We’re very happy here at the Two Moors Festival that Leith Hill Place, once home to acclaimed classical music composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, has finally reopened to the public after nearly half a century.
The gorgeous 17th-century property will be open over the summer and through the autumn and is an absolute must-visit for any music fan – or indeed anyone with an interest in history, the great outdoors and lots of beautiful things. You’ll find a truly stunning aspect when you visit, with lots of trees, a lime avenue and even a ha-ha (a turfed ditch with a sloped side that was originally intended to keep grazing livestock off the lawn while providing an uninterrupted view of the garden from the house).
If it’s a clear day, you absolutely must climb up the Leith Hill Tower, the highest point on the Surrey Hills. If you look north through the telescope you can see the clock face of Big Ben in Westminster and you’ll have sweeping views across 14 counties!
Some of the most influential families in the UK have called Leith Hill Place home, including Wedgwood as well as Vaughan Williams. Charles Darwin, a close personal friend of the Wedgwood clan, also stayed at the house frequently and you can still find his worm-stone in the grounds of the estate so keep a look out for that one.
Leith Hill was last open to the public in the 60s, when the Wedgwoods used a few of its rooms to display lots of pottery and a doll’s house. Make sure you take advantage of this move by the National Trust – you never know when it might be open again!