Wellbeing Week 2019 Blog


Thursday – Tai Chi

Painshill Director, Paul Griffiths continues his Painshill’s Wellbeing Week challenge with a Tai Chi class with Sue Woodd

What exactly is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi was described form of martial art where you ‘shadow box’ yourself allowing you to release negative energy,  stress and tension

What are the benefits of practicing Tai Chi?

Working all the body and allowing the stresses of everyday life to escape

Would you try Tai Chi again?

Definitely- it was an amazing session

What is it about the landscape that lends itself to promoting Wellbeing classes?

You get an amazing feeling of being at one with nature

Find out more about Sue at suewoodd.com



Wednesday – Self-Care Yoga in the landscape

Painshill Director, Paul Griffiths joined a yoga session out in the Painshill landscape as part of Painshill’s Wellbeing Week.

Have you tried yoga before?

Never!  Always been very nervous I am not flexible enough for it

What did you think of the self-care session with Luma?

It was fabulous, Luma obviously runs sessions at Painshill every week and I have always be tempted to try it

What do you think yoga could help you with?

It was great to stretch out so many muscles and was very relaxing

How did the outside setting add to the experience?

It was a stunning setting, as Yoga is so much about feeling grounded with the earth being outside on the grass made it a memorable experience

Find out more about Luma Yoga on and look out for her regular classes at Painshill.




Tuesday – Mindfulness Taster Session

Painshill Director, Paul Griffiths joined Yvette Jane for a Mindfulness Taster Session as part of Painshill’s Wellbeing Week.

Have you had tried mindfulness before?

No, not at all.  I have heard a lot about it especially in the weekend newspapers!

What did you think of the taster session?

It was a super session, I really enjoyed it. Yvette has a very calming manner and took us through the exercises with great skill.

What do you feel mindfulness can help with?

Allowing you to take time out to focus on yourself, to make you aware of yourself. Simple things like breathing well can really reduce stress.

Are there any techniques that you will take forward into your daily life?

I hope so, I certainly started to relax during the sessions, so much so I was starting to drop into sleep!  Something Yvette assured me is perfectly normal!


Find out more about Mindfulness on Yvette’s website and look out for more classes at Painshill in the future!



Work continues on the Temple of Bacchus

Covering the interior of the Temple of Bacchus in a facade wrap

The Painshill team, along with Project Print Management, have been working hard in the last few weeks on the interior of the Temple of Bacchus!

Hamilton’s Temple of Bacchus was much acclaimed for its beauty and architectural merit. It was the only classical building in England praised by Thomas Jefferson during his visit to these shores in 1786.

The restoration of the exterior was started in the autumn of 2016 and was completed in March 2019.

Until we raise sufficient funds to restore the interior properly we have been installing a number of displays to show visitors how this amazing building would have appeared to Charles Hamilton and his invited guests during the 18th Century.

Firstly, we wrapped the interior in fabric, starting with the ceiling.


The original ceiling was of ornate plasterwork which we believe was designed by Robert Adam. It was described in 1795 by one visitor as “a simple neat design a wreath ornamented with four Eagles & grapes & vine leaves”.



Busts of Caesars and Statues

Secondly, we installed temporary representations of Hamilton artefacts.

Four statues of Mercury, Venus de Marina, Apollo of Belvedere and Venus de Medici stood in the four niches to the South.



The walls once again display Hamilton’s 12 busts of Roman emperors collected by him on one of his “Grand Tours”.


Finally, we will place panels over the floor to complete the room and ensure all guests can get a feel for how it would have looked.


When we restore the Temple fully we will be plastering the walls and the ornate ceiling. We will commission the recreation of the busts and the exterior statues and reinstate them. We will also return the statue of Bacchus to his Temple (he currently stands outside of the shop).

We are in the process of fundraising for the interior – please help if you can by donating online today.

We very much hope that you will come and see the Temple soon! Visit us this summer and see our progress for yourself.


