19th Century Homes, Secret Gardens, Horses, Hounds, and Stables!
This weekend and next, the last two weekends in May, you have permission to peek. Heck, you have permission to explore at length and at your leisure. Because for these weekends, you have the opportunity to go behind the scenes, into private places, for a glimpse into spaces not opened to the public except for those very special times of year. This weekend’s Waterford Country & Cottage Tour and next weekend’s Hunt Country Stable Tour allow you to tour some of the most historic homes and luxurious horse farms in the country.
The Waterford Country & Cottage Garden Tour, in its second year, will be held on Saturday, May 22 from 10am-5pm. Explore eleven enchanting private gardens (psst! including a secret garden – how cool is that?!) in this historic circa 1733 village. Did you know the entire village is a National Historic Landmark? You’ll stroll through private gardens that include a sweet replica of an early 19th century garden memorializing a grandmother’s vision, and a secret garden that can only be reached by passing through an old archway which once led to a community well. Bring your camera because photography is welcome. Along the way, enjoy parterre boxwood gardens, perennial flower beds, shade and herb gardens that will delight the senses. Be inspired by gardens that have evolved over time around lovely old homes that date from the early 1800s. There will also be a lecture on “Culinary Herbs” at 1pm and box lunches available for purchase, as well as plants, garden accessories, and gardening books for sale. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased the day of the event at the Old School (40222 Fairfax Street); or at the Second Street School (Janey and Second Streets); and at the Corner Store in the village center (40183 Main Street). For more information, click here.
Next weekend is the renowned Hunt Country Stable Tour. In its 51st year, this self guided tour is a must for horse and hunt country lovers. On Saturday and Sunday, May 29 and 30, from 10am to 5pm. On this remarkable weekend in May, owners open the doors of their exquisite grounds, magnificent stables and extensive training facilities to visitors. Picture sprawling estates, elegant stables, manicured grounds, and miles of stacked stone fences. Best of all on this self-guided tour, you’ll spend the day driving down winding country lanes by spectacular scenery in the heart of the nation’s horse capital. One of the highlights is Rokeby, Paul Mellon’s estate, where you can see the stables of Sea Hero, 1993 Kentucky Derby winner, and Quadrangle, winner of the Belmont, Wood Memorial, and Travers Stakes in 1964. You can also meet the staff of the Hunts and watch the beagles perform (beagles presentation at 11:30am and 2pm). For a glimpse into thoroughbred horse training, stop by the Middleburg Training Track early Saturday morning from 7am to 10am (Saturday only). Other tour highlights include polo demonstrations at Llangollen in Upperville and Civil War reenactors and historians at historic Goose Creek Stone Bridge. Refresh during your journey at the Country Fair at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, with arts and crafts, refreshments, ice cream, treats for dogs, and more. Tickets for this exclusive event at available at Will Call at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, or any stop on the tour except Goose Creek Stone Bridge. Tickets are $25. For more information, click here.