Syon Park

Attractions, Parks and gardens Brentford End
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The Duke of Northumberland's London home, the only surviving ducal residence and country estate in Greater London, is right out of BBC costume drama territory, down to its 40 acres of Capability Brown gardens, 200 acres of parkland and magnificent Renaissance house. Indeed, if it looks familiar, it's probably because you'll have seen it on various TV shows, most recently the Beeb's 'Great British Bake Off' and Stephen Poliakoff's drama 'Dancing on the Edge.' On occasional Sundays and holidays under-16s can visit for free (maximum of two free tickets per paying adult); in 2013 these are May 5 and 6, May 26 and 27, and daily from Sunday July 21 to Thursday August 29. Note that the house and gardens are closed from August 30 to September 7.


Venue name: Syon Park
Transport: Rail: Syon Lane
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I’ve lived in London for four years and can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to Syon House and Park. The house is imposing, but quite  plain on the outside. Inside though, each room is incredibly ornate and there's a beautiful courtyard in the the middle. I visited mid week and pretty much had the house to myself. There were volunteers in most rooms to answer questions as well as a print out to explain each room. The house was lived in up until fifteen years ago and the family still uses it on special occasions. Each room is still fully furnished and I thought the Long Gallery was particularly stunning. The park has a nice trail to walk along that encircles a little lake. There is also a gorgeous conservatory, designed by Charles Fowler of Covent Garden Market fame, which you can go inside. Perhaps because Syon isn’t affiliated with National Trust or English Heritage it’s not as popular to go to, but this made it so much nicer to visit as there were no crowds at all.


Overshadowed by its front neighbour the wonderful Kew Garden, Syon park is easily forgotten. But if you’re into history and beautifully restored great houses, you’ll be delighted. The interiors are stunning and the park, if small, is really nice on sunny days.

If slightly too small to justify a whole trip there if you live far away, I’d recommend you do a little detour if you’re in the area.