Wimpole Estate, Cambridge
Looking for something to do on a sunny day in Cambridge? Why not visit the largest house in Cambridgeshire, Wimpole Hall, a stunning National Trust site located just eight miles south west of Cambridge! Wimpole Estate is a 2,500-acre country estate including a mansion, farm, parkland and gardens. Wimpole estate began in 1640 and was passed over to the National Trust in 1976 by Mrs Elsie Bambridge, daughter of Rudyard Kipling.
Wimpole has an established history of many different owners, all putting their mark on the architecture and interior design of the building. Captain George and Mrs Elsie Bambridge bought Wimpole originally in 1938, with the Hall almost entirely empty. Over the next 38 years, the Bambridges slowly furnished and decorated the house, finding pieces that were either once at Wimpole or had strong connections to the estate. You will see four impressive Caesars are on display in Wimpole’s grand entrance hall and in the yellow drawing room, there are 88 lion heads. There is a library, built by James Gibbs in 1730 with a book collection of over 10,000 titles. And the basements at Wimpole give an amazing example of what life was like below stairs. You can picture the bells ringing, cooking smells and the hustle and bustle going on down there.
The gardens at Wimpole Hall are beautiful. They contained many rare, exotic and unusual plants sourced from all over the world, discovered by plant hunters who were well travelled. This area looks spectacular during June bloom with approx. 180,000 summer flowering bulbs in the Pleasure Grounds.
Originally only a small deer park surrounded by open fields, Wimpole parkland has changed so many times throughout its history. Different owners employed new landscape designers and gardeners, who each left their mark on the landscape. It holds a huge array of wildlife including eight species of bat. Spring is the start of lambing time at Wimpole when the ewes give birth to hundreds of lambs. On the farm itself, you can meet the wide range of rare breed animals including goats, cattle, sheep, pigs, donkeys and horses.
There is plenty to do and see at Wimpole Estate so make sure you set aside a sunny afternoon, pack a picnic and head over there for a blissful time.