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National Trust days out in the South East | Kent, Sussex + Surrey

18.1.19

We have been National Trust members for a few years now, and I still believe it's the best money we spend each month. And living in Kent (and the south east in general) we are lucky to have a whole selection of different NT properties and gardens, right on our doorstep!

I have shared posts about many of these locations on my blog before, but I thought it was time I collected all of these posts in one post. Creating somewhere you can come to read about all of the different locations, and what they have to offer. I also enlisted the help of some fellow bloggers, so you can see what they think too!

Kent

Scotney Castle, Tunbridge Wells


Scotney Castle features a 14th century moated castle, country house and a romantic garden all inside a beautiful wooded estate. With over 770 acres of woodland and parkland to explore there's plenty to keep the whole family busy! You can read more about our visit here.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, near Cranbrook


We mostly visit the grounds outside the castle gardens (buggies aren't allowed in this area), but there is so much to see at Sissinghurst. Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson fell in love with Sissinghurst Castle and so created a world renowned garden. You can also visit the top of the Tower, where you can see vast panoramic views of the land and area, as well as enjoying woodland walks outside of the castle gardens.

Chartwell, Westerham


Chartwell was the much-loved Churchill family home and the place where Sir Winston drew inspiration until the end of his life. We've never actually made it into the house itself, but the gardens have so much to explore. If you venture out to the woodlands there's also natural play areas that little ones can explore. You can read more about Maria's visit to Chartwell here.

Emmetts Garden, Sevenoaks


Emmetts Garden is an Edwardian estate that was owned by Frederic Lubbock. It stands on one of the highest spots in Kent so offers panoramic views over the area, as well as some great walking opportunities. The biggest draw for us is the lovely natural play area at the top of the gardens - it's opposite the cafe too, so win-win for everyone!

Knole, Sevenoaks


Knole Park is probably our favourite and most visited National Trust properties - it's where we were when we signed up for our memberships. Set within Kent’s last medieval deer park, Knole offers something for everyone. You can explore Knole House with it's grand courtyards and tranquil Orangery, or wander the winding paths in the parkland - just watch out for golfers! The best thing about Knole is that you don't even need to be NT members to visit. You can park by one of the many outer gates, and enjoy a walk in the grounds completely free!

Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks


Ightham Mote is a romantic moated manor house, previously owned by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians. The house is surrounded by lovely gardens with an orchard, water features, lakes and three estate walks. For little ones there also the natural play area - complete with stream for paddling! Lauren had a fab day out there recently.

East Sussex

Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield


Sheffield Park is another property that we still haven't explored to the full - it's huge! The gardens themselves have been created through centuries of landscape design - four lakes form the heart of the garden, with paths circulating through the glades and wooded areas surrounding them. Outside of the main property there are woodland walks and a children's trail, as well as a family friendly tearoom. You can read more about our visit here.

Bodiam Castle, near Robertsbridge


Bodiam Castle is definitely a place to relieve your childhood dreams! Built in the 14th century, it is one of Britain's most picturesque and romantic ancient monuments. Although a lot of the castle is ruins now, you can still explore some of the towers, see the giant fish in the moat and wander through the impressive gatehouse (which is actually the castle's original wooden portcullis!).

Bateman's, Burwash


Bateman's is a 17th century house, surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald. The family home provided a much needed sanctuary to the world-famous writer Rudyard Kipling. The house has been left to feel as if the Kipling family have just popped out, and is lovely to look around. The gardens have lots of explore, as well as the three estate walks - all of which are perfect for families and dogs.

West Sussex

Nymans, near Haywards Heath


Nymans is one of the National Trust's premier gardens, and was a country retreat for the Messel family. Located just off the London to Brighton M23 / A23, it was probably the easiest properties we've driven to from Kent! We've only been lucky enough to visit during the summer, but have absolutely loved both visits - exploring the ruins of the old house, the beautiful gardens, and enjoying an ice cream in the beautiful outdoor cafe. There's also the woods to explore, although we've not made it into these yet.

Standen House and Garden, East Grinstead


One of my favourite prosperities to visit over the festive period is definitely Standen House. Each year the courtyard is taken over by a large Christmas tree, and the house is decorated beautifully. It's just as lovely in the warmer months though, as the grounds are lovely to explore. There's the natural play area, croquet on the lawn, and a hidden play room which are all perfect for little ones. Make sure to take a carrier with you though, as a lot of the estate isn't buggy friendly.

Surrey

Winkworth Arboretum, Godalming

Winkworth was created in the early 20th century by Dr Wilfrid Fox, and has built up an internationally significant collection of more than 1,000 different species of shrubs and trees, over the last 60 years. The most impressive displays are in spring, with magnolias, bluebells and azaleas in bloom! Sarah enjoyed a visit during the beautiful autumn months, when the colours of the Arboretum are really in bloom!

Boxhill, Surrey Hills

Boxhill is the perfect place to discover a family walk and explore the Surreyhills. Forming part of the North Downs, Boxhill has views across the surrounding countryside. The are a number of different walks, suitable for all different abilities and ages. Kate enjoyed a visit with her family, and took one of the family-friendly routes.


The January Tag

17.1.19

I was recently tagged by Lisa over at Oh Luna to complete The January Tag. I made it one of goals this year to share more personal posts on my blog, so I thought it would be a perfect start!


Happy New Year! How did you welcome the year in?

We were invited to a friends to see in the New Year, but with three little ones it obviously wasn't possible for us to both go. Instead Jack and I got a takeaway, and he popped over to the party for a few hours. I managed to stay up until midnight, so Jack came home just before to see in the New Year together... and then went to bed as soon as it was 12.01!

Did you make any New Years resolutions? Share them!

I haven't made resolutions for a long time now, as I just can't see to stick to them. But I have made some personal and blog goals this year instead. I shared them on my blog here.

Are you feeling motivated now the New Year has been and gone?

Definitely! I am really hoping to get back into the swing of blogging and filming regularly this year. The first half of last year was a blur, as we were adjusting to life as a family of 5. But now we are in such a good routine with the littles, I'm hoping I can find a good routine with my blog too.

Name one thing you want to smash this year in terms of blog goals?

As I said at the beginning of this post, I really want to write more personal posts this year. I feel as if my blog lost it's way a little bit last year, but I'm hoping if I find the right routine, I'll be able to share more posts from the heart.

What do you want to achieve in every day life?

I really want to branch out in the kitchen a bit more this year. The older two are getting fussier as they get older, and I think sometimes we don't cook anything different or over-exciting because of it. I'm so bored of our meals though, so I really want to mix it up!

What are you not looking forward to this year?

Honestly? Parker starting school in September. He only turns 4 in August, so he's going to be so little when he starts. Thankfully he knows the routine from Indie starting this year, but I just don't think I'm ready to let my baby boy go yet.

Share with us some of your inspirations. They could be bloggers/influencers, books or even just quotes.

I don't think I actually live by any inspirational quotes. I do believe that 'what will be will be' though, and I try not to live life thinking of what happened in the past.


What is your go to working music or background noise?

If I don't have Radio 1 on, then I will have a series on Netflix in the background while I'm working. I'm currently watching Gossip Girl - I hate working in silence!

Talking about positivity what is one thing you will change for positive thinking this year?

I want to think more positively about my parenting! I am a good mama, and I am doing a good job - my littles say so, so why shouldn't I think it?

Share a positive thing that happened today.

I managed to get lots of blog work done during nap time, and then enjoy some quality time with Lilah while the big two were at school / preschool!

Who do you tag?


and anyone else who would like to join in!