© National Trust Images/James Dobson
- A short hop from central London by tube but a world apart. Stroll up the tree-lined drive, past the grazing Charolais cattle and you'd think you're in the country, not urban Hounslow. Surrounded by gardens, park and farmland, Osterley is one of the last surviving country estates in London. Once described by Horace Walpole as 'the palace of palaces', Osterley was created in the late 18th century by architect and designer Robert Adam for the Child family to entertain and impress their friends and clients. Today the house is presented as it would have looked in the 1780s; enter the house as the family's guests would have via the impressive stone steps leading up to the portico. Stroll through the colourful formal gardens, transformed during our six year long project from an overgrown wilderness back to their 18th century grandeur of herbaceous borders, roses and ornamental vegetables beds. Look out for the original Robert Adam summer house full of lemon trees and highly scented shrubs. Grab some lunch in our stables tea-room, or why not get it to take away and spend some time spotting some of the resident wildlife by Middle Lake? After a quick snooze in the deckchairs on the temple lawn take the woodland walk and uncover the forgotten boathouse or wander back through the ancient meadow, bursting with wildflowers and butterflies.