The grand estate of Polesden Lacey, where the Queen Mother spent her honeymoon, is a beautiful property in the Surrey hills managed by the National Trust. Visiting grounds and manicured garden beds are bursting with colour at this time of the year, with April showers electrifying the growth of daffodils and tulips.
The house is host to an impressive collection of artwork, mostly collected by the popular Dame Maggie Greville who mingled with politicians, celebrities and royals at her famous weekend parties hosted in Polesden Lacey.
Although it's a favourite sunny-day-getaway for locals, I'd highly recommend heading to Polesden Lacey just as enthusiastically on an overcast day that could turn to rain at any time... Like I did.
In warm and dimly lit halls you can meander past great works of art and beautifully preserved books and artefacts. Every inch of the rooms you explore are perfectly preserved. From the entertaining rooms decorated with opulent chandeliers and half burned cuban cigars, to sparse cold quarters with empty kettles and raw foods in another. These details serve as lingering reminders that this luxurious, static attraction was once a bustling hub of daily activity - fit for kings and queens, thriving only on the hard work of tirelessly dedicated servants.
While many rooms encouraged dressing up and photo taking opportunities for kids to partake in, it was the occasional glimpse of a dedicated volunteer, fully dressed in old-timey costume that allowed visitors to feel as if they had stepped into the past.
Again and again I find my experiences with the National Trust made ever the more special not because of the estates and land that I visit - but because of the "national treasures" (read: volunteers) that work so hard to make them special.