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Syon House

30 acres of gardens and 200 acres of parkland surrounding a 15th century manor house which looks like a castle from the outside..... home of Duke of Northumberland for over 400 years....

Syon House is one of London's secret treasures. It sits opposite Kew Gardens, on the other side of the Thames (the northwest side). And few people know that it exists.

It's easy to get there by bicycle from where I live. But if you decide to use public transport, it's not so clear cut. You can take the tube to Gunnersbury Park (district line) and then a bus. Or you can take a bus from Boston Manor tube station.

The most striking thing is the Great Conservatory designed by Charles Fowler. I like it more than all the great conservatories in Kew Gardens in that it's symmetrical and full of interesting shapes. I could easily sit in front of it and examine the shapes all day.

The gardens are wonderful too. Unfortunately, being on the flight path to Heathrow means that it's not so peaceful to spend an afternoon being lazy and pretending to be one of the Duke's friends.

14 August 2002 Wednesday

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