The National Trust: Hughenden Manor

Last month we decided to join the National Trust. I thought this would give us an incentive to take advantage of the outdoors, as well as donating to a charity that preserves beautiful countryside and historical buildings packed with information about this intriguing country.

I wanted to try and get out more as I feel there’s so much to see just a short walk/drive away from where I live. So my plan was to try and go somewhere new at least once a month – this way we’d be making the most of our membership and getting to explore new places.

Seeing as the weather was begging us to go out and enjoy it, we agreed to go for a nice relaxing walk, as well as being on the hunt for some pretty bluebells as this was the perfect weather for them!

Whilst having a mooch on the National Trust website, I came across Hughenden Manor in High Wycombe. Not only did the Manor look amazing, there were a few countryside walks for you to appreciate. We decided to do the short walk seeing as it took us 2 hours to get there due to my sat nav taking us the wrong way.

After my car painfully struggled to get up the steep hill, I lowered my head in embarrassment and parked up. Just my luck – I plan to do something nice for the day and the weather decides to be a little temperamental. However, it looked like the sun was starting to emerge from behind the clouds, so I was optimistic. We headed away from our car towards the trail which took us on a loop around the Manor. As soon as we took a step into the countryside, we came across this beautiful sight (the photo doesn’t do it justice):

Unfortunately it was rather cloudy that morning so the Bluebells had closed up. But there were thousands of these bright purple flowers that ran along the path beside us as we walked through this enchanting forest. The sun started to shine through the towering trees which made the bluebells sparkle in the light. I just had to get a photo of the trees. There was something hypnotic and captivating about them. The way the branches had intertwined with each other and had consumed the view of the sky with their dazzling green leaves was really fascinating (and made you feel slightly dizzy when you stared up at them for too long).

One set of bluebells in particular caught my eye:

These white bluebells stood proud (well, as proud as they could be seeing as it had been raining an hour before) amongst the natural beauty surrounding them. Apparently white bluebells are quite rare so we were lucky to see them. These albino flowers lack the pigments that give bluebells their traditional purple colour, and that’s what gives them this glowing, distinct look.

Once we’d strolled through some public footpaths and fields (where I power walked as fast as possible so the cows couldn’t chase me like last time….but that’s a story for another time), we finally arrived back at the Manor.

This place was classy and elegant. It had been owned by Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in 1848 to 1881. Never heard of him? Don’t worry, neither had I.

The inside of this place was incredible – although it definitely felt a lot smaller than it looked from the outside. Obviously it’d been refurbished, but it still a very traditional feel about it.

Once you enter the dining room you’re drawn to one dining chair in particular as it’s shorter than the others. This is because the legs on this chair were cut so Queen Victoria could touch her feet on the floor when she dined on one of her visits. But surely this would mean that she’d be really low down at the table so it’d be a bit awkward to eat?!

The Manor was decorated to a high standard, with long elegant drapes dressing the windows and paintings of Disraeli ancestors placed in delicate golden frames.

There was a room full of artefacts belonging to Mary Anne Disraeli – Ben’s wife. And if I’m being honest, she sounded a little stuck up – so this posh manor was the perfect place for her. She had a high turnover of staff due to the way she treated them. Not the kind of person I’d like to hang out with!

The Manor wasn’t all elegant though, down in the basement there was a bunker that would be used in a state of emergency during the war. Although, it did have quite a cosy lounge area.After snooping around the manor, we stopped off at The National Trust café for a spot on lunch to fill us up for our journey home.

Overall rating: An interesting day out surrounded by beautiful scenic views. A nice relaxing afternoon spent in the countryside is always a good one, and it’s even better when you’re donating to a charity too!

Feel free to nose around my site and check out other places I’ve travelled to around the UK and abroad.

Junique x

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