We knew it was going to be sunny today – so much so we put all our washing out last night at 11.45 so it’d be dry by midday – you’ve got to make the most of this lack of sun, right? This also meant we had to get to a National Trust place as we have so many nearby, though we almost always fall back on Polesden Lacey or Box Hill – so off we drove to Chartwell, the former home of Winston Churchill.
Parking was a bit of a nightmare – the overflow carpark was a bit waterlogged, but fortunately someone moved from the more solid concrete area, so we got a decent space – and once we were out and wandering about I was pretty impressed with it – a nice big shop, good toilet facilities (though the H sized sink could have really done without the lady washing her feet and shoes in it, yeuck) and plenty of grounds to wander around.
A lot of Chartwell involves ponds and water – and it’s not blocked off, so H was never out of our sight for fear of a tumble (though it’s unlikely) – which was the only downside of it – plus there’s some high walls which have quite a drop for a small person – though other than that it was fantastic.
We didn’t get to see Jock the cat (who has his own Facebook page), though did find the butterfly section – loads of little pots with cocoons in them which was quite ace – those Very Hungry Caterpillar repeat readings are educational… and loads to look at, a massive vegetable patch (good for getting H to identify the fruit or veg), some chickens and best of all, a small playhouse – the Marycot – which was built for the youngest Churchill daughter. Inside it had a toy Aga, loads of Melissa and Doug wooden fruit and a play table and chairs – cue H playing making us food (grape soup…) for a good twenty minutes or so. OH to have a play den like that, it was lovely. Really nice views too.
There were good grounds for H to run around fairly safely (see previously mentioned high wall – you’re at the top of it), and she was tired enough on the way home – we all were. Oh fresh air, how I missed thee…
Oh yeah, and while I’m here, we’ve got National Trust membership – which costs £80 a year. You can do it cheaply and get decent cashback by most of those sites – and we found out today they also have reciprocal agreements with a lot of the overseas trusts – handy as we’ve aussie in-laws coming over soon, and they can’t offer weekly or monthly memberships (only yearly). We’re lucky, we have so many places we can get to within an hour in Surrey, Sussex and Kent (as well as London), so we get our moneys worth pretty quickly too.