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Plitvice Lakes National Park Day Trip from Zadar

14 October 2018
image from Plitvice Lakes National Park Day Trip from Zadar

I spent a few days in Zadar during the summer. While I was there I couldn’t resist the opportunity to tick off a bucket list item - a visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is possible to get to Plitvice Lakes from Zadar via public transport, but to save myself the trouble of figuring out the bus schedule I decided to join an organised day trip. I found an excursion through Viator which suited me perfectly...

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A visit to Dover Castle and the Secret Wartime Tunnels

17 June 2018
image from A visit to Dover Castle and the Secret Wartime Tunnels

We had some unseasonably warm weather over the early May bank holiday weekend so we booked a last minute trip to Kent to visit Dover Castle. It had been on my English Heritage wishlist and I was keen to finally visit after a previous attempt had been thwarted by bad weather. We stayed overnight in Broadstairs and then made our way to the castle in the morning, although it is possible to visit Dover Castle on a day trip from London...

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Visiting Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill

7 April 2018
image from Visiting Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill

After recently watching the film Darkest Hour, and being enthralled by Netflix’s The Crown, I was inspired to pay a visit to Chartwell. This country house near Westerham in Kent was the home of Winston Churchill for over forty years. Winston and his wife Clementine had wanted a country house for years but they struggled financially. In 1921, he received an inheritance from a distant cousin which gave them a much-needed boost in funds...

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Day trips from London: Knebworth House

2 December 2017
image from Day trips from London: Knebworth House

I finally crossed Knebworth House off my Historic Houses Association bucket list on their last open day of 2017. Located near Stevenage in Hertfordshire, this stately home is just over an hour away from London, making it ideal for a day trip. On the day I visited, access to the house was via guided tour only. The first tour had already filled up when I arrived so spent some time checking out the house exterior while I waited for the next tour...

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Day trips from London: Wimpole Estate

21 October 2017
image from Day trips from London: Wimpole Estate

My National Trust membership hasn’t been getting much of a workout lately. To rectify this we took advantage of the warm weather over the August Bank Holiday weekend and popped in to visit the Wimpole Estate. Located in Royston, Cambridgeshire, the Wimpole Estate contains a large country house (Wimpole Hall), a working farm and about 3,000 acres of parkland. Many of the historic houses I visit have mostly stayed within one family but Wimpole Hall had a variety of different owners...

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Day trips from London - Chiddingstone Castle

23 September 2017
image from Day trips from London - Chiddingstone Castle

You can’t go too far in Kent without bumping into a castle or stately home. One of my favourite castles in Kent is Hever Castle, and if you’re planning a day trip there from London you can easily add a visit to Chiddingstone Castle to your itinerary - they’re only 10 minutes apart. And if you have a Historic Houses Association membership you can visit both for free. Chiddingstone Castle is situated in the village of Chiddingstone, near Edenbridge...

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Day trips from London - Castle Farm lavender fields

16 September 2017
image from Day trips from London - Castle Farm lavender fields

During July I noticed photos from the lavender fields at Castle Farm showing up in my Instagram feed. I looked up their location and found it was only a 40 minute drive from home, so I decided to pop down for my first ever visit to a lavender farm. Castle Farm is the biggest lavender farm in the UK. It is a working farm and they harvest the flowers for oil to be used in perfumery, toiletries and aromatherapy...

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Day trips from London: Titsey Place

12 August 2017
image from Day trips from London: Titsey Place

On an uncharacteristically warm day in June I made my way to Oxted in Surrey to visit Titsey Place. This country house dates back to 16th century when it was bought by Sir John Gresham, a Lord Mayor of London and prominent merchant. The house and estate passed through several generations of the Gresham family. When the last Gresham heiress was married, the house passed to the Leveson Gowers. The family set up the Titsey Foundation to preserve the house and garden and open them to the public...

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Five things to see in Painshill Park

5 August 2017
image from Five things to see in Painshill Park

Painshill Park had been on my London bucket list for a while but until I visited I didn’t realise just how big it was. Comprising of 158 acres, there is plenty to see in this 18th-century landscaped garden. These were my top five highlights from my visit to Painshill: Gothic Temple The late 18th-century Gothic Temple is one of many follies at Painshill (a folly being a building constructed primarily for decoration even though its appearance would suggest it has a practical purpose)...

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A tour of Burghley House

29 July 2017
image from A tour of Burghley House

All too soon we were at the end of our UK road trip but I wanted to make one more stop at Burghley House before returning home. This was one of the properties on my Historic Houses Association wishlist and it’s close to the A1 so it made for a convenient stop on our way back from Sheffield. After collecting our tickets at the visitors centre we headed to the upper floor of the Brewhouse where there is an audio-visual introduction to the house and a small exhibition space...