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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