A Day Out Being All Cultured

Yesterday seemed to be the first day this year that we’ve had some good weather. The sun shone all day and the temperature hid the heady heights of 21°. So how did we make the most of this? We aged 30 years and joined the National Trust!

This weekend, the National Trust had a free weekend, inviting people to visit all of their houses, gardens and ancient monuments for no cost. And as The Wife wanted to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine by wandering around some gardens we took a look at their site and looked for somewhere to spend the afternoon.

The place we came up with was Chartwell Place, the former home of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Wife had visited there as a schoolkid and had enjoyed it (might have had something to do with doing bark rubbings!) and as I had never been it seemed a good place to go. Not too far away so it wouldn’t take long to get there, but just far enough to feel like we’ve been “out for the day”.

We arrived to find the place really busy. Who’d have thought free days out would be popular? But after parking we took our place in the queue. And it seemed as though we’d judged it just right because we were one of the last people able to get a ticket for the house.

It was while we were queuing that we accidentally stepped into a time portal, hurtling us 30 years into the future and ageing us in the process, as we decided to actually sign up to a years membership of the National Trust as though we were a pair of 60 year old grandparents!

After we’d signed up, we took a leisurely stroll around the grounds and lake, enjoying the decent weather that we so rarely get to see. We had time to kill before our allotted entry time in to the house so stopped off in the cafe for a bit of cake and refreshments.

The house was donated to the national trust some years after Churchill’s death and has been restored back to looking like it did when he lived there during the 30s and 40s. There is an interesting exhibition in there as well, detailing his time as prime minister and politician. It’s shocking how much of our country’s history I don’t actually know, especially around the war periods, so I spent a good amount of time trying to take it all in while The Wife tried to rush through it.

It was a great day out, and I’m looking forward to visiting other National Trust sites over the coming year.

Now where’s my pipe and slippers…?