Adventures with our National Trust membership card…

Gandalf the VW Campervan is parked at Alderstead Heath Campsite for the night, just off the M25 in Surrey. This is our third trip here; the reason for our return visit is that Keith’s dad lives just ten mins down the road – although the campsite is well worth a visit in its own right.

We’ve spent the weekend giving our National Trust membership card a bashing. On Friday we stayed local but took Keefy’s mum for a day out to Ickworth House National trust on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds. We’ve visited before and it’s one of our favourites. Ickworth’s iconic Rotunda is just re-emerging from many months under scaffolding as the NT undertook a large re roofing project but the extensive woodlands are worth visiting, especially at the time of year as the leaves start to turn into a wonderful autumnal display.

We spent some time geocaching and also really enjoyed looking at an outdoor photography exhibition too before showing off Gandalf whilst we had a picnic lunch.

Keith received his flu jab first thing on Saturday, following this we made a mad dash to Alderstead Heath, arriving just after midday. We had a super speed set up as my father in law picked us up promptly at 12:30 and we set off for a couple of hours wandering around the grounds of Chartwell, former country home to Winston Churchill. (Dog friendly)

The remainder of the day we spent at Barry and Valerie’s enjoying some quality family time together before getting dropped back to Gandalf later on that evening.

Parakeets visit my father in law’s garden

Sunday dawned really sunny and a perfect autumnal day. We started as we meant to carry on; a full cooked breakfast. Yum! My breakfast pan copes very well on our new hob layout and I LOVED being able to stand up whilst cooking it!

On the way back to Norfolk we stopped at a (pre booked) visit to Emmetts Garden.

Emmets Garden stands at one of the highest points in Kent. The views from the hillside gardens are fabulous and the gardens host many exotic species of plant, tree and shrub. Neither of us had been before and we really loved our visit. The colours were sensational and the blue skies did wonders for our mood after a hard few weeks back at school,

I also achieved a week long ambition – yes really!- of spotting a Fly Agaric. Any ideas what that is?!

A popular pastime this week has been spotting as many different types of fungi as possible. Here’s just some that we spotted on our local dog walk last week…

But my top two have been…

This Beefsteak Mushroom at Ickworth House NT
An arial view of the Beefsteak mushroom

… and this pièce de résistance today

Just two more weeks til (hopefully, Boris allowing) we can dart off for a week in Half term. We’re keeping everything crossed! For now we are feeling reenergised and grateful to have had some time to reconnect with nature this weekend; and of course spend some family time with our nearest and dearest.

Until next time

Lx

PS I need a haircut!

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