Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The National Trust

 
This year we bit the bullet and joined the National Trust for the first time.  We thought whilst we have no livestock that needs us to be here all the time or lots of our attention on a daily basis it was an ideal time to explore some of the wonderful old buildings and park lands of both our new adoptive country and over the border in England.
 
 
Our membership pack arrived really quickly and with it a free gift ...

 
... a mini pair of binoculars which Lovely Hubby was rather smitten with.
 
Aberconwy House
Picture from the National Trust website.
 
Our first visit was to Aberconwy House which is just up the road in Conwy.  We went their while LH's lovely sister Alison was visiting combining it with a walk around the castle as blogged about here.
 
View across the parkland to the west front at Basildon Park, built 1776-83 © Rupert Truman
Picture from National Trust website.
 
And then on the last Bank Holiday weekend we went to Basildon Park in Berkshire, somewhere we lived a fifteen minute drive from before we moved and drove past on a regular basis but had never ventured inside.
 

 
There was lots to see and photograph.
 
 
The grounds were beautiful just springing to life in the warm May sunshine.

 
Too warm it would appear for the mixed herd of cows, we spent a few minutes seeing how many we could name .... we discovered we're not very good on cow breeds yet ;-)
 
Inside the house was lovely, very well maintained and lots of the room had photograph boards of when they were used for filming the Downton Abbey Christmas Special, when the house doubled as 'Grantham House'.  We've never watched this (I know... shock, horror) but lots of folk were enthralled by seeing the rooms they had watched on television.
 
It was a really lovely day, and so one month in from getting our membership we have viewed two properties.  
 
Google Images picture.
 
Our nearest National Trust place is actually Bodnant Gardens which I think will be getting quite a few visits over the next few months as their gardens change throughout the year.   That they happen to have a lovely little coffee shop that serves cream teas will no doubt inspire LH to visit regularly as he seems determined to carry out his plan of 'Cream Tea-ing' his way around the National Trust properties of England and Wales.
 
Sue xx


18 comments:

  1. When we lived in Kent and our daughters were children, we had family membership - and really got our money's worth as there are lots of places in SE England. [Things like free parking whilst holidaying in Norfolk with family was a bonus]
    Here in the East Midlands there aren't many places close enough to justify the cost - but when I retire [back to Norfolk] I hope to rejoin. I do hope you enjoy being a member as much as I did in the 1980s. Blessings xx

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  2. When I was in the UK I visited some fantastic national trust places. I hope you enjoy your membership

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  3. I have a blog friend who works at Basildon Park,I wonder if she was 'on duty' when you were there!
    Jane x

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  4. I don't think you will regret the outlay. We really enjoy our membership but always try to stretch it a bit. We don't automatically renew it every year by direct debit. Quite often there is a gap of time between it running out and the next time we want to use it. So we just re-join at the next property we visit, they usually have a deal on too if you join in that way.

    Jean x

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    1. That sounds like a VERY good plan, thanks for the tip :-)

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  5. We've been NT members before but took the same view as Shrimpton and Perfect above - we'll renew ahead of time when we want to go somewhere - and as they have said there are often deals on, too. We certainly got our moneys worth out of ours, last time.

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  6. Hubby keeps mentioning having a NT membership, but we have never got round to doing anything about it, perhaps I will see about one as an anniversay pressie for next month.

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    1. We've talked about it for years and never acted on the thought, this time when a leaflet fell out of a magazine I was reading I just got straight on the computer and took advantage of the offer, I'm so glad I did.

      With two places we can stay we have the option to visit places in the south of England and here in Wales any weekend we have spare time.

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  7. Need to apply for NT membership I've just googled the cost of Bodnant & with us planning more Sunday trips I think it will be more cost effective. Glad you had a good day out.

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    1. We are just three miles from Bodnant, if you fancy a coffee just give us an hours notice and you are very welcome to visit. xx

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  8. Bodnant is one of my favorite places to go when I go home.

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    1. Same comment as I gave Joanne, you would be very welcome. xx

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  9. We have been members of NT for years and have used it well all over England, we have recently joined EH as they had a good offer on when we visited a property in April, OH was not so keen so I requested it as an early birthday pressie, we are to visit our second EH property this week, and we partake of tea and cake at every given opportunity. We have 2 NT properties within 15 miles and visit and walk Miss Colliedog in the grounds often.

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  10. We have had our monies worth of our membership through visits and car parking. I do love a wonder round a stunning old house and gardens.

    X x

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    1. I love a look round the houses. I'd hate to have to dust all the china, but I do love to see things all set out as they would have been used years ago and in some cases as the more well off actually live now,

      And the gardens inspire me, especially the veggie plots of yesteryear.

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  11. We have joined NT this year too for the first time after talking about it for years. It seems such a treat and the gardens and tea rooms we have visited so far have been lovely. Hoping to take my parents out on visits too once I've checked out the disabled access to some nearby homes. Enjoy your outings xo

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  12. What a lovely day out.

    I have two very young sparrows in the garden. I think they've come out of a nest in next door's roof. They can't fly well and it's a problem keeping our two dogs away from them. One bird tried to fly yesterday and fell in the pond and almost drowned. I managed to rescue it in time and have put mesh over the pond. I've made a sort of pen in the corner of the garden using wheelie bins, garden bench, pots, bags of compost etc and they stayed in that area overnight and this morning. Mum and Dad are both coming in to feed them regularly. I just have to keep checking that they're in the pen before letting the dogs out. Just thought you'd like to hear about it x

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    1. Gosh these responsibilities creep up on us don't they.

      Well done on protecting them, sometimes parent birds do inadvertently build their nests in precarious places and hope for the best. Luckily in this instance they've got you on babysitting duty for them :-)

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