Seeing the fire damage at Clandon Park
I am a proud National Trust Member! I thought when I first got membership 3 years ago that it officially made me an ‘adult’, I mean strolling round old houses and country gardens was definitely not something that I was doing in my early twenties 😂 But I have come to absolutely love it, I have really enjoyed learning about the history of these houses, what went on in them and of course I aim a complete sucker for a gorgeous walled garden (Mottisfont you are still winning for me here!)
Clandon Park, in Guildford, Surrey, is quite different from the normal places that we visit as the inside of the house was completely destroyed by a fire in 2015.
So, to enter the house you all have to wear hi-vis jackets and hard hats and yes they even had them in kid sizes which Rhys and Eliza loved!! Inside they have built a wire walkway in rooms which are safe and in the wooden panelling there are plastic domes for the kids to look through. I was impressed with the level of thought that had gone into making it a really interesting experience for adults as well as kids.
Personally I really liked being able to see beyond the normally pristine historical house which can be a bit dull when you have seen the same style of room for the 20th time. There were fireplaces half way up the walls were the floors had caved in below and statues hovering near the edge of a sheer drop.
The fire damage was extensive and the National Trust are planning on restoring only half the building with the top floors being converted to an open plan art space which I think is a lovely idea. There is no cafe on site at the moment due to the restoration but we visited a nearby pub so I didn’t miss out on my cream tea 😉
Eliza’s fashion choices were questionable that day, but as she said they all had white on so definitely matched 🙈 Who can argue with the logic of a 5 year old?!
In the basement there is an exhibition all about the restoration work they have planned and a small alcove for children to build with giant lego style blocks. I would definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area as if nothing else you get to look awesome wearing a hard hat 😂