Royal Tudor Manor is a medieval, Tudor, Victorian, Japanese treat. If you like period features in your family-and-friends holiday homes, this one’s for you. Several periods, in fact. First renovated in Victorian times, Royal Tudor Manor has echoes from various centuries through history and a garden that’s purely Oriental.
Royal Tudor Manor is impressive and grand, yet informal and warm, too. Sleeping 17 in palatial style, it turns Wiltshire into Wowshire. Follow the verdant lanes along which cattle were once herded to market, to an estate of broad-leaved woodland totalling 7000 acres.
Royal Tudor Manor is a piece of history, but there’s nothing medieval about the Sonos sound system, the superfast broadband, the three electric fan ovens or the gas barbie. Call up our chef. Take it easy, be together, be apart, celebrate, feel special. You’ll remember this as a right royal good time.
Be enchanted by gorgeous gardens fit for a king. They’re formal close to the house, then progressively wild as they merge with the Wiltshire uplands beyond. The view from behind the house takes in ascending rectangular pools, a fountain and folly.
Walk the grass pathways past pleached lime and cypress trees. Relax with a drink in the exotic Japanese garden overlooking the koi carp that glide serenely in the ornamental ponds. Get the gas barbie started. Get steamy in the pagoda’s sauna, then shower off outdoors.
Eat al fresco around the chunky garden table. Play a little croquet on the top lawn by the entrance. Be transfixed by the trickle of water from the ornamental waterfall. Once used for hunting, these grounds are now a place to track down only quiet contemplation and a sort of spiritual serenity.
Big rooms and high ceilings make for space to spread, with plenty places to escape with headphones or a book. Period detail abounds here, plus a huge embrace for the practicalities and playthings of contemporary living. In fact, life here flows as effortlessly as the wifi and the sound from the Sonos system.
Although you’ll want for nothing, you never quite lose that grand sense of the 17th century. The fireplaces are magnificent and you’ll feed them with the endless supply of logs provided. Even the medieval entrance hall exudes history, with its huge fireplace, stone-mullioned window and unusual loophole window.
Beyond the hall, rooms come from Tudor times, although there’s not much ancient history about the TV room. The 60” wall-mounted telly sits beneath Henry VIII-style beams, offering an open invitation to snuggle up on the leather sofas and find a film from the DVD collection.
Escape for solitary serenity with a book to the butler’s house sitting room. Or get the fire burning and gather for drinks, cards and chatter in the giant drawing room on the first floor in the original part of the house. Admire the gardens from the large window, soak up the atmosphere and character, wonder if you could hide and stay forever.
Royal Tudor Manor conjures visions of noblemen returning from the hunt with fresh game or a skewered boar for a hearty banquet. Despite these reminders of ancient times, you won’t go without creature comforts. They include a giant contemporary kitchen, three electric fan ovens, two hobs and a dishwasher.
If you’d prefer to stand the heat in the sauna than the kitchen, Nick Paffett and Mike Clarke from Forkingout are always on hand with a roast loin of Somerset pork, pink trout and samphire, or seared scallops. Eat in pure elegance in the panelled Tudor dining room or al fresco out among the ornamental ponds.
The Tudors would have loved the gas barbie in the garden. They’d also have loved the game-rich King John Inn, bringing you wood-pigeon ham and haunch of venison from Cranborne Chase. Just five minutes’ walk away, it’s also home to an ever-changing menu of fine drafts and beers.
In the next village, The Museum Inn offers locally sourced, AA Rosette-standard fare such as poached pollock, Oriental hot-and-sour stew and beer-battered haddock. Grab a takeaway from Spice of India, and stock up your own kitchen with hearty fare from local delis like Hungry Bird and Tarrant Gunville Farm Shop.
There’ll be no battling over the nine bedrooms here. Every one is lush, luxurious and lavishly endowed with period features. Oak panels, fireplaces and even half-tester canopies are all on the night-time menu.
En-suite bedroom one comes with one of those half-tester canopies, plus a zip-and-link giving the option of a super kingsize double or adjacent twin beds. There’s another half-tester canopy in bedroom two, plus en-suite and zip-and-link. Bedroom three offers twin beds, Tudor panelling and a herringbone brick fireplace.
The master, bedroom four, provides a half-tester canopy, king-size bed, dressing area and contemporary en-suite with walk-in shower. Check out the drinks bar on the landing for a late-night snifter. On the second floor, bedroom five has twin beds that transform into a super king-size double, while bedroom six is a single.
In the butler’s house, bedrooms seven and eight are zip-and-link super king-size doubles. Fancy going Oriental? Bedroom nine in the Japanese Pavilion offers twin beds or super kingsize double. Take a sauna in the morning.