The National Trust is one of those organisations which can probably quite justifiably be classified as a national treasure. The NT has been a part of my life for a number of years after we were given a one year member ship as a gift which we very soon realised we needed to continue. I confess to falling by the wayside for a couple of years when life got busy with other activities. However, I’m pleased to report, last year we saw the light and rejoined. We are so pleased we did. Our couple of years on the outside looking in helped us realise what we were missing, and not just the reliable pots of tea and scones served in the National Trust cafes. There is so much to love about the National Trust.
The range of historic properties and places of national beauty owned and protected by the National Trust is vast and varied. From huge stately homes to tiny follies, from beautiful gardens to wild woodlands, there really is something for everyone. Each place is lovingly tended and cared for by paid staff and volunteers.
One of the (many) joys of membership is the ability to ‘pop in’ for an hour or two without having to make a full day of it. Over the years we have used the National Trust in so many ways. Choosing to veer off a motorway and stop at a National Trust property for a breather on a long drive is always a good decision
Christmas at the National Trust is always lots of fun, as some of the properties are decorated for Christmas. We managed to visit two this year which were suitably and traditionally festive. Osterley House and park which is local and the grand Erddig in Wales, both fine examples of country homes.
A favourite, because its not too far away and we have probably visited more than any other is Polesden Lacey. A home which his neither too large or too grand that it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine yourself wandering through it’s well appointed rooms before slipping on a bonnet and taking a gentle meander through the gardens.
Some of our favourite days our with friends, family or just the two of us, involve a meander around a National Trust house, and a wander around the gardens. For a few years we went to Cornwall each year. No trip was complete without a trip to Trengwainton Gardens. The flowers, the walled gardens, the woodlands always beautiful and always inspiring. In fact inspiring is a word I think absolutely sums up the National Trust. I always come away feeling I have learnt something, and seen something beautiful or interesting or quirky.
I can’t mention the National trust without mentioning either the toilets or the shop. Who doesn’t want a clean, sweet smelling loo on which to momentarily rest their derriere. National Trust loos are a pleasure, which is not something which can often be said about public conveniences! The National Trust Shop is a necessary part of an NT visit. Full of books and fripperies, biscuits and fudge, and cards. Always worth popping into if you are gift hunting.
Lastly a number or properties now have their own second hand book shops. So not only can you see beautiful buildings, learn interesting things from knowledgeable volunteers, eat tea and cake, enjoy fabulous gardens, buy pretty things and use a sweetly smelling clean loo, you can also buy books. I can’t honestly think of a thing not to like about the National Trust.
I am really looking forward to my national Trust Visit of 2018 this weekend. I haven’t quite decided where it will be yet but I know wherever it is, I won’t be disappointed.
Which NT properties are your favourite or where would you recommend I visit this year?
image of polesden lacey taken from surrey edit