We went to a lot of National Trust mansions in England and typically instead of having the building surrounded by blacktopped parking like Craigdarroch the parking is set off at the far end of the property. Paths and driveways are fine gravel and the rest is lawn and gardens done in the style of the era. A much better showcase.
Agree completely; then again of course in England attractions they call castles....actually are....well, castles - and not over-sized country houses.
Just another example of 'classic' Victoria tourist attractions far too often being of the entirely faux pas/fake variety. And not remotely missed at least by me. We can and should be doing so much better with stunning natural wilderness literally parked at our front door and unique FIrst Nations culture that should be front and center of much of our tourism planning and marketing.
Europeans, like my Brit relatives especially go apes*** over First Nations, or at least how they perceive them based on popular culture. But with 1000 years of their own history they could frankly care less about a 100 year old hotel (Empress) or a Bug Zoo. I well recall one damning comment about Victoria on one of Britain's largest online travel outfits a few years ago:
"....You just know any place whose biggest claim to fame is a musty old hotel - referring to the Empress several years ago, before Bosa took it over and dragged it kicking and screaming into the modern age - isn't worth spending even a single night. Give this sleepy and generally uninteresting town a miss entirely especially if pressed for time, and focus on Vancouver and Whistler, which are both actually worth your time and money". Ouch.....