Barnsley Gardens is conveniently located in Adairsville, Georgia, about an hour from Atlanta or Chattanooga. This is a fantastic weekend trip or day trip and can be very low cost if you just want to stop and see the gardens. The cottages are luxurious if you want to stay overnight, as its primary clients are affluent. The life of luxury with a “planned neighborhood”, gated entry, golf course, etc pops up out of nowhere in the countryside (ok it’s really just 10 minutes from the interstate).
The ruins of the mansion is the main attraction. It was actually built in the 1840s for Godfrey Barnsley. This plantation was originally called Woodlands; construction was halted when Godfrey’s wife Julia fell ill. The American Civil War led to a battle where the house and his possessions were rams ached, leading to Barnsleys demise where he lost his fortune and moved to New Orleans before his death in 1873. The roof was blown off by a tornado in 1906. At this time the Barnsley heirs moved into the detached kitchen building, which is now used as the museum. Prince Hubertus Fugger purchased and restored the estate in 1988.
Today Barnsley features a well manicured golf course designed by Jim Fazio. We like to come on a day trip from Chattanooga to dine at one of the two nice restaurants, The Grill and The Rice House. Recreational opportunities include tennis courts, a Grecian-style pool, a gym, and a spa. The luxurious cottages were a step above our expectations, but prices can easily exceed $200 in peak season.