Tag Archives: Grey’s Court

Four Days, Four Counties, Four National Trust Properties

In what is becoming an annual tradition we have once again, having seen off family and friends, got out and about to make the most of our National Trust membership. Last year we did five National Trust properties over an eight day period and the year before five visits over five counties in seven days. For reasons that I can’t quite work out we didn’t have quite so much time this year.

Once again I have included the price for the two of us had we not had annual membership.

The Vyne, Hampshire
There’s not much to see of the house at the Vyne at present as the roof is undergoing extensive renovation work. It isn’t long since we last visited and were able to go up and inspect the work and I had hoped to go up once again and see the progress but, alas, the last trip goes up at 14:30 and we arrived at 14:31. Grr! We had to make do with a muddy walk around the woods instead.
Friday 29th December

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire
A new entry, at least for our post-Christmas challenge. Cliveden is probably best know as the home of the Astors and the location for the Profumo affair which gave rise to the very famous picture of Christine Keeler, naked, looking over the back of a chair.

Now the ugly house has been turned into a posh hotel and the beautiful grounds turned over to the National Trust for the hoi polloi to roam.
Saturday 30th December

Osterley Park, Middlesex
Osterley Park must win the prize for the noisiest National Trust property that we have been to. It is bordered by the M4 on one side and the A4 (Great West Road) on the other. Add to this that it is right under the Heathrow flight path and you get an idea of just how much noise pollution there is. Nevertheless it is a pleasant walk.
Sunday 31st December

Grey’s Court, Oxfordshire
A very muddy end to our visits today but at least it was close to home.

We had intended to also go on to Nuffield Place but, unfortunately, it was closed today so that put an end to that.
Monday 1st January

Checking the National Trust website I can see that an annual joint membership is £108 a year. The total saved this year when visiting the four properties was £91 so one more trip around one of them and we will have made our membership back.

Eight Days, Five Counties, Five National Trust Properties

Christmas is such a time of overindulgence so it is really good to get out and blow away a few cobwebs and work off a little of the turkey. Last year we managed five National Trust visits over five counties in seven days so we decided to try and do something similar again this year.

In theory we had the opportunity to visit one more property this year than we did last but we were thwarted by the awful weather. As you will see from below we almost didn’t make the fifth property.

I have included the price we would have paid had we not been members and it is interesting to note that the prices don’t seem to have increased since last year.

Basildon Park, Berkshire
First up this time was Basildon Park which is great for a longer walk. As always seems to be the case with NT places we visit the car park and the tea room are teeming but just walk a little beyond the property and all is quite. And so it was at Basildon today.
Saturday 26th December
Amount saved: £15.00

Grey’s Court, Oxfordshire
Another place where the grounds were empty but the car park was full. I really like Grey’s Court as it is a lovely mixture of wooded walks and walled gardens.
Monday 28th December

The Vyne, Hampshire
This trip will be remembered for my losing my National Trust card on the walk around the grounds and having to retrace our steps in an effort to locate it. As it happened some kindly soul had found it and returned it to the tea room.
Wednesday 30th December

Osterley Park, Middlesex
All pleasant walk on a dull day. The formal gardens were lacking in colour with the exception of the very early daffodils.
Thursday 31st December

Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
We’d never been here before and I can’t say we saw it at its best as it was chucking it down when we arrived. We got soaked just walking from the car park to the tea room. We never got to see the house so will have to come back another time.
Saturday 2nd January

Our selection of places this year meant that the total cost was less than last year at £68.90 but still a significant amount towards the cost of our annual membership. More importantly we got out of the house got some fresh air and walked off some turkey!

Seven Days, Five Counties, Five National Trust Properties

In keeping with many we used the time between Christmas and the New Year to blow off a few cobwebs and get out and about. After a few lapsed years we had renewed our National Trust membership this year and so decided to try and get to a different property each time we went out. In the end we managed five in five different counties, which I don’t think is too shabby.

On the first few visits the weather was cold and crisp with a frost on the ground. By the end of the week the weather had turned and it was drizzly and grey and that is very much reflected in the pictures below. If you wrap up well the former is much preferred.

So without further ado here are the places we visited:

Grey’s Court, Oxfordshire
Grey’s is a good place to visit as it has a mixture of walks, a walled garden and maze to explore. The five-bean soup was also welcome after a walk round the grounds.
Sunday 28th December
Amount saved: £21.60

Osterley Park, Middlesex
We’d not been to Osterley before but again it has a good mixture of woodland walks and some formal gardens to explore. I can imagine that the latter would look great during spring and summer and so I can imagine that we will be visiting again. Lunch was in the old stables and was good.
Monday 29th December

The Vyne, Hampshire
Another family favourite with a long walk through the woods adjoining the property. We arrived at the tea shop too early for lunch but Helen enjoyed her cream tea.
Wednesday 31st December

Claremont Landscape Gardens, Surrey
This was the place that I enjoyed the least as it was too formal for my liking and was relatively small compared to the others which meant that even though it wasn’t crowded you did keep bumping into people on the way round, not something that happened on the woodland walks of the others. Just a cup of tea for me please!
Thursday 1st January

Basildon Park, Berkshire
My absolute favourite place to be. Once, a long time ago, at NCT classes were were given an exercise to imagine a calming place that we would like to be. Both Helen and I, independently, chose Basildon and it still is a lovely calming place to be. This was particularly true on this damp and drizzly day and we were the only ones to brave the long walk through the woods. We certainly felt that that we had earned our soup (butternut squash and red pepper) and cream teas!
Saturday 3rd January

Whilst this wasn’t an exercise in saving money we do like to think that we have made the most of our membership so I totted up how much the entrance fees would have been had we paid separately and it came to a total of £73.40. From memory we paid about £75 for a (discounted) annual membership for two and given that we have been to several other properties since rejoining we have definitely more than saved the membership fee. Of course we could have chosen to go to some public places instead but would the soup and cream teas have been as good. I very much doubt it!