Posted by: Sam Tanner | September 18, 2010

Acting on my pledge to explore the UK this year

At the beginning of 2010 I told myself that I wanted to explore as many countries as I could. However, I quickly realised that the money I would need to do this just wasn’t going to become available. I then made a deal with my boyfriend that we should explore the beauty of the UK.

The British ‘summer’ was something that we didn’t bank on and every time we attempted to go out and do something it rained or turned cold. We attempted to make a day of it in Brighton a couple of weeks ago, visited Sea Life and the pier, shivered a bit and went home.

However, after a stressful week at work for the both of us, we decided that we needed to get out and about today before we self imploded. I researched the National Trust website to see if there was something in the area that was worth a visit. We decided on Nymans Gardens in Handcross, West Sussex which is about a 15 minute drive away.

Upon appearing at the entrance to the house and gardens we were asked about 10 times whether we wanted to join as members of the National Trust, which we politely declined each time. The knowing look between us was that we are nowhere near old enough to enjoy this privilege. Then we were asked if we were under 25 and if so we get a year’s membership for £20 each. Bargain. This also gives us an excuse to explore the UK for free. What a turn around in the space of 5 minutes.

We were still the youngest couple exploring Nymans by a good 30 years, but the weather was glorious today and the gardens were just simply stunning. The volunteers in the house took a very special liking to Matt as he is ‘a nice young man’ and it was great to be in a period style house and see how the rich used to live even though most of the house was gutted by a fire in the 1940’s.

The gardens drift off into ancient woodland and although it was quite warm today, you could see that summer is officially over with the golden oranges and bronzes from the leaves on the trees. Disappointing. However, I can’t wait until it snows, the winter activities leaflet we got in our welcome pack looks amazing.

Although we only saw older couples and families walking around today, I really think the younger generation are missing a trick, I mean what else could you really do for free every weekend in the UK?

Having said that I really am hoping to get to Munich at the end of December for the Christmas markets. I am squealing in delight just thinking about it.

A hedge basket mixed with a bit of Where's Wally

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