Goodwood Estate; the spectacular 12,000-acre pile bought by the first Duke of Richmond in 1697 as a country retreat, so he and his mistress, a keen huntswoman could enjoy the cathartic charms of the Great British countryside away from the hustle and bustle of London.
It was Charles Lennox the 3rd Duke of Richmond (1735-1806) who is mainly accredited for laying the foundations of Goodwood, enabling the Estate’s magnificence to endure to this present day. The Duke was a man of impressive dynamism, a revered British politician and army officer.
The Duke commissioned architect James Wyatt to extend Goodwood House and design the kennels to accommodate his bustling throng of hounds. Today guests and members can enjoy the splendour of the Georgian architecture 365 days a year and can choose to recline in the tranquil setting of the drawing room, dine in the restaurant or muse on the elegant terraces.
Indeed, the 3rd Duke’s passion for visual splendour are evident in every corner of the estate, visitors can take advantage of the extensive range of tapestries, furniture and porcelain on display in Goodwood House today.
However his vision for the estate was not purely based on aesthetic grace, his love of horse racing led him to reform the landscape on top of the Sussex Downs culminating in the creation of a racecourse which is internationally acclaimed as one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world.
Throughout the centuries the Dukes of Richmond have continued to build on the 3RD Duke’s pioneering spirit, the extensive acreage that surrounds the house now stages a carnival of prestigious, high-octane events such as The Goodwood Festival of Speed and Glorious Goodwood (which now goes by the name of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, as if we needed to be reminded that half of Mayfair is now owned by solid gold Bentley-driving Sheiks.) Meanwhile punters can enjoy aviation related pursuits and golfing. Those who simply want to get back to nature can sample the Tess of the D’urbervilles-esque pastoral bliss of the farm by watching the dairy cows being milked on a guided farm tour.
The Goodwood Estate is currently experiencing something of a Golden Age, a 20st century revival driven by the 10th Duke of Richmond who returned to the family seat after a fruitful career in business, expanding the horse racing calendar, opening the house and it’s art collections to the public and bringing major international sporting events to the house. He passed the baton onto his son the Earl of March who has continued to drive the Goodwood renaissance by carrying out major restorative and cosmetic work on the house and creating the Festival of Speed.
Make sure you’re onto a winner this Valentines Day and back the Goodwood Estate Valentines Experience for a romantic day to remember. Whether you’re a food man, adrenaline junkie or harbour a secret hankering for the Spa; you can count on Goodwood to serve up Valentine’s day on a silver platter.
High Flyers Travel by Chopper
Escape from the metropolis of London in style. Charter a helicopter for the full scenic route experience and relax and behold the changing lanscape as the city’s skyscaper’s are displaced by the charming green hills of the West Sussex countryside.
Back to Nature.
Just like Adam and Eve, you’ll be whisked away by BMW 4X4 vehicle to experience the Eden-like setting of the Estate. A guide will help you navigate through the Estate’s 12,000 acres. Meanwhile a visit to the Butler’s Rest will ensure you get your all important alone time and afternoon tea/ elevenses will be provided by a Goodwood Butler to fuel you up for the next stage of the adventure.
Indulge the senses.
After an exhilarating afternoon of gas guzzling, take to the spa to indulge your senses at the Goodwood Spa. Keep sparks flying with the Hot Basalt Stone Massage.
The Final Furlong
Dine in splendour for the most elegant ending to your exquisite Valentine’s day experience. We’re sure you’ll have worked up quite an appetite after feasting your eyes on staggering aerial views, scaling rugged terrain in your gas guzzler and reclining in style at the Spa. Fortunately Goodwood House serves up an exquisite dining experience. The menu is comprised by fresh ingredients locally sourced on the Estate. If bird is your game, plump for the pheasant breast served with Estate bacon, chestnuts, roasted garlic and brandy.
After pudding and a nightcap, wrap up the evening by heading back to Goodwood’s glorious hotel. If you’re heading back to the big smoke, it’s time to hop back into the heli which will escort you most elegantly back to base.