Wilfred the fire boy

It’s the weekend and that means yet another National Trust property. Today we visited Shute Barton, and were very fortunate to do so since it only opens once every 100 years or so (well 3 weekends a year) as its predominately a posh holiday let.

It has the largest fireplace in England – 22 foot wide- bigger than the one at Hampton Court. Fire boys apparently would have lived in it ensuring that it was always stoked – here I am in the fireplace pretending to be a fire boy


 For some reason you have to go on a guided tour around the house which lasts for 45 mins. I got REALLY bored and consequently didn’t get much past the kitchen. We had a very quick peek at the bedrooms but then went to play in the garden.  It’s probably a really nice place to stay but I prefer the houses and gardens you can wander around at your leisure.

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Oh we do like to be beside the seaside…

oh we do like to be beside the sea. Which is exactly where we were today.

We went for a stroll along Dorset’s famous Jurassic Coast starting at Nstionsl Trust site Burton Bradstock. I climbed the cliff for a good view


Then I closely studied one of the thousands of hairy caterpillars that were crawling around


And then I went  for a play on the beach and in the very cold sea

  

Camera shy

To take advantage of the beautiful weather, we took a jaunt to Lytes Cary Manor, just off the Podimore roundabout near our house. It was the first time we’ve been. It’s a gorgeous tudor house and with my new found walking skills I explored (in great detail) every bit.

We then went for a stroll in the garden. My favourite bit was the front garden which includes topary known as the  12 Apostles – 12 shaped hedges. I was hoping to have a picture taken walking amongst them… however, useless parentals left all photo taking devices at home.

So i’ve had to make do with this photo of me wearing the sticker I got. 

 

Oh well good excuse to go back!

Of corfe it is. 

We went on a jaunt this morning to Corfe Castle near Wareham. It was originally built by William the Conquerer after 1066 when he swapped a church in Gillingham (where the big M grew up) for the plot of land overlooking Portland.

The castle today is a ruin and it makes an amazing climbing frame. It is beautifully looked after by the National Trust. There is also an old fashioned sweet shop in the town, which we visited too as the big M used to buy quarters of toffee crumble there when she was little. Guess what we bought!

 

We also very excitingly saw a steam train, which operates on the swanage railway. We didn’t get to ride in it this time, but of corfe, we’ll go next time!

 

Sleepy Hollow

Given the sunny weather we went for a turn around the park land at Montacute House. It’s a gorgeous estate and I rode my trike amongst the trees. The wind was biting but we wrapped up warm. Lots of other people had the same idea. We saw loads of dog walkers and pushchairs. In the summer it must get really busy. The best bit though were the tyre swings which have been cut out to look like horses. I’m still a bit too young, but I reckon I’ll be big enough in a few months time. Given the headless horseman anyone would think we were in Sleepy Hollow!

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To the manor born

Yesterday we made great use of both the fine weather and our National Trust membership by visiting a local property called Barrington Court.

I liked the higgledy piggledyness of the house and had über fun sliding around the highly polished floors.

It has an interesting recent history having been the NT’s first major acquisition around the turn of the century (that’s a really long time ago!). However, it was fraught with money issues so the trust leased it to the Lyle family of the sugar fame and they renovated it completely. They also installed a very cool ‘thunder box’ in the bathroom. That was my other favourite bit.

In other news it’s my birthday in a week. I’m very excited as I saw my present (wrapped up) and it’s big….

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