Exploring the Home of Virginia Woolf at Monks House, East Sussex

Exploring the Home of Virginia Woolf at Monks House, East Sussex

I love the National Trust and as both Nathan and I are National Trust members we often see if there are any NT places we can visit when we are away somewhere.

When staying in Sussex for my nephew’s christening one weekend over the summer, we visited Monks House in East Sussex – the previous home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf.

Home Fit for an Author

The house is a 17th-century cottage and is really cute and quaint.  It’s situated in a really lovely part of East Sussex too, a very enviable place to live for sure! Due to its size, the house has a limit to the number of people able to enter at once but we didn’t have to queue and went straight in. A warning to people hoping to visit though – the ceilings are rather low and despite being told to watch out for them Nathan still managed to donk his head rather hard on the entrance door!


I loved the feel of the house, there were various rooms to explore and the staircase was lined with Virginia’s famous novels which was a nice touch. I really liked all the cactuses in the entrance way too for some reason!

A Writer’s Dream

Apparently, famous novelist Virginia Woolf and her husband Leonard lived at Monk’s House from 1919 until Leonard died in 1969.  I can imagine it was a lovely place to live and a good place to draw inspiration and write from.

The house is surrounded by lovely countryside gardens and allotments. It was such a gorgeous place to wander around in the sunshine.

When we visited it was a sunny day and there were deckchairs conveniently situated on the lawn for us to have a little sit-down and admire the views!

Final Thoughts

As always this was a lovely little National Trust property to explore with beautiful and well maintained gardens. I liked all the references to Virginia’s work and enjoyed finding out more about her life and work as an author.

Walks and Talks at National Trust’s Trelissick Gardens, Cornwall

Walks and Talks at National Trust’s Trelissick Gardens, Cornwall

I love visiting National Trust properties and exploring their beautifully maintained gardens. Trelissick House and Gardens has to be my favourite National Trust place. Luckily, I am a National Trust member so I can visit as many times as I like and park for free!

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trelissick house

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trelissick, cornwall

I have been to Trelissick many times and can see myself returning again and again. It is such a lovely place for a walk. You can immerse yourself in beautiful nature and stop off for a nice cake at Crofter’s Cafe.

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trelissick flowers

trelissick cafe

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trelissick ferry

Catching Up with Good Friends

This is exactly what I did a few Saturdays ago. I went for a lovely long walk with my friend Emily and we gossiped as we walked the many paths through the gardens. We had to keep stopping though so I could take photos of all the lovely flowers and pretty views!

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trelissick trees

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We visited Trelissick House where we walked around admiring the opulent displays of grand furniture and artwork. It always makes me wonder what it would be like to live in a house like this!

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trelissick house

trelissick house

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national trust

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Lunch at Crofter’s Cafe

After our walk and tour of the house, Emily and I thought we deserved a sit-down and something to eat. I tucked into a yummy cheese and ham panini whilst Emily got herself some homemade chilli.

trelissick cafe

trelissick national trust

trelissick national trust

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We were joined by our friend Carly and her lovely black labrador puppy ‘Biggie Smalls’. Biggie did well and rested whilst we sat and chatted. We must have been there a few hours and so once Carly left Emily and I treated ourselves to some more food at Crofter’s Cafe. This time we enjoyed a caramel shortcake each! Yum yum!

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trelissick

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Final Thoughts

I love Trelissick, I fell in love with the place the first time I visited and always enjoy my visits.  I enjoyed admiring the displays in July last year which you can read about here. I think visiting in April seemed like another lovely time to visit as all the Spring flowers were in bloom and it was the first sign the weather was starting to improve. No doubt I will be returning to Trelissick soon!

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trelissick flowers instagram

What’s your favourite flower? Let me know below!

