Thursday, August 1, 2013

Vicarious Tourism: Nymans & Leith Hill Tower

Yesterday, the Husband and I decided it would be a nice idea to spend a day off doing a bit of sightseeing. Making the most of our National Trust membership, we decided to browse the places just a little farther afield that we wouldn't usually get the chance to visit on a weekend. So started the day's trip into Surrey to enjoy some family time out of the house.

 Nymans wasn't too far away. We took the scenic route on some A-roads past Guildford and reached our first destination by lunch time. The gardens were lovely, the weather stayed nice, and the house itself was a treat. A faux-medieval affair, the house had suffered extensive fire damage at one point and so the rooms used by the house's last occupant were built within the confines of the existing fire-damaged shell. Gorgeous.

Stumped. ;)

The outer shell is much bigger than the habitable rooms.
Ethan enjoyed the whole experience immensely. There was lots of open space to run around, plenty of flowers to sniff and bumble bees to point at, and a croquet green.

'Bees! Zzzzzzz.'

The flowers of Nymans

A (failed) croquet lesson.
Needless to say, Ethan had more fun throwing the ball around than trying to use the mallet. Still, it was entertaining to watch him running around cackling with happiness as he hurled the ball away from himself across the lawn. After croquet we made a brief tour of the rooms before wandering back through the gardens on our way back to the car. We had one other stop we wanted to make before we called it a day.

Just a casual garden stroll.

Working on our lock picking skills.
Leith Hill Tower is, ostensibly, pretty cool. It's the highest point in the South East. On a clear day you can look to the south and see the Channel, or look north and pick out London's biggest landmarks. Even on a day as overcast as yesterday, the Husband and I managed to pick out the gerkin and the shard over in the City.

Alas, as evidenced by E's need to practise his lock picking, we arrived just after the building had been closed for the day. The website didn't really make it clear that while this time of the year is when the Tower is open until 5pm, that's only Friday through Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, it shuts its doors at 4pm. Oops. In any event, it was still a nice end to our day out, and now we have another cool place to take family when they come to visit.

All in all, it was a lovely day sightseeing and driving through the Surrey countryside. We spotted a few other neat villages and sites along the way as well, so a return trip is definitely in the cards for the future. Anybody else getting to take some fun little trips lately? Anyone else with a toddler who tries to kiss the inside of an animal's nose? No? Just me, then.

This pretty much sums up his feelings about the whole day out.

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