{AD} Pushing Pause with the National Trust

I have always loved the slow, liminal days between Christmas and New Year. They are a time of gentle transition, a quiet breath as the year eases to its close, a space in which to reflect on the year gone by, and perhaps to set intentions for the year ahead.

It’s true that the sofa and a movie are always tempting at this time of year, but it’s also wonderful to blow away those Christmas cobwebs in the great outdoors. Whether you want to take stock and count your blessings whilst enjoying a winter walk, to visit a gorgeous old estate, or to get out into nature to live and breathe the adventures you intend to have in the year ahead, there’s so much that can be made of the space between Christmas and New Year.

This year, the National Trust has invited me to Push Pause and reflect on experiences and memories I’ve cherished from 2018. As a family, we’ve spent many happy days this year exploring National Trust land and properties in the South West- some that we’ve visited for the first time, and others beloved favourites that we’ve been to time and time again.

We’ve spent many an afternoon high on the top of the Cotswold escarpment at Newark Park. The children love the peacocks and the chance to ramble around the estate, but it’s the romantic lakeside summerhouse that has my heart. Tyntesfield is another favorite of ours- the gothic revival house is so atmospheric, particularly around Christmas, and the walled garden and glasshouses are delightful all year round. 

We also had some new adventures this year- on a holiday to Cornwall in May, we discovered the charms of the small but winsome Tintagel Old Post Office, with its sweet cottage garden. In the same week, we had a number of clifftop walks around Trevose Head, where the sea was turquoise, and the wildflowers were in bloom. 

On a birthday trip to Somerset, we adventured up the hill for a picnic at Bruton Dovecote and then in the autumn, we spent a weekend in Devon in order to fulfil a long-held wish to visit Agatha Christie’s holiday home, Greenway. Described as ‘the loveliest place in the world’, this stunning house on the sparkling Dart estuary did not disappoint. It also boasts its own set of glasshouses and the prettiest boathouse. I feel sure that we will return.

One way to Push Pause is by taking a moment to discover what the National Trust has going on Behind the Scenes, as they open the door on the conservation work taking place at their properties, making sure they’re looking after the historic treasures they have for future generations to enjoy. During our trip to Greenway, we were fascinated to see a conservator in action, talking about his work to preserve the house’s treasures.

Every time you visit the National Trust, you’re preserving the past whilst investing in the future, and we can all play our part. So, when you’re looking for something to do between Christmas and New Year, head over to the National Trust and check out this post, which is full of ideas for how to spend those magical few days, and enjoy the last of the season.

{This is a paid post in association with the National Trust but all thoughts, opinions, and images are my own. }

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  • I love your stories so much. Every Christmas I get a year NT membership so it’s especially special to me. Happy New Year!