A few weekends ago we used our National Trust membership to explore Ham House with the kids and dog. We love our National Trust membership, it encourages us to get out and about and explore new parts of the country. Ham House has been on our wish list for a while and we were excited to visit.
Exploring Ham House and Garden
Ham House is a rare and atmospheric 17th-century house on the River Thames in Richmond, near London. There’s a large, free car park by the river, and a short walk brings you to the front of Ham House. We showed our membership cards, were given a map of the house and grounds, and walked through the gates. The house was very imposing but not open until the afternoon – so we opted to explore the extensive gardens. They were amazing.
The gardens included a Cherry Garden, walled Kitchen Garden, the wilderness, the long borders as well as hedges and topiary. The kids loved exploring the gardens and the dog was happy too (although he had to stay on a lead during our visit).
After we had explored the gardens at Ham House we stopped for lunch at the Orangery. This was one of the first Orangery’s built in the country and made a fantastic cafe. The weather was amazing so we were able to sit outside and enjoy the view over the walled garden. The children wanted to see all the different fruits and vegetables, which we couldn’t help help comparing to our own!
After this time the house was open so we were able to explore Ham House. You are able to see a lot of the house, starting from the Great Hall, Great Stairs, Private Closet, White Closet, Volury, Withdrawing Room, Marble Dining Room, Duke’s Dressing Room, Duchess’ Bedchamber. Then we went downstairs and visited the Scullery and Kitchen on the basement floor.
Ham House is a real treasure trove of paintings, cabinets, furniture and tapestries. We were lucky that twice a year the 15 cabinets at Ham House are opened so you can see inside, and our visit coincided with this. We also enjoyed the Green Closet which was full of beautiful miniatures, and the amazing Duchess’s Bathroom tucked away beneath her bedroom.
We had a lovely visit and spent a lot longer exploring the house than we anticipated. There was a lot to see and it’s a great place for inquisitive kids to explore.
Ham House can be found at Ham Street, Ham, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7RS.
Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all time.