I booked myself tickets to watch England play Australia in a white ball series, the first game for me was in London so that was just a train ride. The rest were a bit further away. Nottingham, Durham, Manchester then a T20 in Birmingham. That gave me plenty of time to visit National Trust properties.
The first match was at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, I travelled on the day, so had to get there in good time. I’ve used the Park and Tram a couple of times now, it’s a great way to get to the ground and there’s a great walk along the river to get to the ground. You can find the detail Here
The walk at the end of the match as the sun is setting is even better, you walk past a very impressive War Memorial seen in the photo above. I stayed in Nottingham in a basic Airbnb that night and set off to Durham the next day via Fountains Abbey, the first of my National Trust visits. Details Here
This is a vast property and my first port of call was the bird hide, where I saw a bird I’d b-never seen before, a Nuthatch, I actually had no idea they existed! The Nuthatch was too quick for me to get a photo but I caught this cheeky squirrel!
The ruins were as beautiful as the photos I’d seen and the sky that day was a perfect backdrop. The grounds and water gardens were vast and contained many ancient and large trees, for many the roots were there to be seen. It gave me a idea of why my house in in difficulty with the trees outside. But, in this setting, they were wonderful to see.
As well as the Follies you can see above there’s a church which is open to visit, it’s well worth the extra walk.
The lakes gave the chance to take photos of these lovely goslings, all in all it was a perfect visit, and a place I’ll definitely go to again.
Game 2 was in Durham and I stayed with a lovely couple in a village about 10 miles outside of Durham, the accommodation was a converted garage and was a real home from home. I walked the dogs with the owners when I arrived, which was great! The details are Linden Lodge, Cadger Bank Lanchester, Lanchester, DH7 0HB, United Kingdom You can find them on Booking.com or Airbnb.
I used the Park and Ride to get to the ground, it was a bit of a nuisance as I had to go past the ground and get involved with the traffic to get back to where I was staying. The accommodation was so nice I wish I’d stayed for longer, but I was due in the North West the day after the match.
I drove up slightly, towards Scotland and then found myself on the A67, the views were amazing, oh for a camera to take shots as you drive. I was making my way to Sizerg Castle just south of Kendal in the Lake District. Details Here.
There was a more formal feel to this property with more in the way of planned gardens. One thing that all National Properties have in common are the cafe’s, all service tasty home made food. I very often treat myself to a cream tea whether that be for breakfast or lunch. I’m sure with a fruit scone that’s at least 2 of my 5 a day! And, it’s always jam first!
You can glimpse the buildings in some of the photos above, but as always the gardens were of more interest to me.
I stopped for an ice cream on my way back to the car, which gave me the opportunity to snap this Robin and strangely elongated Blackbird.
I was heading for Orrell then Sale, with just outside of Manchester. The 3rd ODI of my trip was at Old Trafford, for this one I stayed in a Travelodge in Sale, I walked to Danes Road Metro station then caught the ‘train’, it’s 2 stops to Old Trafford, which is perfect!
From Manchester I drove to the Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, details Here. I’d treated myself to 2 days in a smart hotel and I wasn’t disappointed.
I was heading to Birmingham once my swish stay had ended, but decided on a National Trust property near to Whitchurch, Erddig which as the name suggests is actually in Wales, Wrexham to be precise. My Satnav wasn’t terrible precise, it took me into a famers yard, where I or rather my car got barked at by a sheep dog. That clearly wasn’t right, but my phone took me to the right place eventually.
The levels of formality was rising each time on this trip and Erddig took things to another level. I’m fancying myself as a photographer, of things other than sport that is
There’s so much purple as I was trying to get the bees! I’m not too sure I was successful. There were plenty of places to sit and admire the sights and there were may of them. Including very clever wood carvings.
I’m very tempted to get a couple of the flower pics printed out to go on my wall. Another side benefit of National Trust properties are their book shops, they always seem to have a good collection of cricket tomes.
My National Trust visits had finished for this raid trip. After the T20 at Edgbaston I made my way to Stratford, where I saw Christopher Eccleston in Macbeth. It finished up my trip perfectly!