Camp Bestival Review 2016

Our Mission to Camp Bestival Star Date: 28th-31st July 2016 Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat – well it certainly felt like that at Camp Bestival. One of the biggest family festivals in the planet, Camp Bestival was sent into orbit this year … Continue reading

Visiting Kingston Lacy, National Trust

Visiting Kingston Lacy, National Trust, Dorset.

January 19, 2015.

Dear mummy, this week we headed across the county border into Dorset to visit to Kingston Lacy.

Kingston Lacy National TrustKingston Lacy is a Grade 1 listed country house and estate owned by the National Trust. It’s just on the other side of the quaint Wimborne Minster, off the A31, past Ringwood and the New Forest.

It’s a bright and sunny day so we decide to brave the cold and go on an hour journey down the motorway and into the countryside.

We nearly get lost heading to Poole (which wouldn’t be a bad thing as we quite like the coast and the beach) after doubling back a couple of times we finally find Kingston Lacy.

Huge imposing gates and a long drive lead into the car park right next to the entrance to the visitors reception.

With plenty of space to park, we bundle everything into the buggy (warm clothes, wellies, rucksack, camera and changing bag etc) and head into the estate. The entrance doors are narrow and we have trouble getting the buggy through. We have to get help entering the visitors reception and this is the first hurdle of the day.

Kingston Lacy National Trust 2It doesn’t help that mummy is on her own with a troublesome toddler making mischief – the sun is a blessing on this cold day but also a curse.

It hurts my eyes and I winge all the way to the main house, my mummy tries to walk against the low sun in the sky but it still bothers me.

Finally, I’m let off the rein onto the grass where I have a really good run around, tripping over my own feet in excitement and covering myself in mud.

It seems quiet but then again it is midweek. There are only older couples waking around the estate and I destroy all the peace and quiet with my laughing and shouting.

In fact my shenanigans draw so much attention that people start to walk the other way!! However it does draw some interest in the form of a friendly black cat. He runs over from the main house to give us a big leg rub.

Kingston-Lacy-ReviewWe follow him to the little gardens, past the ancient 6.5m-high obelisk and he mysteriously disappears. Hmmmmm spooky…..We explore the Kitchen Garden and the Japanese Garden.

Unfortunately Lime Walk is closed today, so we miss the carpet of Snowdrops. However, we do see lots of Snowdrops poking out of the brown soil in and around the woods.

We play on the South Lawn and then head into the cafe to warm up with a cuppa.

Hurdle number 2. Doors aren’t wide in the cafe area and a lot of the seating has been sectioned off for NT staff training. So we are squished in this barn/stable style cafe with wonky cobbled floors and chairs all bunched together.

We put the buggy away in the corner and mummy juggles an overloaded tray, soup, hot drinks and while dragging me to find a high chair… while staff look on. It’s a shame really as they could have helped as there where enough of them milling around. We then had the fasted lunch on record, as we felt unwelcome in the silent dining room, attracting unwanted glances from elderly couples.

Kingston-LacyBack outside we explored the courtyard while mummy finished her drink and I was causing mayhem, balancing precariously on little curbs and jumping in puddles. We set off to the woodland walk, my mummy pushing the buggy and me trailing behind her.

Unfortunately that’s when I fell, tripping over my wellies in my eagerness to hold onto the buggy. I split my lip on the gravel path 😦 a lovely ‘off duty’ National Trust staff member came over to offer us help which was nice and my mummy probably appeared rude refusing. A kind ‘on duty’ lady from reception came over to point us in the direction of the toilets while my mummy tried to comfort me and stop the bleeding.

Kingston Lacy Woodland WalkOver tired, with the sun in my eyes the rest of the afternoon was an upset one with our woodland walk rushed, we decided to head home and chill out on the sofa.

A long way to go for us but it was very pretty at Kingston Lacy. We can’t always have brilliant days.

We’d like to go back when the house and Lime Avenue is back open and when the Kitchen Garden isn’t as bleak. With safety in numbers I’m sure we’d have a lovely time with friends and family.

Bella x

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Polesden Lacey, National Trust

Polesden Lacey National Trust

Friday 18, July 2014

Mummy and meDear mummy, our travels took us somewhere new last weekend. As we were driving back from London and the traffic was bad on the M25 we decided to take a quick detour via Leatherhead towards a little village called Bookham, in between Dorking and Guildford.

We had been told that Polesden Lacey, a National Trust Estate, was just round the corner. As we are members of the National Trust, it was a good opportunity to stop in and visit.

Front of the houseIt’s another fine day and the skies are blue. We drive up the long road through an impressive gate and up to the estate. The car park is a stones throw from the entrance to Polesden Lacey and it’s not too busy today.

We arrive at 2ish and grab our picnic blanket and get the sun cream out of the car, a quick nappy change in the toilets, which are cool and clean and I feel refreshed after my long car journey. A quick runaround is just what I need to stretch my little legs!

This place is beautiful! And is surrounded by rolling hills and stunning scenery. People are sat in deck chairs soaking up the sunshine.

Polesden Lacey viewsPolesden Lacey is an Edwardian House and estate and is located on the North Downs. It is owned and run by the National Trust and is very popular. The house originally was owned by Margaret Greville, a well-know Edwardian hostess. Who entertained royalty and the privileged. She was a close friend to Queen Mary and bequeathed all her jewels to Elizabeth the Queen Mother, including a diamond necklace belonging to Marie Antoinette!

She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1922 and her estate was bequeathed to the National Trust.

The grounds of the estate are extensive and we head off to see the house and take in the views. It is spectacular and you can see why King George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent part of their honeymoon here! Mrs Greville’s collection of fine paintings and porcelain is displayed for visitors to see in the house. My mummy ducks in and has a quick look while daddy and I play on the lawn. The estate has a regal feel about it and we imagine young royals playing on the lawn as children.

Walled gardenWe explore the walled garden next, as it’s July the roses are still in bloom and they looked fabulous. Lavender lines the paved paths around the gardens and you could hear busy bees flying from one flower to another.

It was so peaceful here and we had the whole place to ourselves. Our favourite blooms were the snow white ‘Iceberg’ roses and the beautiful dip dyed yellow and pink ‘You’re Beautiful’ blooms. Both looked stunning against the deep blue sky.

Stone sculptures littered the formal gardens, some scary and some angelic. I was memorised by daddy blowing bubbles and followed them around the gardens chasing them with my hands. It was lovely to spend quality time with my daddy and we both lay down on the picnic blanket and stared at the sky. I nestled my head under his arm and we both chilled out.

Roses at Polesden LaceyBut not for long! Mummy had brought my ball with her and we played piggy in the middle, while I chased it on the grass in my bare feet. I loved the feeling of grass in-between my toes. Daddy carried me through the trees and I giggled in delight as we ducked and dived through the leaves as they brushed across my body.

On the way back we walked through the pleasure grounds and watched staff set up for a wedding, a lovely spot for one. It’s still very warm, so before we head back to the car we stop by the cafe opposition reception and have an ice cream.

My mummy goes to get my National Trust passport stamped (a collection of little stamps we’ve been acquiring on our trips around the National Trust estates) and we sit and enjoy the world go by.

My ice cream at Polesden LaceyA lovely short break in-between car journeys and we could have spent the whole day there! So much more to explore and we will be back.

Bella x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall