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Help with decisions on Historic Houses/Gardens/Churches In SW England

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We will be in SW England at the end of March. I'm working on the itinerary for the 6 days we will be in Cornwall (I will post later for your suggestions) but right now I am trying to decide on our first full day there.

After our late evening arrival at Heathrow we will pick up our rental car and stay overnight at Great Fosters in Egham. The next morning (a Wednesday) we will leave after breakfast headed for a B&B outside Sherborne, where we will stay for 2 nights. We expect to leave Great Fosters around 8:30- 9:00, Google says it's a little over 2 hrs from Egham to the B&B.

So we have time for 1 maybe 2 properties. I've looked at Lytes Cary Manor, it is not open on Thursdays, which is our main day for touring in the area, so Wednesday is our only chance. (On Thursday I'm thinking of Montacute, East Lambrook Manor Gardens, and Sherborne Abbey if time) The only other place I found nearby to Lytes Cary was Barrington Court. (Tintinhull doesn't open until after we leave) I'm not sure how I feel about touring an empty house.

South of Sherborne I found Kingston Lacy, and Athelhampton was recommended to me, and looked interesting. They are only about 30 min apart, and 30 min from the B&B

We are interested in gardens that will have some interest in early spring, but we both also love old, large specimen trees. And of course interesting old houses.

So any suggestions as to another place near Lytes Cary, or has anyone been to Kingston Lacy or Athelhampton House?

All suggestions and recommendations welcome!

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