As we enter the last few days of the year of 2018, I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling reflective. In that spirit, I thought it would be great to honour some of this years best memories with their own posts – and here, dear readers, I bring you my series of “Best of 2018” posts.
If you live in Dorset and you’re a National Trust member, there’s a good chance you’ve visited the Kingston Lacey estate. Located near the quaint village of Wimborne Minster, this was a royal estate that belonged to the Bankes family. This family used to live in Corfe Castle until said residence was destroyed in the English Civil War, causing them to uproot to Wimborne (you can read my post about Corfe Castle here).
The Kingston Lacey manor was built in the 1660s in the style of an Italian palace and situated in the middle of a 400 acre estate. The drive up to the manor house is one of some pretty breath-taking beauty. To get to the house, you take the B3082, also known as Beech Avenue. This is a winding stretch of road that has been lined by 700 impressive beech trees that were first planted there in 1835.
The manor boasts acres of beautifully kept gardens and walking trails making it the ultimate spot for unwinding. As with Corfe Castle, the Bankes family also bequeathed this estate to the National Trust. So, since 1982, the beautiful manor and its grounds have been open to members of the public. As the estate is only three miles from our house, it’s a place we’ve enjoyed immensely throughout the seasons (and the pictures featured here are from different times of the year, hence all the outfit changes!). Whether it’s been freezing cold or drizzly and grey, we’ve always wrapped and covered up and headed out to blow the cobwebs away. We feel incredibly lucky to have a place with such natural beauty so close to us and we’re determined to enjoy it as much as possible.
However, my favourite times to visit for a walk have been in Spring and Summer as that’s when everything comes into bloom.
There’s something about the sunshine and the fullness of the trees that really suits Kingston Lacey….
If you wander inside the manor house itself, the Italian architecture and the warmth might for a minute make you feel like you’re in an Italian villa in the middle of summer…
On days that gorgeous, it feels like a crime to stay inside – as beautiful as the interiors of the house are (three words: Egyptian artefacts galore!), it’s the gardens that are the place to be.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’m a complete flower child so being here during Spring was a true treat! This is a polite warning: what follows is a LOT of #flowerporn. There’s a lot of scrolling coming up…!
Rose bushes are my favourite!
There’s a great quote about spending time in nature that I think is really apt here: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” A walk through a place of nature can really refresh the mind, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or overworked.
If nothing else, it’s a place that’s served as a great backdrop for some self-indulgent selfies!