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Stoneleigh Abbey

   
Town/City : Kenilworth
County : Warwickshire
Country : England
Post code : CV8 2LF
Phone : 01926 858535
Web Site :  www.stoneleighabbey.org

Stoneleigh Abbey is open to the public from Good Friday to 31st October on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday and Bank Holidays. The grounds and Repton Walk are open from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M, only on days the house is open to the public. The house is viewed by guided tour only.

 

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HOUSE

With humble beginnings as a Cistercian monastic house in 1154, Stoneleigh Abbey was converted at the Dissolution into a comfortable family home. One of the seats of the Leigh family, Stoneleigh has played host to several people of note, including King Charles I, Queen Victoria, and novelist Jane Austen.
The fine Grade 1 listed English mansion is comprised of two halves; the first, made of red sandstone, is a fine example of a Jacobean country house. The second, the West Wing, was designed by famous architect Francis Smith of Warwick in the Baroque style. Visitors to the Abbey can learn more of the house's history through a guided tour of the West Wing.

 

ORANGERY

The Orangery, located near the River Avon, was constructed in 1851 to compliment the house. The structure would have been used to house exotic plants from the far reaches of the empire, and to grow fruits out of season for the family to enjoy year round.

The Orangery now welcomes guests as the Abbey's tea room, serving teas, coffees, cakes, Afternoon Teas, Cream Teas and sandwiches.
Open until 5pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week.
It runs a table service and booking is advised.

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REPTON WALK

In 1809, Humphry Repton, the most respected landscape gardener of his time, was invited to Stoneleigh Abbey by Reverend Thomas Leigh to advise him on updating the abbey landscape. Repton created one of his 'Red Books', a collection of watercolour images of the house and grounds as they existed with overlays to suggest alterations to the estate. While not all of his suggestions were implemented, the result is a stunning natural landscape with superb views. New for 2016: visitors can enjoy the new cordelia Leigh Bridge and walks along the Gazebo island.

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Featured Attraction


Head for The Heights this year

Head for The Heights of Abraham, the award winning Hilltop Park situated in the spectacular Derwent Valley, just 9 miles from Chatsworth on the western edge of the Peak District National Park.

This "must see" Derbyshire jewel of an attraction is accessed by state of the art enclosed cable cars located on the banks of the River Derwent next to Matlock Bath railways station and the town's public car parks. Simply purchase your cable car ticket, and then sit back to enjoy Instagram-ready views of the geologically stunning valley as you climb to the summit.
TIP: You can save money by purchasing your tickets online in advance of your visit. Go to www.heightsofabraham.com for ticket prices and availability
Once you've purchased your cable car ticket, access to all the summit attractions is free, offering a great value-day-out whatever the weather. Head off to explore 60 acres of landscaped grounds, undercover interactive exhibitions, photography gallery, multi-media show caverns, adventure playgrounds, woodland walks and trails.

You can choose to dine in the Vista restaurant with its stunning views down the valley, or enjoy a snack in the café or out on the terrace with similar breath-taking views. Picnic areas can be found throughout the grounds, and during the school holidays you'll discover extra entertainment like the traditional Punch and Judy show (with a satisfying Heights of Abraham twist) for all the family to enjoy.
TIP: Dining times can be reserved in advance. This is recommended especially during the busiest times of the year. Phone 01629 582365 to make a reservation or pre-order the popular afternoon tea package.
Most visitors are surprised to learn that the Heights is in fact the Derbyshire's oldest tourist attraction. The cable car system has carried millions of visitors to the summit over the last thirty five years, yet it remains one of the latest chapters in the fascinating story of the Heights of Abraham. The Heights first opened as a Pleasure Ground in 1780 when visitors would make the climb from the valley floor on foot to witness some of the finest views across the surrounding area. Almost two and a half centuries later you are still able to wander around the estate with its zigzag paths and pleasant woodland trails. It is easy to understand why the area proved inspirational to the Romantic movement of the period.

As long ago as Roman times, Lead deposits may have been found in the area but it took another 1000 years before Lead mining was officially recorded on site. These impressive mines were active for over 400 years and left behind a legacy of passageways and awe-inspiring caverns. Today, thanks to all that hard work you can follow in the miners' footsteps down the passageways they created, going deep underground into the Heights' famous Show Caverns. From the glow of a single miner's candle to the whole cavern being awash with colour-changing lights, the Great Masson Cavern tour is one of the talking points of a visit to this Hilltop Park. Here, where the Equator was once situated millions of years ago, you can learn all about the rocks, minerals and underground formation of the Peak District. Equally, a visit to the Great Rutland Cavern is well worthwhile. First opened to the public over 200 years ago in 1810, you can experience a day in the life of the very miners who made your trip possible.

Those of an inquisitive mind should make sure they visit The Long View exhibition to see and hear the 230 year story about why the estate has been a favourite place to visit for many generations. On the upper floor the Fossil Factory brings to life fun and interesting facts about rocks, fossils and the formation of the Peak District. Tinker's Shaft SSSI is a spectacular location with a new viewing platform, high above the Derwent Valley and near the exit from the Great Masson Cavern. Interpretative panels provide information on the importance of the site, the natural history, the geology and the labyrinth of lead mines below Tinker's Shaft... directly beneath your feet!

The Heath and Heaven Gallery is a delightful pictorial journey through the Peak District from north to south and shot from the air on a single summer's day. Next to this you will find Through the Lens, a 12 minute film of the Great Masson guided tour, ideal for those who cannot, or do not wish to go underground during their visit.

If you're heading into Derbyshire or the Peak District, don't miss the opportunity to head for the Heights this year and tick this one off your bucket list. The cable car is just the start of a fascinating, relaxing and fun day out for everyone. Keep up to date with the news by visiting the official website for opening times, special offers and details of forthcoming events: www.heightsofabraham.com

MJPL6641MJPL6890The Long View ExhibitionMJPL7135Woodland Adventure

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