Lady Amory Exhibition at Knightshayes National Trust, Devon

Lady Amory Exhibition at Knightshayes National Trust, Devon

I’ve visited Knightshayes in Devon a few times now but feel it is a place you can visit again and again and never get tired of. Click here to read what I thought the first time I visited – there’s a bit more history too! As National Trust members we can visit as part of our membership and park for free. It means we can visit Knightshayes every time there is a new exhibition or event. Last Christmas we visited and enjoyed the all the old-fashioned decorations.

Who Lives in a House Like This?!

The weather wasn’t so great on this March visit and so we took shelter in the grand house. I love walking around and admiring the opulence of the furnishings. Each time I visit I see something I haven’t noticed before. The volunteers are always so friendly and willing to talk about the history of the house.

This visit a few new rooms had been opened. Apparently, the National Trust is hoping to redecorate the kitchen areas which will be cool.

Lady Amory’s Life

There’s currently an exhibition relating to Lady Amory. I found it really interesting to read about her life and legacy on the estate. It was cool to hear about her love for the gardens and career in golfing!

After walking around the house and exploring the golf, gardens and guides exhibition we stopped at the conservatory tea room for a hot chocolate and slice of cake – very much enjoyed as always! The sun even came out and warmed the conservatory area which was nice!

Time for a Walk

The gardens are so lovely to walk around and explore. There are many paths that you can take to explore all the lush trees and flowers. The views across Devon are awesome too!

I really love the bushes that are shaped like dogs – very clever! There are lots of other animals that pop up too.


We enjoyed our impromptu trip to Knightshayes and I’m sure we will be back for another visit soon! I wonder what we will see that’s different and what cake we will treat ourselves with!

Have you ever visited Knightshayes? Do you have a favourite National Trust property? 

A Trip to Coleton Fishacre – 31.12.17

A Trip to Coleton Fishacre – 31.12.17

Our Last National Trust Trip of 2017

We planned a few weeks ago to visit South Devon for New Years Eve and had booked ourselves some self-catering accommodation with Air B&B in Kingsbridge. As we were going to be away for the weekend and visiting a new part of the county we thought we best check out the local National Trust properties and see what we could find. What else would we do on the last day of the year, having visited so many National Trust places this year!! SO before heading to our accommodation in nearby Kingsbridge we stopped off at Coleton Fishacre.

A 1920’s Retreat

Coleton Fishacre (this name seems odd to me for some reason!) is a 1920’s house and is located in Kingswear, Devon. It is a large opulent house situated in lush gardens with views out to sea. Apparently there are plants from South Africa, New Zealand and the Med and lots to explore. We didn’t get much opportunity to walk around the gardens as we were pressed for time (and it was super cold) but I bet they would be great for a walk around when the weather warms up!

The house details the story of the D’Oyly Carte family and is Art Deco in style.  There’s lovely views form inside out over the gardens.

Coleton at Christmas

Coleton isn’t open much in the winter months (it is now January and closed) but it opens for Christmas and each year there is a different theme of decorations. This year the house was decorated for a 1920’s Christmas party and the rooms were decorated with impressive dresses and party decorations – posh!

I really enjoyed seeing all the many bedrooms in the house and follow the story of everyone getting ready for a grand Christmas party – it made it even more realistic given it was NYE and lots of people would be getting ready for celebrations.

There’s also Coleton Aglow which is where the garden is lit up over the festive period and visitors are invited to follow a route adorned with fairy lights around the gardens. Apparently there were disco balls shining through the trees and the ponds were lit with colourful lights illuminating the water. We weren’t here at the right time to go on the walk (it wasn’t dark etc) but I reckon this would have been lovely to have seen – maybe next year!!

A Quick Treat

Lunch was long overdue and so we stopped off at the cafe onsite to have a bite to eat. I still had some money left on my NT voucher my sister gave me for my birthday so our treat was even better as it was free! Nathan had a hot dog with onions and a luxury hot chocolate whilst opted for a sausage roll and a elderflower fizz to drink. It was quite busy in the cafe but we were able to grab a table and enjoy our eats. Shout out to my big sister Sarah for the NT voucher – I very much enjoyed using it! MMM YUM!

