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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: Wimpole Estate

21 October 2017
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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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Visiting Penrhyn Castle in North Wales

28 May 2017
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Our hotel in North Wales was only about a 10 minute drive from Penrhyn Castle, so after we’d checked in we made our way there to squeeze in a visit before dinner. After parking up and having our membership cards scanned at the visitor’s centre, we quickly made our way up to the castle as we only had about an hour to see it before closing time. It’s elevated position gives you beautiful views of Snowdonia and the North Wales coast...

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A sunny afternoon at Dyffryn Gardens

20 May 2017
image from A sunny afternoon at Dyffryn Gardens

After visiting Caerphilly Castle in the morning, our next stop was Dyffryn Gardens which happened to be only a 5 minute drive away from our Airbnb. Dyffryn Gardens is a collection of botanical gardens surrounding a stately Victorian mansion. It’s about a 10 minute drive from central Cardiff but is easy to find as the roads are well signposted. You have to follow some narrow country roads once you leave the A48...

April Re-cap: Roadtripping around the UK

30 April 2017
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I’ve been a little slack with these monthly updates and haven’t done one since January. But April has been an exciting month so its the perfect time for me to get back into doing these updates. What’s been happening this month? I visited the National Trust’s Knole, an English country house situated within a 1,000-acre deer park. It’s an easy day trip from London so definitely worth checking out if you’re a National Trust member...

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Day trips from London: Knole

14 April 2017
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This historic house in Sevenoaks, Kent had been on my National Trust radar for quite a while. I wasn’t able to visit last year as the house had been closed while a restoration project was taking place but as of March it is once again open to the public. Over the course of the 14-month project urgently needed conservation work was done to paintings, textiles and furniture in the house, and extra rooms have been opened to the public for the first time...

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Day trips from London: Box Hill and Polesden Lacey

2 April 2017
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I’m so happy that spring has finally arrived as it means I’m now able to start doing more weekend trips on my scooter. The first of the season was a ride to Dorking in Surrey to visit a couple of National Trust spots - Box Hill and Polesden Lacey. Box Hill is a summit of the North Downs so its a fantastic spot for great scenic walks and stunning views...

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Following in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes at Tyntesfield

25 February 2017
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After spending a night in Bristol we decided to stop by Tyntesfield before heading back to London. This house was on my National Trust wishlist and we had originally planned to stop off here on the way to Cornwall last summer but ended up taking a different route. Luckily Tyntesfield is open 364 days a year so we were able to visit in January. Entry to the house is via a timed ticketing system and booking in advance via the Tyntesfield website is advised...

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January Re-cap: Castle hunting, escape room and winter lights

1 February 2017
image from January Re-cap: Castle hunting, escape room and winter lights

What’s been happening this month I got my Historic Houses Association membership in December and used it for the first time at Hever Castle. It had been on my list of places I wanted to visit for a long time so I’m glad I’ve finally ticked it off. I visited over the New Years Day bank holiday and they still had their Christmas decorations up. View this post on Instagram Taking advantage of my new @historic_houses membership by visiting @hever_castle today..

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Day trips from London: Bodiam Castle

12 November 2016
image from Day trips from London: Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle was #1 on my National Trust wishlist and I finally got around to visiting over the August bank holiday weekend. This 14th-century moated castle is located near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, less than 2 hours drive from London. We arrived around lunch time so we stopped at the cafe first for some food before walking over to the castle (about a 5 minute walk from the cafe/car park)...