Snowshill ManorView map
Japanese Samurai armour and Napoleonic artifacts
rom suits of armour that once belonged to Japanese Samurai warriors, to antique bicycles of all shapes and sizes, there are about 22,000 reasons to take a nose round Snowshill Manor.
The idyllic country house is tucked away in the village of Snowshill, surrounded by Cotswold hills, and is packed to the rafters with antique toys, clocks, costumes and carvings – all collected by eccentric architect and craftsman, Charles Wade.
After buying the place in 1919, Wade set about creating a collection that paid tribute to arts and craftsmanship from around the world. While his treasure trove was given pride of place in the main house, however, Wade himself moved into the old priest's house in the courtyard.
Some of our favourite exhibits include the intricate figures carved by English prisoners during the Napoleonic wars – made from the bones of the scraps that they were forced to live on. It's worth making time for a nose round the gardens, too, which are ablaze with flowers come the spring.
It's all planted and grown organically (good old National Trust) and when you've had enough of seeing, smelling and strolling, how about a cuppa in the tearoom?