I have been coming under a bit of pressure of late. Several years ago we joined the National Trust. It seemed a fair deal at the time: we were at Sissinghurst in Kent and they were offering a refund of the tickets if we joined up then and there. I expect it was my idea.

It’s fair to say, through weight of work, we’ve never really had our money’s worth from the annual subscription. Never more so than this year. Up until yesterday we’d made a sum total of ONE National Trust visit: to the car park at Baggy Point on the North Devon coast. For two hours. I don’t know what the parking tariff is for non-members as, thankfully for me, we’d remembered to bring along the NT cards…  but I’m betting it’s not £88.50.

Whether it was my idea initially or not, I seem to be carrying the can for the shortfall in NT usage. I thought my arguments in mitigation were quite strong. There’s the small matter of a house move for a start. And a to-do list, now in three figures, that gets still longer by the day. But as Mike pointed out, there is only a month to go before the National Trust effectively shuts up shop for the year. And the weather is already on the turn.

We needed a day off. Nobody can argue with that. So, yesterday, Lanhydrock it was. A nice lunch, an ice cream made with real Cornish clotted cream and a good long walk to burn it all off.



This is the main house, a large portion of which was destroyed by fire in 1881 and subsequently rebuilt. The wing to the right of the picture was the only part to survive the fire intact. It is lovely inside too. It’s as much about what happened downstairs as well as up and the complex of kitchen rooms is fascinating.



The garden borders still look fantastic for so late in the year.



And a beautiful little cottage lies hidden away in the grounds.



Our long walk took us up to the top of the hill overlooking the house.

And it even has a plant nursery. Which I’m afraid I couldn’t resist.




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2017-11-06T20:48:58+00:00September 23rd, 2012|Tags: |


  1. where the journey takes me September 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    What a beautifully kept place – I wonder if they might spare their gardener for a few hours! We haven’t been members of NT for ages as we are based ‘up North’ and even further North some weekends there are fewer places to visit here and like you, our time has been in short supply recently. I thought your comment about the cost of the car park so funny – and yes it has happened to us too in the past -probably why we haven’t rejoined for a while. Cute cottage and I am also envious of the neat flat topped conifers – I am not a conifer person but as we inherited some at the cottage I have been practicing the art of Topiary and must say I quite like it.

    • Jessica September 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Yes, it is immaculate. Even the grass – not a sign of moss anywhere. How do they do it? Ours is loaded with the stuff!

  2. Sue September 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Our membership is shockingly underused too , just as well my parents fund it for us each year. This year we have used it twice – Hidcote and the car park at Kynance Cove.

    Lanhydrock is wonderful isn’t it? The kitchen is my favourite bit -state of the art at the time. Cotehele is gorgeous too.

    • Jessica September 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      Yep. I loved the cheese room with the water running all round, presumably to keep things cool. Hidcote we have visited, and it is a lovely garden. Cotehele is on my list. I feel a New Year’s resolution coming on..

  3. Simone September 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    You picked a lovely day for your day off at least! Such a lovely looking place. I would love to have had a peep inside that immaculate cottage

    • Jessica September 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      The last dry day for a while by the look of it. Today it’s been hurling it down!

  4. starproms September 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Now there’s somewhere I’ve yet to visit, but I don’t belong to the National Trust so far. It’s always been discussed but we decided that we just don’t have enough spare days or energy to make all the visits. However, rest assured that your ‘donation’ has gone to a good cause and probably also helps to keep the buildings and grounds in a pristine condition for visitors to see and wonder at.
    Your photos are wonderful!

    • Jessica September 23, 2012 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      We just renewed it for another year and, as always, next year will be different..

  5. Josephine September 24, 2012 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Ooh, be still my heart.
    Such a breathtakingly beautiful home, the manicured gardens to die for.
    I so miss the history of my homeland, thank you for taking me there today !

    • Jessica September 24, 2012 at 9:37 am - Reply

      It’s a pleasure, Jo! I want to try and get one more NT visit in before the end of the year, weather permitting.

  6. Rosie September 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    It’s always good to have a day out when you have been busy at home. I feel that we haven’t used our NT cards as much this year, probably half a dozen times, mostly due to the weather. Lanhydrock looks wonderful! When we visited Devon and Cornwall last year it was a choice between there and Cotehele and the latter was the one we chose to visit – that was wonderful too. I love your photos:)

    • Jessica September 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Mike is the photographer, and I will pass on the compliment. Thank you. Your photos are always terrific!

  7. Simone September 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, with regards to the camera, I use a Fujifilm Finepix F31fd Digital Camera. I didn’t start to take photos until I started my blog in 2008. I have had a lot of practice since then!

    • Jessica September 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      Your photos are really good Simone. Thanks for the info.

  8. john September 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    I was BORN to live in a place like this!

    • Jessica September 25, 2012 at 12:09 am - Reply

      Me too John, but only with its full complement of staff. Too many rooms to clean otherwise.
      Plenty of space for the animals too..

  9. tracy September 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    we did exactly the same for years and we lived in Kent where there are so many lovely places to visit!
    at least you enjoyed your day 🙂
    t x

    • Jessica September 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm - Reply

      It’s so easy to get out of the habit of taking time off, but we do all need it!

  10. ropcorn September 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I am not really sure what National Trust is, being from Sweden and all. Hehe. But it looks like you had a nice excursion. Such lovely landscape, and of course “house” – or rather mansion. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Jessica September 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Alexandra, the National Trust is an organisation that preserves historic buildings and landscapes. You can join for about £88 per year, and then get into all of them ‘free of charge’. It’s a nice idea if you have time for lots of visiting, but easy to fall out of the habit and lose the value. Especially when you have so many other things to do, or when the weather has been awful – like this year! Jx

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