It’s always such a treat when the hubby and I can sneak away for a quick getaway, and this past weekend was no exception. Even amid the mayhem of May, I am so glad we found the time to unwind and visit Barnsley Gardens Resort. Such an honor that we were asked to be guests of theirs. If you are not familiar with Barnsley Resort (you may be more familiar with the original name Barnsley Gardens) it is a historic estate about an hour north of Atlanta. There are lots of endearing things about this destination. The highlights for me were that your entire stay is walkable, it’s proximity to Atlanta, and it’s rich southern history. A perfect country escape right outside of town!
We beat the traffic out of Atlanta on Friday afternoon and as we entered the estate through a tree lined gate, I was immediately smitten with the property! We were greeted at the Inn and promptly checked into our room. Since we had a few hours until dinner, we decided to rent bikes from the Outpost General Store and get a feel for the property. We are such suckers for exploring new places on bikes and it was a great way to get our bearings. But not to worry, once you are at Barnsley Gardens, you really never have to drive as all of the restaurants are within walking distance. (or if walking isn’t your thing, a bellman will drive you by golf cart)
Our first stop, of course, was to check out the estate ruins that is the namesake of the resort.
After taking a peak at the ruins and it’s museum, we cruised around the property and got a look at the darling rental cottages and open spaces.
So much sweetness! There are around 50 cottages lined up on several village streets all built with their own unique personality. Each one was cuter than the next! Brian and I are already scheming up a weekend in the fall to bring the kids back and enjoy some time in the country with them.
With the bike adventure under our belt, we were able to make our Twilight Tee Time. What’s that saying- “happy husband, happy life”?!?
I kid, I kid. But Brian was excited to get some golf time in and I always enjoy riding in the cart while he plays.
The scenery was beautiful and it felt like we had the entire course to ourselves. When we have the time, a golf outing is actually one of my favorite dates with Brian. Oh and have I mentioned that I am taking golf lessons? I figure as a #boymom this golf affair is only going to get stronger so I might as well join the fun!
On Saturday morning we woke up and of course had to log some TV time to check out the royal wedding. It was SO DIVINE to be able to sleep in. And then lounge. And drink coffee. With silence. Oh the little things for these tired parents! 🙂 We both had morning spa appointments so after we grabbed some breakfast it was time to head to the spa. I had a facial and Brian had a massage. What a treat!
After we were fully spoiled by the spa, we regrouped for a quick bite before our history tour with the resident historian. Living in Atlanta, and growing up north of Atlanta in Roswell, I love learning more about the history of our beautiful state. Roswell has several antebellum buildings and Barnsley Gardens is fortunate to have it’s own as well. The entire resort is built around the original Barnsley Estate originally called “Woodlands.”
This love story started back in 1840 when Godfrey Barnsley purchased the 4,000 acres to build his wife a grand estate. Sadly, the estate was not complete before she grew ill and passed. However, he was determined to finish the estate for future generations and to honor the love of his life. Sadly, the Civil War in the 1860’s damaged the home and then in 1906 a tornado finished it off. The house fell into disrepair over the next 75 years until 1988 when the land was purchased and revived. Nearly 20 years later in 1999, the property opened as a resort and has been growing and expanding ever since.
The gardens directly outside of the ruins still have remnants of the original gardens, in particular, the hedges shown here. How amazing is that?! After learning all about the history of the property, we decided to stroll around and just do some sight seeing and people watching. Can we just talk about this lovely wedding we spotted assembling in the resort’s Georgian Hall?
The forecast was calling for rain all week leading up to our weekend. (and this mama was kinda cranky about it!) But not to worry- we got very lucky and it only rained overnight on Friday. So, we certainly had to enjoy our good fortune with some time by the pool so that was our next stop.
Saturday night, we had a reservation at the Rice House which is garden to table cuisine in a 19th century farmhouse. The building is so charming and the menu looked like perfection. But do you want to know the beauty of a getaway with your husband (and no kids?!?) You can change your mind! We decided to do another quick twilight 9 holes and when that wrapped up, we just felt like grabbing burgers with in-room service. That is kind of how we roll and I love that the resort can easily accommodate fine dining or a casual bite with room service.
On Sunday morning before we scooted back home, we figured rather than hitting up the gym we would be better off exploring the resort’s hiking trails. They have several different options, and we opted for the Horse Loop that begins down by the stables.
I feel like we were going nonstop but there was so much we didn’t even get to do! When we go back I would like to check out the sporting facility that includes clay shooting and maybe go for a horseback ride.
||| Where We Stayed |||
Barnsley Gardens Resort offers a vast collection of options on the property to choose from, ideal for a group of any size. I just kept saying to Brian, this place is SO perfect for a destination wedding. We stayed at the newly built Inn which offers 55 rooms. The hotel was actually just built this spring and did not disappoint. There was lots of attention to detail in the spacious guest room. I loved how the art in the room featured spots from the property.
When we arrived at the Inn, we were welcomed by a lobby that felt like you had walked into a southern estate. Can we just say #dengoals? I think I took 18 different pictures of this room alone.
It felt like walking into someones home instead of a hotel, I could easily imagine that fireplace cranked up.
Of course, I saw the Draper James clothing right away in the cute boutique in the lobby and had to check it out.
||| Where We Ate |||
Most of our meals were at the Woodlands Grill which is just a short walk from the Inn. Friday night I had a delicious Southern Blue Crabcake along with lots of yummy starters and a salad. For breakfast, we enjoyed the buffet complete with an omelet station. Lunch on Saturday was a salad. As I mentioned, we were feeling pretty casual Saturday night so a burger hit the spot. The service was great and so was this view that we enjoyed at every meal!
||| Barnsley Gardens- Be Sure Not To Miss |||
- Barnsley Gardens has been dubbed “One of the Greatest Love Stories of the South” by it’s resident historian who we were fortunate to meet with on Saturday afternoon. Clent Coker is truly passionate about the property having practically grown up in it’s backyard. If you enjoy history, you must visit the museum that is directly attached to the ruins. Clent Coker book “Barnsley Gardens at Woodlands” narrates the entire rich history of the property.
- S’mores are offered every night between 7-9pm at one of the many firepits on the property.
- Bocce ball and croquet are complimentary and perfectly placed among the property
- The beer garden is also worth stopping in for lots of craft beer options and southern snacks.
- The Outpost General Store was so stinking adorable! It has cute gift options along with anything you may have forgotten such as sunscreen or Advil. Oh, and be sure to say hi to the potbelly pig resident mascot named Boss Hogg. (which means I now know exactly two animals named Boss Hogg, what are the chances?!)
Phew! That was lots of pictures and information- thanks so much for sticking with me until the end. It’s always hard to narrow the highlights, especially at such a pretty destination like Barnsley Gardens Resort. At only an hour away, I am certain we will be back again soon. Until then…