125 years of the National Trust

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the National Trust, so I’m sharing some of my favourite National Trust properties and landscapes in this post.

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Exploring the Southern Cotswolds: Castle Combe, Tetbury and more

The Cotswolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which stretches across parts of Southern England. It’s characterised by picturesque villages made of yellow Cotswold stone and is what many people might think of as ‘typical England’. Although I’ve heard lots about the Cotswolds, and seen plenty of pictures of some of its famous villages, it isn’t an area that I’ve explored extensively. However, with some recent time off I was determined to change that, particularly as the Cotswolds are within surprisingly easy reach of Bristol. A number of locations across the Southern Cotswolds were what I had in mind, and I’ve shared a few in this guide.

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Visiting Lavenham: A day out in Suffolk

I’d never heard of Lavenham before I was taken by a friend recently on a day trip from Cambridge. Last time I visited Cambridge I experienced some of the alternative activities the city had to offer, and this time I was keen to explore some of the surrounding area. You can tell that my friend knows me fairly well as it was pretty much my prefect day out. A pretty village, picnic, National Trust property (and tea room!) and some time walking around in the fresh air. Before we went I was banned from looking it up online, as I was told that it would spoil the effect when we arrived. If you’ve not been, consider this the spoiler alert for the rest of the post. But if you want to see some of what the village has to offer, read on.

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An Autumn Weekend in Bakewell, The Peak District

Take 12 friends, who all have different jobs, different leave entitlements, who all live in different parts of England (and one currently in France), and try to organise a weekend together. It’s a little bit of a challenge. However, with a bit of discussion it was decided that autumn would be the best time to go. A weekend in October was selected, and then the next challenge was picking a location. It needed to be somewhere that wasn’t too far to drive from Cumbria, the North East, Bristol or London. It needed to have access to a train station, and possibly be near an airport. However we also wanted somewhere reasonably rural so that we could go out for walks in the countryside. Eventually it seemed like the Peak District was the place to go, and Bakewell offered us the opportunity to stay in the beautiful Haddon Villa.

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A day trip to Stourhead

Stourhead is one of those National Trust properties that I somehow knew about, despite having never previously been. Its gardens are world-famous and I instantly recognised them from photos that I had seen elsewhere. What I hadn’t realised was that it’s not actually that far from Bristol, and is an easy day trip if you have access to transport. As soon as I had twigged this, I was keen to dust of my National Trust membership card which had been languishing in my purse for a while, and explore somewhere new.

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