Posts filed under ‘National Trust days out’

picture perfect (at Hanbury Hall NT)

Anyone with kids will know that asking someone to ”just take a quick picture of us” is rarely as simple as it sounds.  Sometimes the outtakes are exactly what sum up the hilarity of expecting kids to ‘smile‘ because we request it rather than because it captures their natural delight in something. E is largely a willing participant in front of the camera and loves nothing better than pulling silly faces.  On this occasion L was not so willing and just desperate to escape (that photo where it looks like I’m about to drop him… rest assured I didn’t!).  For me at least, the snaps G took on our lovely family day out at Hanbury Hall are picture perfect and sparkle with love and silliness which is how we roll.

We renewed our National Trust Membership at Hanbury Hall and are looking forward to exploring some local favourites as a family of 4 like Newark Park and Westbury Court Gardens as well as exploring a bit further a field (we’re feeling emboldened about travelling with a baby after the success of our epic Scotland trip at Easter!).

May 2, 2017 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

making the most of our National Trust membership

We became National Trust members for the first time last year and renewed our membership this year by default when I didn’t notice the annual subscription was taken 3 weeks before it expired.  I’m too used to doing things at the eleventh hour it seems.  Don’t get me wrong, membership is well worth the cost, I waivered only because of the timing of the payment and probably would have let it lapse for a few months before rejoining presuming April showers might prevent us from getting out and about.  As it happens we’ve used our membership 5 times* already so I’m glad of the National Trusts’ presumptuous efficiency with membership renewals.
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The first of this year’s visits was to Westbury Court Garden, the only restored Dutch style water garden in the country and the nearest NT property to home.  I’ve driven past it hundreds of times over the years yet only been there once, a decade or more ago, with my Mum and Nan.  I recall my lovely, straight talking Nan being somewhat underwhelmed by the experience –  a reflection of her simple view on life [‘It’s just a garden‘] rather than a lack of appreciation for the hard work by staff and volunteers that goes into maintaining this beautiful, historic site.  E on the other hand was very effusive [”I love it here’‘] and especially liked feeding the fish in the canals, watching the water fountain and pointing to the plants growing in the 17th Century vegetable beds and asking what they were called.
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The array of tulips reminded me of my allotment neighbours Pat and Robin who always have smatterings of tulip flair dotted among their edible plants. I felt a little wistful for my lost allotment love and found myself thinking of my Nan momentarily. Just as quickly I was pulled back into the present by E calling ”Mum, come and find me, I’m going to hide in that little house’‘. Life moves on but a little bit of time stands still in beautiful tranquil places like Westbury Court Garden.  Hooray for The National Trust and the wonderful work they do to look after the sites we’ve grown to love visiting.  Places like these that offer grown ups an opportunity for quiet reflection while the kids run off to explore.
Mosaic _ NT visits April 2015
* return visits made to Woodchester Park, Croome Park, Newark Park and Woodchester Park and a first time visit to Snowshill Manor for the Easter Egg hunt.

June 7, 2015 at 9:46 pm 3 comments

ambling about May Hill

9-6-13 - May Hill_6b trees and E on bike 4BWith Christmas just around the corner it’s nice to be reminded of balmy summer days spent outside this year.  Hard to believe it’s already 6 months ago that we spent a lovely Sunday afternoon ambling about May Hill after reading that the iconic trees there were all under threat of being cut down due to disease.Collage May Hill 4B
The Corsican pine trees atop May Hill were planted in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.  Further Scots pine trees were added in 1977 to mark Queen Elizabeth’s silver jubilee. Pine trees, an unusual site in such a landscape, are said to have been planted to mark a overnight grazing ground and one of the charms of a visit to May Hill is the sight of cows snoozing and wild ponies grazing in the shade of the trees without a care in the world.Collage May Hill animals 4B
May Hill has everything you could want from a family walk.
Trees, animals, wide open space and fabulous views.9-6-13 - May Hill_12 G and E9-6-13 - May Hill_17 E lying on G 4B
It’s a bit of a gradual climb with a bike and a toddler but nothing snacks can’t forgive. The walk-run-tumble back down is rather fun too – thirsty work though!9-6-13 - May Hill_8 thirsty E 4B
Thankfully the disease effecting the trees, Red Needle Band blight, is containable so only 30 trees already killed by the disease need to be removed.
See the National Trust website here for walks/maps on May Hill if interested in visiting

December 8, 2013 at 5:11 am 1 comment


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