Category: Attractions

Go somewhere we haven't been before

We love science, nature, art, history, culture, hiking, cycling, steam trains, boats, ferries, mountains, beaches, museum, gardens and theme parks. Finding somewhere new to go to rather than returning to our usuals is making a tremendous difference to our life quality. New places have new things to teach us and learning something new is never a bad thing. We love going new places, yet we often stay in or revisit the same places because we're tired and it's less work. We miss out. Spending a whole day focused on a single activity provides a mental break from life and gets us out of the usual daily routine. My New Year's resolution for 2017 was to make sure we spend a whole day somewhere new at least once a month. So far so good.  

Barrington Court

Barrington Court, an empty Tudor manor house with farm buildings, gardens and orchards, beautifully restored in the 1920s. It offers a lovely day in the Somerset countryside with food grown in the kitchen gardens served in the cafè, a beautiful lawn often with traditional games available or family centred activities, interesting walks around the estate and the manor house is worth a visit as well.


Overbecks is a small but spectacular garden with unusual tropical plants clinging to the cliffs above Salcombe in Devon. It’s idyllic and well worth visiting.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall is an extensive estate with 200 acres of land. It’s a mix of woodland, wildlife haven, working farm, formal gardens, play grounds, fields and kitchen garden. It has a saw mill, charcoal kiln, wildlife hide as well as the iconic sculptures of the mud maid, grey lady and its famous Burma Rope Bridge.

Harold Hillier Gardens

Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire feels like a mix between a park, community centre and formal garden. The formal gardens are immaculately kept and beautiful during the flowering seasons. The grounds are 180 acres with some lovely woodland paths and meadows as well as extensive lawns with plenty of benches, picnic tables, some play areas and interesting features dotted throughout.

Hardy’s Cottage

Hardy’s Cottage near Dorchester is one of the smaller National Trust properties. We arrived late morning, had a modest early lunch at the cafè and then set off for a walk through the woods to the cottage. The surrounding woodland is beautiful and the approach to the cottage is idyllic. Turn a corner and suddenly, it felt as if we’d time travelled to the mid-19th Century. Smoke was coming from the chimney and everything looked and felt exactly as it must have in Hardy’s time.

Corfe Castle: A thousand years of history

Corfe Castle is an impressive sight. Situated at the top of a hill on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, it towers over the surrounding landscape. It’s witnessed a thousand years of history and today living history events are popular and bring the past back to life for adults and children alike. Our visit was during a medieval living history event by the Feudals and we certainly had an interesting day.

Bournemouth Oceanarium

Bournemouth Oceanarium is a compact, quirky space in a prime location next to Bournemouth Pier. We...

Salisbury Cathedral

The medieval cathedrals of England are known for their individualistic styles. Built and re-built...

Mottisfont House and Gardens

Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire is well known for its stunning Rose garden that flowers in June. It’s also an idyllic National Trust House and Garden sculpted for long walks and family days out. The wider estate is extensive and we are frequent visitors.


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