On Friday Adam and I woke up to the most brilliant sunshine. We’d both been under the weather for a few weeks with winter coughs and sniffles and by chance we also both had the day off work. Adam suggested we get in the car, go for a drive and make use of our National Trust membership.
A little over an hour later we found ourselves in south Wales at Tredegar House just outside of Newport. The property belonged to the Morgan family for around 500 years and is set in beautiful parkland just off the M4 motorway.
As we made our way towards the house we walked past the most stunning grove of daffodils. They’re one of my most favourite flowers and a sign that spring is not too far off. (hooray!)
The National Trust is undertaking a massive roof restoration project at Tredegar House. It means the front facade of the property is covered in scaffolding. Instead of letting it deter visitors, the ever-enterprising NT are using the situation to its advantage and taking tours up onto the roof so you can see the conservation work in action.
It was really interesting to see how the restoration is being done – tonnes and tonnes of slate tiles have been removed, the roof is being made waterproof and then new slate tiles are being laid. It’s hoped the new roof will last 100-200 years!
Unfortunately due to a lack of volunteers on the day we were unable to tour the entire interior of Tredegar House. The rooms we did manage to see on the ground floor were elaborately decorated with gold leaf, Renaissance era paintings and some of the most intricate wood carvings I’ve ever seen.
We also took a look around the property’s kitchen area and got a smile from the plastic food dishes on display. Not exactly appealing, but children touring the house certainly thought they were fun!
After a pit-stop at the on site tearoom for a cuppa and a piece of shortbread we made our way outside to check out the parklands. We walked around a lake and along avenues of oak trees and sequoia redwoods, where I found the cutest little pinecones.
By mid afternoon a chill was starting to creep into the air, bringing clouds filled with scatty rain showers. Adam decided we’d drive home through the Brecon Beacon National Park, to the north of Cardiff. We’re planning on doing a proper trip to the Brecons at some stage this year, but the drive was just enough of a taste to whet my appetite for the region. It’s just stunning!
We got home tired but happy. It was one of those lovely spontaneous sort of outings. The weather turned grey, cold and rainy over the weekend and it served as a reminder that you should always take advantage of a bright day, especially in England!