Gifted to the nation for the use by a government minister, just outside London can be found a modest mansion that’s also open to the public, but only for a couple of weeks a year.
Dorneywood House is the less famous of the three grand estates used by government ministers, after Chequers and Chevening House, and is also the only one that the public can visit.
You can visit the gardens of Chevening House, or walk past Chequers, but only Dorneywood House lets you inside the house as well. The gardens are open a fair bit during the summer months, but the House itself is open for just two weeks in July, and tickets sell out very quickly.
A visit to Dorneywood House is to go in through a side gate in the field next to the house, and you can take in the well-maintained gardens, and a tour of the ground floor of the house, which is richly decorated while still managing to retain the air of an oversized cottage rather than a stately home.
There’s tea and cakes served in the gardens afterwards.
For my review of a visit in 2021, go here.
The ticket for visits will go on sale on Saturday 1st April from here, and Dorneywood House will be open to the public between Monday 26th June and Sunday 9th July 2023.
Getting to Dorneywood
If driving, then there is parking in the fields next to the house.
If using public transport, then the nearest railway station is Burnham station, and from there, it’s about a 50-minute walk to Dorneywood House. There is also a local taxi service from the railway station.