During the summer we visited this beautiful place called Acorn Bank. Its a national Trust site and since we became members last year we have loved visiting so many of their beautiful properties and gardens.
Acorn Bank is in the beautiful Eden Valley where I grew up and spent all my childhood, of course it neighbours the beautiful Lake district, but the Eden Valley is like a well kept secret. The Eden Valley in Cumbria has gorgeous villages and plenty of open landscape, country walks, rivers and small market towns all with the back drop of the Lake district mountains.
When visiting family its always good to get out and about and enjoy family time in the great outdoors, to my children these are the best days.
The property at Acorn bank has recently opened to the public, it now stands unfurnished and as you look around you can see the beginning of fresh restoration work. They have been experimenting with colours.
I love this original tile work in the fireplace, just beautiful.
They are currently hosting an artist in residence Chichi Parish who sadly was not there when we visited but we got to wander through her inspiring studio space and my children took one of her fun characters to colour and make when we got home.
We somehow felt a little odd looking in an artist space when they were not present you feel like you want to respect their space and seeing all the work laid out and open sketchbooks without the artist present felt wrong. Still curiosity gets the better of you and you linger for as long as you can, after all we were invited to take a look. I did think how wonderful it must be for the artist to have this beautiful property to work in and how inspiring to be surrounded by amazing gardens and landscape.
Chichi Parish has been commissioned through the Dorothy Una Ratcliffe Fellowship to produce an illustrated book based on the amazing herb gardens at Acorn Bank. Her work is created using pen and ink and are often strong black and white illustrations with bright colours added.
D U Ratcliffe was an interesting character known for her poetry and a former owner of the house who was also responsible for the thousands of Daffodils that appear in the grounds during the spring. this Artist fellowship has been created to keep her legacy alive along with the restoration of the house.
I dont profess to know a lot about this artist but you can certainly head to her website and have a read.
To find out more about her and the artist fellowship visit the website. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
you can also follow this artists work on instagram @chichiparish and www.chichiparish.co.uk
Acorn bank is well known for its wonderful Herb garden and apple orchards we had a wonderful time looking around and felt so inspired to create new designs and art work based on what we saw.
Visiting these places always makes Davinder and I have those conversations about what we could design, what we could do with the kids etc We really soak up all thats on offer and we never feel hurried visiting these types of places, for us I think its the perfect escape with our children. A day away with a picnic packed and a lovely walk perhaps a sneak peak in the gift shop and always a pot of tea in the often full of character National trust tea room.
I think as a family we need breathing space to be together away from our home. Every National Trust place is like a mini adventure for our children. As parents there is nothing better than seeing your children run around inhale all the fresh country air and the satisfaction of exhausted children at the end of a full day of fun.
We Had great fun walking around the woodland and of course my Boy always has to find a stick somewhere along the way.
Walking down to the bird hide with Grandad to do a spot of bird watching. Highlight was spotting a woodpecker.
We Love the fact that every National trust place we have visited someone seems to be looking after the fairies. There are plenty of little fairy homes to discover amongst the woodland at Acorn Bank. So much fun for the children to discover.
There is even a fairy house in the orchard!
There is really such a lot to enjoy here whatever your age from Grandparents to children and lots here I've not even mentioned such as the watermill which is now working after 70 years.
Here are just a few more pictures of the beautiful floral displays around the garden.
If you are reading this blog and are curious to find out all about The National Trust then go visit their website www.nationaltrust.org.uk
They are a fantastic organisation and joining as a family is really money well spent. When we have thought about all the places we have visited so far it really is good value.
I love the fact that the many locations are run by willing volunteers and by supporting these historical places and buying that cup of tea or card in the gift shop you are playing your part in the cause to help keep these special places lovely for future generations. I have yet to meet a volunteer who does not give you a cheerful smile and a warm welcome and most have researched the property themselves and will be able to tell you all kinds of tales about the history.
So if you and your family are at a loss for fun things to do, go join the national trust. You seriously won't regret it. You Can also instagram them @nationaltrust
Looking forward to reading your comments below
Let us know if you get out and about anywhere this weekend.