Not in London, but not far from it, is Dorney Court, a Tudor manor house that’s only open to the public on a handful of days a year — and the owners have confirmed when it will be open in 2022.
Dorney Court has always been the village manor house although it has changed dramatically since first mentioned in the Domesday Book when the property was owned by Miles Crispin, a wealthy landowner. It passed through a number of owners until 1542 when it was bought by the Lord Mayor of London, Sir William Garrard, and his family has lived there ever since. It’s still a private home, although it earns its keep these days as a venue for weddings, filming and the like. The interior layout of the house is little changed from 1500, although the Tudor appearance of the exterior is actually a Victorian restoration.
Although specialist groups can arrange a tour, general open days for the public to just turn up and wander around are limited to a few days a year. For 2022, they’ve confirmed that the house will be open on Sunday 1st & Monday 2nd May,
Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd June, and then every afternoon in August.
The house will be open on those dates between 12:30pm and 4pm.
Visitors also have free access to the ancient Norman church of St James the Less and are welcome to explore the Gardens, woodland and Park. There is a tea room in the garden centre adjacent to the house, or you can bring a picnic.
There is no need to book tickets in advance as you can simply pick them up from the front of the House on the day. Entry is £10 for adults and £5 for children.
Photography is allowed in the gardens, but not in the house.
Getting to Dorney Court
The nearest train station is at Taplow, on the GWR/Elizabeth line out of Paddington, and then about a half-hour walk to Dorney Court. There is a local taxi service, or weekdays only, bus route 15 goes from the nearby main road passing through Dorney towards Eton and Slough.
Alternatively, it’s a pleasant 45-minute walk along the Thames from Windsor to Boveny which then lets you visit the medieval church of St Mary Magdalene’s, Boveney, and Dorney Lake, the rowing lake owned by Eton College and used during London 2012, and then about another 30 minutes walk to Dorney Court.