Polesden Lacey is a magnificent Edwardian estate featuring a gorgeous manor house, expansive grounds and a charming garden. It is a shining gem of the National Trust’s properties in the south of England, located an hour outside of London in the charming county of Surrey. It is no surprise for anyone who has visited to know that this is one of the most popular properties that the National Trust manages.
The manor house, as it stands, was the result of an extensive remodelling effort completed in 1906 after being entirely rebuilt in 1824. The land has been host to many a manor house dating all the way back to 1336. The last owners of Polesden Lacey were the Greville family, known for their lavish entertainments at the home.
It is the legacy of the Greville family that can be seen within the manor home, represented by the stunning collections of art, porcelain and the period furniture. When Margaret Greville passed away in 1942 the property was donated to the National Trust, who own and manage the property today.
With over 350,000 visitors a year this is one of the most visited National Trust properties, after places like Giant’s Causeway (738k), Waddesdon Manor (471k) or Saint Michael’s Mount (358k). If it wasn’t on your radar yet you should absolutely be adding it as a must-see for your next day out in Surrey.
How to get to Polesden Lacey
Polesden Lacey is located in the county of Surrey, south of London, and is located very close to the Surrey Hills.
The easiest way to get to Polesden Lacey is by car. There’s a large parking lot on-premise where National Trust members can park for free. The charges otherwise are £2 for 2 hours or £5 for a full day. From central London, the drive is roughly an hour
There are several nearby train stations where guests can take a taxi to complete their trip, including Dorking and Leatherhead. There is also a route via a bus that drops guests off in the village of Great Bookham, which is a 1.5 mile long walk to Polesden Lacey itself.
Logistics, Tickets & Opening Times for Polesden Lacey
During the pandemic – National Trust requires guests to have a pre-booked ticket to access the house (when it is able to be open based on tier restrictions). This can be done on their website at no extra cost.
The times can vary seasonally and the best resource to check for the opening times of the manor house would be the National Trust website.
The usual hours are:
- House | 11am – 4:30pm
- Garden | 10am – 5pm
- Cafe | 10am – 4:45pm
Entry Prices & Tickets
Polesden Lacey is a National Trust property, so members get in free. Membership with National Trust is £72 and grants you access to over 500 historic houses, monuments, gardens park and nature reserves.
Ticket Price for Gardens and Estate:
- Adult – £10
- Child – £5
- Family – £25
- 1 Adult & 2 Children – £15
Length of Visit
The recommended length of a visit is based on what visitors want to see. It is easy to spend a half-day at the manor house exploring the various grounds and woodland walks.
A tour of the manor alone takes about 1 hour, and the gardens also for 1 hour. So a quick visit can be accomplished in around 2 hours to the property.
What not to miss at Polesden Lacey
Polesden Lacey is a fabulous place to visit in Surrey either as a half-day outing or for a few years.
This National Trust property has several areas worth visiting:
- Edwardian Manor House
- Walled Gardens
- Woodland Walks
They’re all available using the same ticket but the entry to the manor house are often timed entries, which can be arranged for at the ticketing desk when you arrive.
Edwardian Manor House
The Manor House has a brilliant display of art, period furniture, and porcelain that belonged to the former owner Margaret Greville.
Much of the collection has been highlighted on the National Trust website, which provides visitors with a great view of the various key pieces in the collection. Of course, nothing quite matches to an in person experience but it should give visitors a taste of what they can see during their visit to Polesden Lacey.
As with any well maintained period property owned by the National Trust, there’s a fantastic viewport into the lives of servents when touring. The kitchen at Polesden Lacey is a fantastic exhibit showing the number of windows and light, along with all the workspaces within.
It’s fascinating to compare the sparse quarters of the servants to the opulent sitting room of the wealthy owners, with the gilded ceilings, opulent chandeliers, and ornate furniture. Every time I visit Polesden Lacey it is easy to become lost in this particular sitting room. There’s so much to see that even after visiting the manor house three times I still do not feel I’ve found every nuance in this reception room.
My absolute favourite piece within the Greville collection is surprisingly not the incredible art, or the ornately painted cabinet, or the 18th-century Commode. No, it’s this absolutely gorgeous embroidered dress that was owned by Mrs. Greville herself and exhibits some of the exquisite craftsmanship of the age.
The Walled Gardens are charming year-round but especially in late spring and early summer when the flowers are in full bloom.
This map highlights at point #5 where the Walled Garden is for visitors of the property.
The grounds at Polesden Lacey are expansive and open for those who enjoy a lovely wander or ramble. There are several specific paths through the woodlands and throughout the property, which can be seen on this map from the National Trust.
The Admiral’s Walk also includes a small snack or drinks stop along the way.
Nearby National Trust Properties to Visit
If you’re in the area for an extended visit there are several other fantastic National Trust properties you should consider visiting.
- Chartwell; Winston Churchill’s house and art studio
- Quebec House; Birthplace of General James Wolfe
- Ham House and Garden; 17th-century house with formal gardens
- Hatchlands Park; Georgian house located on expansive parkland
Aside from stately homes in the area, there are also many beautiful nature beauty spots to stop at as well:
- Headley Heath; a mix of heathland and woodland
- Box Hill; the summit of North Downs
- Bookham Commons; grassland plains with oak woods
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