, but all done in the "haphazard" style of architecture.
Unlike many NT places, you can actually turn pages on a few books and see recipes used in the past, and it's also possible to try the speaking tube between the dining room and the kitchen.

The Church.
Maintenance is being undertaken but it is still open to view. However, it is less than inspiring. The inside bare and uninteresting, but it has a bell tower with a display of the original Priory. Pity that this is in almost total darkness and therefore hard to determine the layout. I do wish displays would cater for people with less than 20:20 night vision, and that goes for most NT houses as well.

Restaurant.
Why are people employed when they are really not interested in doing the job they are paid for, I will never understand. The staff were so busy talking that it was necessary to interrupt their conversation to order tea. The interruption was unwelcome from the stony stares. With over an hour before closing, there were no sandwiches and hardly any cakes left.

This is National Trust. I really don't know why, but there is a vast difference in the quality of service a visitor receives from the staff and volunteers. Some NT places have really, really helpful and interesting staff. I'm afraid this one didn't, and what I particularly object to is being patronised by someone who thinks they are doing me a favour. Having been a member of the NT for 35 years and paid my dues, I appreciate good manners and being treated like an adult, which I am in most NT houses and attractions. OK I have a few grey hairs, but I'm not losing my wits just yet.

This probably reads like a disaster, but the garden is worth a visit on a nice day however it is not somewhere I would go back to as it can all be done in a couple of hours.

1  Thank Arcadash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 August 2014 via mobile

The house not open at the same time as the gardens, so check that.
The house is lovely. A bit higldy pigldy which adds interest and some lovely features.
Lovely gardens and a great lion hunt for the children.
Would recommend.

1  Thank Susan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014

We used this visit to break up a long journey home and it was a pleasant surprise. The house has loads of history and lots to see. You can access many of the rooms and see their contents from close up rather than from behind ropes. The kitchen was particularly interesting. The restaurant was quite good with one exception. My wife had the soup and enjoyed it. She had some shortbread and enjoyed it. I just had a piece of Victoria sponge and regretted it. On the stand it looked delicious, but you could not see that they had omitted any trace of cream. The two halves of cake were separated by only a thin layer of jam. £2.75 for the driest piece of cake known to man. This is particularly disappointing because the NT is so good at producing delicious cakes. I would still call again, but bring my own cake.

2  Thank Keith4529
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

The tour was extremely interesting and included in the entrance fee - very worthwhile and inexpensive. The gardens were also beautiful.

Thank A164D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Beautiful NT manor house in small but colourful gardens in very rural Northamptonshire. We arrived in time for a short guided tour at 11.30am which was very informative and before usual opening time.
Excellent cream tea in the prettiest cafe garden imaginable with view of the church. A very good place to picnic as plenty of tables under shady trees.

Thank Lesley H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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