Sir Stephen

Painshill Park Trust appoints a new Chairman

The Trustees and Director of Painshill Park Trust are delighted to announce that Sir Stephen Lamport GCVO DL has been appointed as the Trust’s new Chairman.

Sir Stephen has been a Trustee of Painshill Park Trust since 2019 and has had a home near Cobham for nearly four decades.  Previously a member of HM Diplomatic Service, serving in New York, Tehran and Rome, he then moved to the Royal Household for ten years, where he was Private Secretary to The Prince of Wales.  He was subsequently a Director of The Royal Bank of Scotland for five years, and latterly spent ten years as the Receiver General of Westminster Abbey, from where he retired in 2018.

Sir Stephen sits on a number of charitable and commercial boards.  He is Chairman of the British Red Cross Solidarity Fund and a Senior Adviser to Sanctuary Counsel.  He was appointed GCVO in 2018 and became the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey in 2020.

Sir Stephen said, “I am delighted to take up the role of Chairman for Painshill Park Trust. The Painshill landscape is an extremely important piece of England’s heritage and I look forward to working with the Trustees and staff to ensure we can continue to restore and protect it for current and future generations.”

Director of Painshill, Paul Griffiths said, “It is an honour to have Sir Stephen as our Chairman. He brings a wealth of expertise and experience to Painshill. Under his leadership, awareness of Painshill’s significance can only grow and together we can ensure Painshill will thrive into the future.”

Sir Stephen, the Trustees and the staff would like to thank former Chairman Richard Reay-Smith throughout his many years of service, passion and commitment to Painshill. Richard was a member of Elmbridge Council and was Chairman of the committee responsible for acquiring the major part of Painshill and establishing Painshill Park Trust forty years ago. He was the Trust’s first Chairman from 1981 to 1985 and resumed the Chairmanship in 2018. Richard will continue to be a Trustee of Painshill Park Trust.

Family photoshoot

10 Things to do at Painshill over the Summer Holidays

Sunlit Grotto

1. Write a story about the Crystal Grotto

After being closed for much of 2020 we are delighted that the Crystal Grotto is open for visitors this summer (closed on Mondays for maintenance). Bring along your camera and take some fabulous family photos in this sparkling crystal cave.

We are celebrating 250th years since it was first created by Charles Hamilton. Write a 250 word story, inspired by the Grotto, and you could win a free family membership!

2. Bring along a picnic

Summer is the time to spend a whole day at Painshill. After walking the grounds and discovering the follies, spread out your blanket by the lake or on top of a hill.

While the children run free in acres of meadow you can enjoy the location that was used in smash hit Netflix show Bridgerton for the characters’ picnic.

Butterfly at Painshill

3. Spot butterflies

The Painshill meadows and woodlands are full of butterflies at this time of year. Take a walk and see which species you can spot.

If you would like to record your findings why not get involved with the National Big Butterfly Count and see what else has been sighted in the area.

4. Enjoy Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea is back at Painshill and children are welcome to join. Children’s prices are available because everyone loves cake and scones!

The price of the tea includes entry into the grounds so you can also enjoy the landscape before or after you indulge in some yummy treats.

Painshill Afternoon Tea
forest school

5. Pick up a summer holiday activity card

This summer holiday free activity cards can be found at the Visitor Centre.

Each card has a different Forest School activity on it. Whether you create a piece of wild art or make a fairy home these activities are a brilliant way for children to engage with nature.

6. Paint Your Own Pottery

On 17 August join All Fired Up for a paint your own pottery session.

Children’s figures are available to paint including a knight, a princess or a dragon. Get the creative juices flowing with this hands-on family workshop.

Play Area

7. Visit the Natural Play Area

The Painshill natural play area is a great spot to include in your visit. Natural balance logs, dens and stepping stones allow little ones to get back to nature.

8. Treat yourself to ice-cream

Luxury, creamy and utterly delish ice-cream (believe us – we have tried it!) is available from the catering hut or in the Tea Room.

On a hot summer day why not try some of the fabulous flavours.

Jazz on the Amphitheatre

9. Listen to some Jazz

Every Sunday afternoon in August there will be Jazz music on the Amphitheatre. Perfect for all generations of the family, everyone can enjoy the view over the vineyard, listen to the music and take some time together.

Plus there will be a bar for the adults in the party!

10, Watch The Greatest Showman on the big screen

Children’s tickets are available for the PG screening of The Greatest Showman on Sunday 22 August. Watch the sun go down over the landscape, enjoy dinner from our food and drink stalls and then sit back and delight in the feel good film.

Open Air Cinema Painshill
40th anniversary gin

Painshill 40th anniversary gin in stock now

It is here!

Painshill Park Trust is proud to bring you a limited edition 40th Anniversary Ruby Gin. It is in stock now in the Painshill Gift Shop and all profits go to the restoration and protection of Painshill.

Enjoy the mix of raspberry, orris root, angelica root, coriander, cubeb pepper, lemon zest, cassia bark and Kossovan juniper dancing on the palate. The skills and talents of The Gin Kitchen in Dorking have developed this gin to celebrate 40 years of the Painshill Park Trust. It is as colourful as it is flavourful to celebrate the ruby anniversary.

Pair with a crisp tonic, plenty of ice and garish with a mint leaf and twist of lime zest.

This rosy gin is the third in the Painshill collection.

The Kitchen Garden Gin and the Turkish Tent Gin, created with ingredients grown at Painshill, are also available in the Gift Shop today.  

Share the experience with us at #PainshillRuby #PainshillGin

Short story competition judges

Win a year’s free membership with our short story competition

Painshill is celebrating the Crystal Grotto’s 250th anniversary with short story competition.

Brilliant, magical, haunting and enchanting – the Crystal Grotto at Painshill Park in Surrey has been dazzling visitors for 250 years.

To celebrate the grotto’s 250th birthday, Painshill is inviting budding writers to pen a 250-word story inspired by the unearthly beauty of this incredible manmade feature. The winners will receive free year’s membership to Painshill. Enjoy seeing Painshill change throughout the seasons with this fantastic prize.

Entranced by the grottoes in Italian Renaissance gardens, Painshill’s creator the Hon Charles Hamilton commissioned celebrated grotto designer Joseph Lane to construct the folly in the 1700s. The dazzling stalactites were created using thousands of crystals embedded into lime mortar on inverted wooden cones.

By the 20th century, the grotto had fallen into ruin, but restoration by the Painshill Park Trust has seen it returned to its original glory.

Today, the spectacular 158-acre site with its fantastical follies and crystal grotto is once again one of the most important and significant 18th century landscape gardens in the country.

Painshill director Paul Griffiths said: “The crystal grotto is 250 years old this year, and our 250-word story competition is designed to celebrate its enduring appeal.

“Whether the sparkling stalactites, bubbling rocks, shimmering coral pools and twisted rock formations inspire tales of romance, horror, fantasy or mystery, we would love aspiring writers of all ages to pick up their pens and let their imagination take over.

“We can’t wait to see the results!”

The 250-word short story competition is divided into three categories: 12 and under, 13-17, and 18 and over.

The competition is free to enter. Entrants should live in the UK and can enter through school, or as an individual.

Stories will be judged by Paul and children’s author Lorraine Piddington, with prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each category.

Deadline for entries is August 31st.