Claremont Landscape Gardens – National Trust

Since the moment we decided to move overseas, I’ve read a lot about the subject. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting people who are far more experienced in expat-life than we are – families who have moved to different countries every 2-3 years for 10 years or more. (Yes, people do that.) All expats will tell you, just because you move abroad does not mean you are on a constant vacation. Life is still very real. You still have a house to clean, bills to pay, dinner to cook, children to discipline…you get the picture. But… I do believe that life abroad can have plenty of moments, snuck in between the mundane ones, that can easily feel like mini vacations. I suppose we can all find ways to create mini vacations in our life, but undeniably, there is something about living in a new country that adds a bit of extra enthusiasm and adrenaline. It all begins by pulling out a map and seeing never-ending options of unexplored (by us) terrain. IMG_5213 After a long week of work, school and other obligations, it isn’t always easy to get out the door on a Saturday morning, but we’ve started making it a priority. We’ve realized that our weekends go much smoother when we do. For the most part, we all reconnect better when we are outdoors, exploring a new place together. However, we aren’t very good at planning ahead, so early on Saturday morning we have been scouring crinkled maps over cups of coffee as we plan a route. On a recent day-out, we visited the Claremont Landscape Gardens. Almost immediately upon arrival to the UK, we became members of the National Trust – a UK conservation charity that protects historical places, gardens, coastline, forest, farmland, islands, castles, villages…the list goes on. In other words, they do wonderful work to look after the many places that make this country so special. IMG_1488 IMG_1491 Once a Duke’s retreat, these 18th century gardens are the ideal spot for a weekend wander…even in the middle of the winter. Free, open space for games of hide and seek, rolling hills of green grass to roll down, a thatched cottage full of dress up clothes and of course, a cafe for the perfect cup of tea and scones (pretty reliable at most National Trust locations). IMG_1500 IMG_1509 We’ve discovered that winter wooly hats work well to keep the tea pots warm! IMG_1513 Play grounds are better when they are shaped as castles. IMG_1515 IMG_1521 IMG_1527 IMG_1537 IMG_1551 IMG_1556 IMG_1566 IMG_1554 My local friends tell me, that in the 8 months we’ve lived here, we’ve probably seen more of the surrounding area than they have. Funny how that works, isn’t it? When a place seems familiar, you tend to get in a routine, rarely venturing out to explore because you think you’ve seen it all. Yet, when I tell them about the places we go, 9/10 times they have never been there. There will always be the familiar favorites, but don’t forget to get out and explore somewhere NEW!


3 responses to “Claremont Landscape Gardens – National Trust

  1. Hi Mandy. Thanks again for sharing all of this beauty. It’s a treat to read of your family’s adventures and see the wonderful photos you take.

    I truly hope that you plan to publish these travelogues. You have a wonderful way of making the reader feel right there, and your pictures really capture the wonder of it all. There are books lurking here – probably many – just waiting to be compiled. People who will never have the opportunity to visit these wonderful places will have their lives enriched by your writing and photography talents.

    All the best to you, Brett, and the kids. – Doug

    • Thank you Doug – it is always so great to hear from you…especially with such generous compliments. :) I think this might be as far published as these stories get. But who knows? Glad you are enjoying them. Miss you guys!

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