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“Very enjoyable day”

Petworth House and Park
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Petworth
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Step inside the imposing 17th-century mansion and discover a treasure house filled with an internationally important art and sculpture collection.
Fareham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
278 reviews
187 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable day”
Reviewed 23 April 2014

We visited as 2 adults and a 12 yr old boy, and found it to be a very enjoyable day out, a chance to visit one of England's grand houses with it's great art collection, set in a lovely park land with the bonus of being adjacent to a quaint Sussex town. Parking is just north of the house and on the day we visited had a marshal to assist in finding a place. The car park is pay and display which doesn't sit easy with me in that it is on the NT land and you then have to pay to enter the house anyway. To access the house is about a 10 minute walk along a slightly undulating path through very nice gardens. On arriving at the house, on the day we visited we could only see the ground floor, however it is quite extensive and very interesting, each room varied containing an excellent art collection, which itself is worth seeing. One thing that did stand out was the helpful, knowledgeable and friendly volunteers in each room, who were always available with an interesting fact or an explanation, or just a polite hello. I understand on some days more rooms are open which would be interesting to see. Opposite the house is the staff quarters, which again are interesting and well presented. also containing the shop, restaurant (not used) and direct access into Petworth Town. Outside the house we really enjoyed the park, you can walk as far as you want, however the large heard of deer seem to have an uncanny way of maintaining their distance! As stated there is direct access to the town which is worth a walk around, and in all we spent about 5 hours at Petworth. We had a picnic in the ground but did use the little 'French van' café, the drinks reasonably priced. To be quite honest I am amazed by the negative comments concerning Petworth House, it is not perfect (but where is?) and should be taken for what it is and enjoyed. As for price, we have just become members so it didn't effect us directly, however £14 is about top-line (+p&d), so perhaps a line should drawn at family tickets with two adults with all children free. Thoroughly recommended

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Dun123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PetworthHouse, Manager at Petworth House and Park, responded to this review, 27 April 2014
Thank you very much for your review, I hope you come back and visit us soon !
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Staines Upon Thames
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Weirdest NT Place I've Been To”
Reviewed 20 April 2014

Petworth House has got to be one of the strangest and weird properties in the National Trust's portfolio!
The main house is a 'jumbelarge' of antiquities - from dubious 'ancient' Roman sculptures to what purport to be Van Dyke paintings - some I am sure are 'the real thing' but some from 'the school of'. There are a large number of moderately good copies of well known masterpieces which are a bit like looking and cheap prints from your local market.
There is no feeling of a place that was once a great home - more a cross between the old Tate Gallery and Steptoe and Son's front room. So many of the paintings are in desperate need of restoration and are very poorly displayed (at the top of high walls, in corners and without any illumination), Finding works by Turner, Blake and Van Dyke more or less by accident was not what I would have expected of a NT property.
HOWEVER the Servant's Quarters and the Historic Kitchens were wonderful and will be a great joy to fans of Downton Abbey.
Despite all I have said the visit to Petworth was enjoyable...as much for it's quirkiness as for what was good (including an excellent restaurant).
Worth a visit BUT brace yourself for something you might not expect.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank GrahamWestoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PetworthHouse, Manager at Petworth House and Park, responded to this review, 27 April 2014
Thank you for your review, we are always interested to hear how experiences vary and how our individual visitors perceive the house and collection. The North end of the house has always been more formal and less like a home and your are correct it is very much like a gallery. The paintings are hung in the classic "country house" style and some are indeed hung quite high which for visitors unused to this style of hang can be perplexing. We believe these differences make Petworth all the more interesting and intriguing - do take a look at the National Trust Collection Online where you can discover more about the provenience of the artworks.
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Worthing, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
“Lovely day out!”
Reviewed 19 April 2014