5 ways to support your wellbeing at Painshill

The peaceful Painshill offers the perfect spot to relax. The tranquil gardens are large enough that, even on a busy day, you can always find a quiet corner. Here’s five ways you can use the landscape garden to re-connect with nature and restore yourself.


1. Bring along a picnic

There are plenty of wildflower meadows, fields of grass and banks by the lake that make great places to sit down and relax with your family or friends. Bring along a blanket and your favourite foods and enjoy being outside in the landscape.

2. Stroll along the Serpentine

Painshill was made for walking! And walking has proven benefits on your mental and physical health. Walk the work of art and take in all of the beautiful views or simply stroll around the shorter lake route– every step helps!

3. Join a class and get moving

Painshill is a wonderful venue for a host of different classes. Sign up for Yoga or Tai Chi and learn the benefits of these strength building exercises. Beginners are welcome for many of the classes so you can always try a taster session. Take a look at the current events programme and look out for Wellbeing Week in June to book.

4. Walk a dog

Nothing connects you to the joy of life quite as much as a dog! Dogs are welcome in Painshill and there are always dog water bowls available. Don’t have a dog of your own? Why not volunteer with the Hersham Hounds? This local charity is devoted to caring for retired racing greyhounds and volunteers regularly bring them into Painshill.

5. Get creative

Painshill was inspired by landscape painting and what better way to get involved than bringing your own sketching materials or camera and capturing it. Photography or drawing can really make you notice your surroundings and reconnect you with nature. Don’t know where to begin? Come along to one of the workshops run at Painshill and start learning.


Wellbeing Week at Painshill starts on Mon 24 June and celebrates all that gardens can do to benefit for our mental and physical health.

Volunteer Interview Blog

Volunteer’s Week

To celebrate Volunteer’s Week this June, Painshill are delighted to launch our new Volunteer Interview Blog!

Each month we will be showcasing a volunteer from our team who gives their time to keep Painshill running and looking stunning.

Around 140 volunteers work for Painshil. They worked a total of 15,000 hours during 2018. This figure covers the Landscape, Visitor Centre, Crystal Grotto, Watermill and the Tower Café.

We are extremely grateful to all our volunteers for their dedication and effort. They are vital to Painshill and its success!


Volunteer Interview of the month – June 19

Sue Cockle


What is your role at Painshill?

Currently I am doing some administration work in the office, but in my 3 years of volunteering I’ve done lots of roles here at Painshill. I started out as a Ranger and continue to do this, it is great as you get to walk around the landscape and enjoy all it has to offer. I’ve worked in the pop-up café at the Gothic Tower, I have also filled in at the Visitor Centre, plus lots of other things when events take place, not to mention helping bringing in the grape harvest. It was while working in the Visitor Centre that a member of staff made me aware that they needed help in the office and so since Autumn last year I have been helping out there.


Why did you choose Painshill to volunteer at?

Having retired I was looking to find some voluntary work but did not want to work in the ubiquitous charity shop. I was looking to find something to do that involved being outdoors. While searching a website offering volunteer opportunities locally I saw something for Painshill. When checking their website, I saw they were having an open morning soon encouraging new volunteers, so I went along and the rest as they say is history. There were lots of different roles, everyone seemed really friendly and there was lots of flexibility about how much time volunteers could give. One of the volunteers took us through the landscape to the Crystal Grotto and I realised what a beautiful place it is, I had not visited in years and realised what a hidden gem it is.


What is the thing you love most about your work at Painshill?

I enjoy the camaraderie of all those who give their time to Painshill whether employees,  volunteers or the trustees, everyone is so enthusiastic about the place.  I also love  it when new visitors say what a wonderful place it is and that they must come back again.


What is your favourite spot at Painshill?

The Temple of Bacchus is possibly my favourite. When I first started volunteering there was just an outline of where the building stood, and in my time here I have seen it restored. It is not just the building that I like but  the view out over the Surrey countryside from where it is situated within the landscape is stunning. Hamilton really had an eye for drawing you to a location with his follies only for it to reveal some other vista from it.