National Trust(14 Posts)
I signed up for National Trust membership earlier this year as I thought it would be a good idea...now I'm a bit stuck where to go. I'm in Surrey. I have a 14 month old son but I'm on my own as my husband passed away suddenly 4 months ago, so I need to go to places which are buggy accessible and easy for me to manage on my own! I've been to Polesdon Lacey which was lovely. Can anyone recommend any NT places which might be suitable for us to visit for a nice day out please? I can't really get the sense from the website which of the properties fit the bill and I don't want to waste my membership!
First, of all. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Not easy at any time, but especially not with a small child.
It would be helpful if we had an idea of what area you're in and how far you're able to travel. They really are a mixed bag. I'm guessing you're not in the north east, but if you do contemplate it, Cragside definitely does not fit the bill!
Bah! Missed the bit where you said Surrey
Have you downloaded the app yet op?
It gives you in a list the properties closest to you and then if you click on them you can see all the info about travel, parking, facilities ect.
I have a massive wish list on there plus you can make a list of all the places you've visited as well. It also comes up with kite making workshops and toddler trail days ect that you can book through the app.
Surrey is full of wonderful NT places! Do you have a car and how far are you willing to travel? I'm in Sussex so go up the M23 often for NT! I adore Nymans, it's a magical place. Wakehurst is lovely too. There are loads of NT properties off of the M25 between junctions 5 and 7 though I haven't checked any out myself! I know that it's hard to get a good idea from the site but it's worth just going and exploring, go first thing in the morning if you can and if you go further a field, on a day that's not too nice but quite nice you can go to one before lunch and one after. We often go just for a couple of hours just to get out of the house as we have the membership
Second the app, it is great for searching for places. Have you considered a sling so you can carry your little one? This might give you a bit more flexibility, although on your own I bet the buggy to carry child related crap is useful! Just looking on the app innthe Surrey area hatch lands park seems like a good one for you to go to. Don't be put off by places like box hill that are more about conservation and walks as they often have well marked walks and frequently wheelchair friendly routes.
I'm in Surrey, I drive and am willing to travel a reasonable distance but obviously not to the other end of the country with a toddler in the car!
I will have a look at the app, I received all the info but then shoved it in a drawer so perhaps I should have read it properly!!
Yes I was anticipating that I could use the membership just to get out of the house when we have nothing else on - weekends, and particularly Sundays, are the hardest so I like to keep busy. I'd rather get an idea of whether a place would be accessible before I go - it's really tough trying to negotiate a pushchair through fields etc on my own, especially as my son now wants to walk but gets tired easily - but I appreciate what you are saying abut exploring .
I don't know about Surrey nt places but every place (8 now) bar Glastonbury tor since I had the pass for Xmas has had a road from the carpark to the place with a mini bus taking passengers. That will be on the app in the facilities bit. Oh and even Glastonbury tor had a mini bus from the town to the bottom the tor all free with your nt pass.
Don't know about Surrey, but slightly over so a day out for you. The Vyne ( north hants) had lovely even paths for walks with modern animal sculptures and a lovely playground. Basildon Park near reading again has mostly accessible paths the walks through the fields wound need a three wheeler buggy, but are lovely. Really nice gardens for picnicking in.
When your LO is a bit bigger Waddesdon Manor at Aylesbury has a fabulous playground, the Rothschild collection of exotic birds and beautiful grounds where children are encouraged to run.
As a single parent to I keep an eye on special events at my local NT properties.
Although my DD is older I have found all the volunteers at every we have visited to be super at engaging her in any activity be it a Christmas robin hunt or Easter egg hunt.
Belton house is brilliant but in Grantham so quite a drive?
Anglesey abbey in cambridgeshire and the one near it beginning with a W which has a farm. Especially the farm one!
So very sorry to hear about your loss and understand the need to keep busy. I'm not sure about house access for buggies, but the following have very beautiful grounds that are worth the drive alone (all are Kent & Sussex - sorry. but I assume driveable). Knole. Sissinghurst & Scotney Castle. Igtham Mote is nice too.
The website/app always have info on how wheelchair accessible a place is. I always worked on the principle, if you can get a wheelchair around you can get a buggy round too. Also if you want to see the houses, a lot of them won't let buggies in but they do have hip carriers on loan so you don't have to carry your toddler without help.
Also if you ever go on long car journeys we often try to break ours at a national trust property rather than a motorway service station. The NT properties tend to have good playgrounds and lots of space for the kids to run around and exhaust themselves in and even though they are more expensive I'd generally rather eat in an NT cafe than a service station too.
In the school holidays there tends to be lots of things for kids to do and at easter there are easter egg hunts.
This was my thread on NT... Found it very useful...
Sorry to hear about the DP
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