Brilliant grounds (which were free to explore!) but we found the house to be rather expensive at £14 for an adult ticket.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Laura H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PetworthHouse, Manager at Petworth House and Park, responded to this review, 27 April 2014
Thank you for your review, we are very glad you enjoyed your visit, we are sorry you felt the entry price was a little steep. Have you explored the benefits of National Trust Membership, it really is very good value and even if you only visit three properties in the year you will have saved money ?
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swaffham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Exhilarated, yet Disappointed too—”
Reviewed 18 April 2014

My wife and I have visited this attraction several times over a space of almost sixty years. Although considerable improvements have been made to the advantage of National Trust paid-up Members and the general viewing public—notably opening up the Park and the Servants' Quarters—the latter an inspired decision—one today is left with the feeling that there is a decaying presence of the family, who, it seems, simply will not let go. I apologise if this seems a harsh judgement, but the overpowering disadvantage is immediately discernible to the visitor. This is not an attraction for children and young persons, when most certainly it should be. My advice to the resident Egremonts is simple: Thank you for your gift, even if financially you had no other realistic alternative, but please now let we, the Members, show your former home to its best advantage.
At the moment the Servants' Quarters and ancillary offices are a major and interesting attraction. The present Egremonts and their forbears would never have entered that area and could not possibly have appreciated the conditions imposed upon their servants.
The House, sadly, is dead. It was built to show off the paintings and sculptures collected by various members of the family, simply to show off their vanity during arranged entertainments. Today, we of course benefit immeasurably from their prescience, and it is such a satisfaction to see the paintings and sculptures displayed in the situations in which they were first exhibited.
But where is the humanity? There were many shooting and other entertaining parties held at the house. The participants were housed in bedrooms and dressing rooms. During the day they would have congregated in Library, Morning and Drawing Rooms. They would have dined most tastefully upon the best foods available that were created by the resident cooks and chefs in the house, upon the most splendid linen, silver, china, porcelain, crystal and floral ornamentation.
There is no evidence at all in the present displays of the warmth and comfort of those who lived in and visited the house. All we now have is a gallery of the most splendid paintings and sculptures arguably to be found in any English Country House or National or Municipal Gallery, but no evidence at all of anyone actually living in this house. It is devoid of life.
As a very senior National Trust Member, my advice is simple. The time has come to open up the entire ground floor of the house. Furnish it as it was when someone actually lived and entertained in the entire house. Open up the first floor and attics that were formerly occupied by family, visitors and servants.
By all means let the Egremonts have an apartment in the house: it is always good to have the heirs of donor families around. But do they ever come out and greet the public? Do they ever say hello to the children visitors? If not, why not?
Change is needed, and very soon. When will either the Egremonts or the National Trust take notice of twenty-first century developments?

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Bennett003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PetworthHouse, Manager at Petworth House and Park, responded to this review, 27 April 2014
We normally try to respond to reviews by either thanking our reviewers for their individual opinion (good and bad) or by offering an explanation for something that was not explained during their visit.
However, in this instance I don't feel an explanation of the relationship between the National Trust and the Egremont Family would be useful or pertinent. As long standing members of the N.T and repeat visitors to Petworth please do feel free to contact us more directly with your concerns.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, England, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“A great day out, but a house of ostentation”
Reviewed 17 April 2014

Easy to find, and with plenty of car parking. It is quite a walk from the car park to the house, through very attractive grounds, but there is a free courtesy bus available, just ask.
The house is stunning, but its not, and doesn't ever seem to have been a 'home'; rather a house built to impress others, as a demonstration of "Look how much money I have". Some of the items on show seem to have been purchased by the original family not because they were beautiful, or practical, but simply just because they were expensive, a display of wealth.
The most interesting parts were the servants quarters, and kitchens/storage areas. Because these parts 'could not be seen' by the household and visitors (when the house was running I mean) food was taken by a passageway from kitchen to dining room, thus always arriving cold! Such was the price of keeping 'the staff' out of sight!
A good day out, well worth 2 visits if you are a NT member. Decent coffee, and scones as well.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank steamwolf1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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