Wrap Up

I really enjoyed our visit to Coleton, it was fun to see the house open and decorated with a festive theme of which we could get into and imagine (you could have dressed up if you had wanted to!). It was quite busy when we were there but you could see everything and it didn’t feel overcrowded. I would love to visit again next year and see what the theme is then and also see the gardens all illuminated as I imagine this is pretty special.

 

Have you ever visited Coleton or any other National Trust places? What’s your favourite? 

Lanhydrock at Christmas – 17.12.17

Lanhydrock at Christmas – 17.12.17

A Trip to Lanhydrock

 

A weekend trip to Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without a Nathan and Rachel trip to a National Trust property and this weekend was no different!

We decided to visit Lanhydrock in Bodmin again – we previously visited in the summer which you can read about here if you’re interested! We parked up and walked down to the house. It was quite busy and there were plenty of people out walking and making trips to the house.

As we walked through houses entrance gate we noticed the gardens had been decorated with different coloured baubles – they looked so much like flowers from a distance and we thought they were super clever and festive.

A Victorian Christmas

Lanhydrock house had been decorated all ready for Victorian Christmas and it really took you back in time. The various rooms and displays were all set up as if it was Christmas Day in 1887 and Lord and Lady Robarte were hosting Christmas lunch. Written displays dotted around the house told you who would be attending the grand Christmas dinner and what they would be eating.

There were plenty of decorations to admire and the dining room display was beautifully set with menus reflecting food that would have been offered within the Victorian era.

Subsequently within the kitchens there were lots of food displays to look at and some children were enjoying giving making mince pies ago and watching a bread making demonstration.

We were quite short on time (a bit like last time we visited!) and so didn’t have a chance to go for a longer walk around the gardens or visit the chapel but we left knowing we would return again soon for sure and felt a lot more festive for visiting!

 

Trerice at Christmas – 16.12.17

Trerice at Christmas – 16.12.17

Trerice’s Magic

When my friend Emily and I were arranging a Christmas meet up we knew as we were both National Trust Members a trip to an NT property would feature. We decided on Trerice, which is in Cornwall, and met on a rather wet December day.

The car park was surprisingly busy and there was lots of people bustling around and enjoying the property. Trerice had laid on some festive workshops which included wreath making and painting Christmas tree decorations. We didn’t partake in these but I’m sure they were great and I can imagine lots of children would enjoy the decoration painting. There was also the option to make a visit to Father Christmas, which again, for obvious age reasons, Emily and I didn’t partake in!

Christmasses Gone By

This year Trerice had been decorated to represent a Christmas gone by from the 1950’s. In the North Chamber you could see how a Christmas at the Elton family would have looked and there were plenty of children’s toys and games that were from the past. Emily and I enjoyed looking at some of the old fashioned games and imaging what life would have been like for us if we had lived a couple of generations ago and what toys we would have been opening on Christmas morning.

A Bite to Eat

After exploring we decided we needed a little bite to eat. We visited the Barn Restaurant and treated ourselves to a savoury pastry and drink. I had a spinach and feat filo parcel and a wild elderflower bubbly drink. I enjoyed the drink but less so the filo parcel – it was a little greasy and would have been nicer if it had been served warm.

There’s a tradition at Trerice that has been going since 2014 in which gold painted plaster stars have been hung in the ceiling of the Barn Restaurant. Apparently the stars now feature during the festive period at Trerice and look nice and pretty hanging from above. Stupidly I don’t appear have taken any pictures of them though!

Just as we were getting ready to head out and explore Trerice’s gardens an orchestra started to play Christmas songs and carols and added to the festive feeling amongst all the visitors.

We spent a little time walking around the gardens outside of the front of the Elizabethan manor but there wasn’t too much to see given the time of year.

Next stop we were off to the Headland Hotel in Newquay for a Festive Afternoon Tea!!