This medieval manor house is grand enough to make you feel special, and homely enough to make it feel like it’s yours
You know you’re going to have a good weekend when you pull up to your holiday home in the car and have to double-check the directions because you can’t believe this place is going to be all yours for 48 hours. But as incomprehension turned to excitement, and finally (with the aid of a glass of wine) contented acceptance, it was actually pretty easy to settle in to a life as temporary overlord of the manor.
Scudamore Court is medieval in origin, but don’t expect dripping taps and draughty windows; this place is all about comfort and luxury. Apart from the amazing double-height medieval hall, complete with gallery, blackened beams, cavernous fireplace and sun pouring in through the mullioned windows, the rooms are a nice normal domestic size, to make you feel at home. It’s just that there are probably a lot more of them than in your house.
When you own a home with 700 years of history you don’t need to stick to one particular period in its decor. The house is decorated in a style that nods to the past – rich antique furniture, heavy embroidered curtains – but with some modern furniture and lighting thrown in, and no scrimping on details such as the quality of the mattresses and bedlinen. Some of the antique upholstered furniture is particularly enticing, including the scarlet chaise and lavender-velvet Napoleonic sofa in the drawing room. It’s nice to feel the personality of the owners here – family photos abound.
Outside is a gardener’s (and a hide-and-seeker’s) paradise, with yew hedging, rose-covered archways and a summer house. You are invited to help yourself to whatever’s ready to pick from the veg patch. I threw a stone in the well that sat in the pretty courtyard entranceway, and made a wish that I could come back one day. And then I wondered how many other guests over the centuries had done the same.
Nearby: Well-regarded foodie pub The Angel Inn is a five-minute walk away; you’re so close to Longleat safari park you can practically hear the lions roar; Warminster and Westbury are both classic Wiltshire towns worth a wander (Westbury has a famous chalk white horse); Bath is half an hour away (save yourself the bother of its nightmare parking by hopping on the train from Westbury or Warminster)