I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but we have now become properly middle aged and bought membership to the National Trust.

According to their website, there are 45 places to visit within 25 miles of our house…[fast forward 3 hours]…these are the ones that are making the Lo List this week:


Cliveden is the reason we joined the National Trust so I’m going to put it at the top of the list. There is a wonderful playground, stunning views down to the river Thames from the house (you can only go inside at certain times), a maze, lots of different gardens to explore, and woodland trails. We’ve been a couple of times and still have more to discover. Children’s activities are running every Wednesday in the holidays.


We just visited Ham House last weekend. There was a kids trail to do in the main house, some (basic) arts and crafts in the basement, den building, formal gardens, and we enjoyed a lovely picnic with garden games (croquet, giant connect 4, etc). There is also a café, gift shop, and a second hand bookshop. The property is situated right by the river so you can enjoy a walk along the river with an expensive Mr Whippy (£2!) on your way back to the car park.

18th century house, gardens with play trail, huge park, newly revamped café, gift shop, second hand bookshop, and farm shop! Lots of sporting events on – Park Run, buggy fit, cycling, canoeing, health walks. For kids, as well as the play trail there is a gardening club and holiday activities running throughout the summer. This is our closest National Trust property and I can’t believe I’ve never been!

Benjamin Disraeli’s house, surrounded by gardens and parkland. Obligatory café, gift shop, plant shop, second hand bookshop, and picnic areas.

Something a bit different from your standard old house and gardens – this is a 20-mile waterway (part river, part canal) with a towpath running along the length of it. There is a wharf with a visitor centre and boat trips available, a lock where the Wey joins the Thames, two of the original barges that were built here, and you can even host a child’s birthday party here!

Serpentine lake, turf amphitheatre, thatched cottage complete with 19th century toys, beautiful landscaped gardens and amazing looking play area.


There are so many other houses, gardens, and parkland to explore – each with their own events and activities going on. I’ll update this post with any other places we discover. Anyone been to any NT places – I’d love to get your recommendations 🙂


2 responses to “NATIONAL TRUST

  1. Vern, head a little further North into Buckinghamshire and you’ll find Stowe – The jewel in the NT’s crown on the Bucks/Oxon/N’hants border.
    Always plenty for the kids to do and a smattering of very good pubs in the nearby villages if rain prevents a picnic.

    As we live on Stowe Avenue you can also call in on us on the approach (1 mile).

    Nice job on the blog – See you in August in Dorset!


    • Thanks Matt! Sounds like we’ll have to make a date to visit it (and you). Glad you’re enjoying the blog – I do wonder if anyone is finding this actually useful/interesting 😉 See you in a couple of weeks!x


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