Take a walk in a winter wonderland
Check out these winter wonders at the National Trust during January and Feburary. Jo-Anne Rowney selects some of the closest properties open through the colder months for walks, activities and visits
WINTER was once the time of year when Trust places closed for their annual clean and rest. Now it marks a time spent caring for the attractions in various ways so that people can visit many of them all year round.
Wrap up warm and enjoy a breath of fresh air by seeing the historic houses and gardens in a new light this winter.
Looking after the Trust’s places and conserving them for future generations, whilst also ensuring everyone can enjoy them today, is a big challenge that involves a great deal of planning and meticulous care behind the scenes.
This does not only apply to the houses; National Trust gardens and countryside are also managed in special ways to protect their beauty and natural habitats.
Gardens and landscapes have a special beauty in winter when Mother Nature is resting before the sap rises again in spring, and it is also fascinating to see the houses at this time of year when some of the vital conservation work is taking place.
The following places are all open daily in January and February:
Hughenden, near High Wycombe
Daily house tours will focus on different aspects of Hughenden and the intriguing collection of items belonging to its illustrious former owner, Benjamin Disraeli. There’s also a series of free talks on different topics on Wednesday afternoons.
If you fancy a breath of fresh air, you can choose from a number of different walks through the beech woods and parkland surrounding the Manor and the tea-room in the Stable Yard is open for warming treat.
Open daily 11am to dusk. Manor open from noon.
Nestling in the foothills of the Chilterns, the house and gardens of Greys Court are open for the first time in January and February. The house exudes the nostalgic atmosphere of family life in a bygone age, and the gardens are designed as a series of outdoor ‘rooms’. There is a gentle walk around the entire estate which is suitable for all ages, and dogs on leads. The Cow Shed tea-room serves fresh food daily.
Open daily 10am to dusk. House
open 11am-3pm for hourly tours only.
These magnificent landscape gardens are dotted with temples and statues, winding lakeside paths and open vistas, and in January and February the Lamport Garden and the Elysian Fields are brightened by drifts of delicate snowdrops.
It’s the perfect place for a bracing winter walk or a gentle stroll followed by a treat in the light and airy café at the New Inn visitor centre.
Open daily this month and next from 10am to 4pm.
A guided tour will reveal how this elegant Georgian mansion was saved from near ruin by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the 1950s and how it’s been used in recent years as an impressive location in many period film and TV dramas, including Downton Abbey.
The peaceful parkland and gardens are perfect for a gentle walk, and the café is open for warming treats.
Open daily 11am to dusk.
Enjoying a walk between the columns of and on the Oxford Bridge on a frosty day
Temple of Concord and Victory at Stowe