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#16 Sylvester

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 02:42 PM

We love the NT and have probably visited all of the SE properties over the last few years at least once, and would also recommend all those mentioned above. There's also Knole which has friendly deer in the grounds. The Down House Darwin exhibition has been improved recently and the last time I was there it was packed out, no doubt due to the recent publicity.

There's always somewhere to see when visiting other parts of the country. While on an NT visit to Tyntesfield in North Somerset a couple of days ago, one of the staff members mentioned that they are trying to increase the number of properties offering activities to children, to appeal to families as well as "seniors". We'll be taking the grand-kids to one of their Easter egg hunts this weekend no doubt.
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#17 moc

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:39 PM

Back from a lovely day out at Chartwell and Knole. Only took 50 mins to get to Chartwell - loved the house (Winston Chirchill's study and the stunning dining room especially) and the grounds are awesome - love things like kitchen gardens (wish I could have an allotment here in London :( ); we treated ourselves to a tea and scones in the restaurant. Then onto Knole - amazing entrance and loads of deer running free, which was a nice surprise. The house is impressive, outside and within, tho it is quite dark inside (tho not as dark as inside Ham House in Richmond). Enjoyed driving around the Kent countryside so much - made me want to live there :D - we did some exploring and stopped off at an orchard/farm and bought some local produce to make dinner tonight!

ps the deer wouldn't have been a surprise if I'd seen Syvester's post beforehand, and there indeed Easter egg hunts at both locations today :)

Edited by moc, 11 April 2009 - 05:40 PM.

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#18 DeeBee

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:58 PM

oooh, this thread is great. Was just checking out NT places to visit this weekend. Chartwell is looking promising.

Agree with the fans of Polesdon Lacey & Ham House. A while off, but for autumn, Winkworth Arboretum is truly, truly stunning. An absolute riot of colour.

#19 NickJ

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:48 AM

Another brilliant place that I don't think has been mentioned yet is Eltham Palace, which is English Heritage rather than NT (why can't the two be combined? I guess that would probably be more politically difficult than reconciling North and South Korea...).
It's a bizarre combination: a medieval royal palace and childhood home of Henry VIII that became the country home of a 1930s industrialist, who created an extraordinary Art Deco masterpiece. And of course, the country is now the south east London suburbs, which makes it all the more unexpected. Lovely gardens too if you go in summer.

#20 NickJ

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 08:10 AM

PS

Lovely gardens too if you go in summer.


A phrase I never thought I would ever utter when I was younger. I even went to a garden centre last week. Middle age - it seems to be inevitable...

#21 moc

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 09:09 AM

Hehe I know exactly what you mean Nick - agree with both points (getting old and combining NT with EH!) :D

Other places I've enjoyed visiting, a bit further afield from SE20, are Cliveden, Belton House up in Grantham, The Vyne, and Hidcote Manor and gardens. I think Ightam Mote will probably be the next port of call, given I am so taken with the Kent countryside at the moment. Also once the weather is a bit more settled, a day out in High Wycome visiting Hughendon Manor and West Wycome Park, then Waddesdon Manor (will combine it with my next shopping trp to BIcester Village lol), and going to take my mom to Attingham Park in Shropshire when I visit in August.

DeeBee - did you go anywhere this weekend? The weather wasn't too appealing really was it? :(
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#22 NickJ

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 12:20 PM

Sorry, don't want to dominate this thread but one other point that occurred: we've found that NT membership is very useful when on long journeys, because you can often find a nice place to stop, have a picnic, use the toilets etc, even if you haven't got time for a full-scale visit.
Having said that, if you're ever fancying a stop while going up/down the A1, the workhouse at Southwell in Nottinghamshire is a fascinating place that is well worth an hour or two. If anyone has been watching Paxman's series on the Victorians, it featured in the first programme.

#23 DeeBee

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 05:02 PM

DeeBee - did you go anywhere this weekend? The weather wasn't too appealing really was it? :(


I did indeed - headed off to Chartwell House and also had a wander round Westerham. Didn't leave myself enough time for Quebec house or any of the other nearby places though.
Chartwell was very busy despite the rubbish weather. And whilst grey skies are not best for photos, I thought the house and exhbitions were really interesting. And educational to boot.
However, I wish NT shops would stock local crafts instead of earthen-ware from China.

Can't remember when it happened to me but what is the official age when visiting an NT property at the weekend, becomes something you actually want to do ;)

#24 moc

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:27 AM

I've got trips to Edinburgh and the Isle of Wight booked in this summer, and will be taking my NT handbook to plan some excursions whilst there.

DeeBee - funny you should mention Westerham, I thought it was beautiful and wished we'd stopped off for a wander - maybe we'll stop off at Quebec House on route to Ightam Mote, and take the opportunity to see a bit more of Westerham too.

Well, I'm 35 - and I seem to notice more and more younger people the more I visit, so who knows! :D
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#25 miss emma

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:42 AM

Well my parents started enjoying NTs when I was born. When I hit the age of about 12 I saw no point in looking round an old house all day and would sit in the car whilst they went round! At the age of 18 I can see why people do it but I'm not quite at the age where I would choose to go myself! :P
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#26 NickJ

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:57 PM

DeeBee - funny you should mention Westerham, I thought it was beautiful and wished we'd stopped off for a wander - maybe we'll stop off at Quebec House on route to Ightam Mote, and take the opportunity to see a bit more of Westerham too.


If you're looking for a teashop or somewhere for a light lunch in Westerham, I'd recommend Food for Thought, which is on the green, near the Churchill statue. Always busy but worth waiting for nice cakes!

#27 moc

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:07 AM

Sounds perfect, thanks for the tip Nick!
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#28 moc

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 03:27 PM

We headed off to Petworth today as I've wanted to go there for ages. 5 miles from our destination, we came upon a traffic accident and the police were just closing the road. So instead we went to explore Midhurst for a bit, which was on our list to visit too. We tried to get to Petworth again, but the road was still closed so we revised our plans and went to Uppark, which was only half an hr away - a lovely place, not huge, very nice inside rather than some of those places which are dark, gloomy and tired - this is the place that the NT re-built after it was gutted by fire, and they've done a grand job. We gave the road to Petworth one more try n the way back, alas it was still closed and, for today at least, just not meant to be. Miserable weather anyway! :D
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#29 NickJ

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 04:37 PM

On Saturday afternoon we went to the Red House, the house that was built for William Morris in 1859. It was lived in by private owners until a few years ago, when it was put up for sale and the National Trust bought it. This is the first season when it is open for non-guided visits, and it's definitely worth going. Early days yet, so you feel this is work in progress and another visit in a year or two might be equally rewarding.
It's in Bexleyheath, just off the A2, and is a little oasis in the middle of fairly undistinguished suburbia, surrounded as it is by a glorious garden. Nice little tearoom in the old coach house too.
As ever, I got talking to the room volunteers and learnt that Morris was an early commuter, being driven every morning in his horse and cart to the station, where he took the train into town to work.

#30 moc

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:08 AM

Ventured up to Waddesdon Manor in Bucks for a bit of a change, yesterday morning. A beautiful manor in the style of a French Chateau, set in beautiful gardens - highly recommend it as a day out if you fancy travelling a bit further from home.
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