People often talk about hidden gems and I’ve sometimes thought “but everybody knows about that”. Whilst browsing through the pamphlets in the foyer of Library of Birmingham trying to find somewhere to take my Dad for his Father’s Day treat I stumbled across Winterbourne House & Garden. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard about it before despite spending the majority of my life in Birmingham.
The reason I chose to visit was both my Dad and I like Arts & Crafts, he enjoys gardening and he used to work as a Litho printer (the leaflet stated Winterbourne had its own printing press) so there was plenty of things that he’d enjoy seeing.
My parents and I visited on Monday and as we were driving past the adjacent University of Birmingham buildings I couldn’t believe how close this place was to the city centre.
Winterbourne is a rare surviving example of an Edwardian suburban villa and garden. The house was built in 1903 for John and Margaret Nettlefold. Both the house and garden follow the style of the Arts & Crafts movement. As we walked into the main hallway I was taken aback at how bright and airey it was.
I really liked how each of the rooms told the story of the house and its occupants with interactive exhibits. One of the downstairs rooms had a trainset that you could select a stop and the train would whizz round the track to that destination and you’d listen to a voice telling you about their time at the that place. The ground floor rooms had lots of information written on the walls, this along with the interactive elements meant that you could walk round at your own pace without needing a guide.
I really enjoyed looking round all the rooms that were on show such as the study and the kitchen but it would’ve been interesting to see what the owners bedroom was like and the staff quarters.
I’m not really green fingered myself but it was a pleasant walk round the gardens seeing things like the cacti, the orchid house and all the different sections of garden.
If you like the plants that were on show there was a plant shop that sold some of the specimens. They also had a gallery and a second hand book shop as well as a shop and cafe so there was plenty to cater to everyone’s tastes. I thought it was an absolute bargain to look round (£5.45 per adult or £6 each with gift aid).
For more of my photos of Winterbourne House & Garden click here for my Instagram profile.
For opening times and admission for Winterbourne House & Garden click here