Escape to... the grand houses and gardens of the Cotswolds August 12, 2015 18:00

The husband is off work this week - hooray! So off to the Cotswolds we went for three lovely nights.
Well, to be honest, it was two lovely nights and one teething-induced sleepless one! However, undeterred, we mooched around the villages, sampled a couple of pub lunches and also went to Charlecote Park and on the way home, Hughenden, both of which are National Trust treasures.                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Charlecote Park and Hughenden Manor were equally impressive; stunning architecturally and the gardens were breathtaking. But for me, the thing I really love about National Trust properties is finding out about the people who lived there.                                                              
There is rarely anything dull or stuffy about these individuals. In fact,  quite the opposite; normally larger than life characters and often tied up in a bit of scandal to boot - ahhh interesting! Take Benjamin Disraeli, the Victorian Prime Minister who lived at Hughenden. Lots of mud slinging with the opposition leader (times clearly haven't changed), mounds of debt and he supposedly had a secret love child, the descendants of whom are now to found living in New Zealand. And as for Charlecote Park, well, the Lucy family has lived there for 900 years - another rich source of fascinating scandal, I mean, historical stories of interest there...
 
Hurrah for the volunteers who work at these National Trust places. They hold so much knowledge and  help recreate what life was like in these households with fantastic stories, anecdotes and details. Pure escapism.