The Vyne, Basingstoke – #mynationaltrust

The Vyne, Basingstoke – #mynationaltrust

Recently, my sister bought Oli and I a National Trust membership as a belated birthday present, this is my idea of a perfect gift. There are so many National Trust properties in the Hampshire area, so many places to explore and thanks to my sister, lots of free family days out for us to enjoy. I am going to make it my mission for us to visit as many as we can before our membership runs out next March. On Saturday we decided to see what this National Trust thing was all about and headed off to The Vyne in Basingstoke for an adventure.

My lovely cousin was staying for the weekend, the weather was nice so we thought a trip to The Vyne was the perfect way to spend our Saturday. The drive was very straight forward and only took 45 minutes, the Sat Nav was a bit rubbish finding where we needed to be but there are loads of signs for The Vyne dotted around once you get close to Basingstoke. When we arrived the car park was pretty busy, it seemed we weren’t the only ones who wanted to make the most of the sunny day. Once we parked up we went to the reception to get our membership cards scanned and so my cousin could pay. Entrance to The Vyne for non members is £13 for an adult and £6.50 for a child. We were given a map and asked what time we would like to look around the house. Time slots are every half an hour, be sure not to pick one during your little ones nap time as you are not allowed to take your pushchair in with you.

As we arrived around midday we got our tickets for 1.30 so we had time to eat our picnic first. The grounds surrounding The Vyne are truly beautiful, being Spring there were lots of pretty flowers in bloom and we took a stroll through the Walled Garden to kick off our day. Not all the flowers had bloomed in the garden yet but it still looked beautiful, all the different coloured flowers were a real treat for the eyes. There was a little stall with bunches of flowers for sale for a £1, these were all flowers picked from the garden and I was tempted to get some. It wasn’t long before our appetites got the best of us and we headed to the picnic benches in the Tolkien inspired Hidden Realm play area. Oli popped to the Brewhouse Tea Room, grabbed us all a coffee and we sat in the sunshine and ate our picnic.

Leo, Me and Jes.

Unfortunately Leo didn’t get a chance to play in the Hidden Realm play area as Jes had lost of her phone and it was nearly time for us to go look around the house (the play area looked amazing though, will definitely make sure we have time on our next visit). While Jes and Oli went on a mission all the way back to the car to find the missing phone, I sat with Leo while he finished his food and there was lots of excitement when he discovered a snail. Leo decided to pick up the poor snail and carry it around with him as we walked to meet the others. It took lots of convincing from Oli but eventually Leo was persuaded to part with his new best friend, Mr Snaily.

It’s a snail!
Mr Snaily.
We strolled through the pretty grounds to the house and were greeted by two lovely staff members. We had to leave the pushchair in the entrance room which was a bit of a pain as it meant Leo was able to run riot around the house. The Vyne is a Tudor house built in the 1500’s for Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, William Sandys; the property was later sold to the Chute family in the 17th century. I really wish I could tell you more about the history but I was too conscious of Leo misbehaving and Oli having a nervous breakdown while looking after him so I didn’t get much historical reading done. I can tell you though that the rooms in The Vyne are absolutely stunning, the walls, the furniture and the paintings are all amazing to look at. Jes and I joked about living there, swanning around in fancy frocks, drinking, eating fancy food and entertaining royalty. Downstairs there are three feature rooms and a very impressive Tudor chapel. There is a tomb in the chapel but no one is buried there, the body of Chaloner Chute is actually in London. The stained glass windows are spectacular and the lovely staff were playing games with Leo, asking him what animals he could see in the windows – he found a green dragon and was extremely excited about it.
Once we had explored downstairs we ventured up the impressive staircase to check out what was going on upstairs. I didn’t get many photos upstairs as Leo was in full naughty toddler mode and it required the full attention of all three of us to stop him completely trashing the ancient building. There were two bedrooms upstairs, one of which had the most amazing four poster bed, dark wood with pretty floral curtains – I could have easily got under the covers and had a sneaky snooze. There were a couple of rooms being packed away as major work on the roof is about to start as it has been leaking. We had a browse through the Oak gallery upstairs which was really interesting, with busts of lots of historical characters such as Nero and Henry VIII. I would love to have spent more time in there but Leo was desperate to burn off some energy so we headed off back outside.
What is up here?
Amazing ceiling
Henry VIII
After a toddler meltdown in the entrance room as Leo had decided that he in fact quite liked the house after all, we managed to make it out into the sunshine and went for a lovely walk around the lake. Ducks were swimming in the water and the lake was framed with tall reeds, Leo enjoyed snapping some of these off and using them as magic wands! There is a little bird hide for bird enthusiasts to try and get a closer look at nature. Leo loved running around the lake, it was just what he needed after being under strict orders not to run around for the last half an hour. There were lots of tree sculptures which Leo enjoyed looking at, they were all very impressive although I found the spider one a bit too life like! One of the trees also had a funny face made of twigs on it, Leo and Jes found this quite hilarious. The views of The Vyne from the opposite side of the lake are gorgeous and I managed to get some lovely photos of the impressive building. After our long walk we were pretty tired and it was time for another coffee break. Oli and I went to the tea room to grab drinks for us all while Jes and Leo played in a little picnic area with pedal tractors and bouncy cows for Leo to play on.
Funny face tree.
Smiley cousins.
The lake is hiding there somewhere.
Weird spiky plant.
Leo loves his Aunty Jes.
Leo and Daddy
Such a pretty building.
My lovely boys.
After Leo was done playing it was time to head home as Oli had work at 5pm. We definitely didn’t explore all that The Vyne has to offer, we didn’t spend much time in the Walled Garden, didn’t see The Summerhouse or let Leo explore the Hidden Realm play area. However, we still had a day full of family fun and it was lovely to enjoy time outdoors as well as exploring the inside of the building. It was a really perfect day and we will definitely be going back again in the summer. I can’t wait until our next National Trust day out and to make lots more lovely family memories.
If you are interested in finding out more about The Vyne you can browse it’s National Trust webpage here or if you want to learn more about its history (I didn’t have much information to share so I don’t blame you!) you can check it out here.
Have you ever visited The Vyne? Do you have a National Trust membership too? If you have any recommendations of places to visit in the Hampshire/South East area please let me know 🙂
This post is linked to..

My Random Musings

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

A Cornish Mum


Diary of an Imperfect Mum: Family Fun Linky
Cuddle Fairy


Life Unexpected

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  1. Stephanie Moore
    April 27, 2016 / 7:17 am

    We have just purchased a National Trust memership and live in Hampshire so this is really helpful to know about. Were planning on visiting as many as we can this year

  2. April 27, 2016 / 8:20 am

    Great photos! Looks like it was a fun day out especially enjoying the outdoors! I joined National Trust at the beginning of the year and have been enjoying it so far. I love going to Osterley House in West London, the closest countryside estate to us, for a countryside walk and fresh air, and hope to visit more places further afield soon. #WhatevertheWeather

  3. April 27, 2016 / 11:58 am

    We love The Vyne, there is so much to see and do there. Sounds like you all had a good time. The National Trust membership is really worth having 🙂

  4. April 27, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    How cool that they have a tolkein inspired garden, that sounds fab. Also loving the tree and the house looks really interesting too. I think National Trust membership is such a good gift for a family as you get so much use out of it #whatevertheweather

  5. Baby Isabella
    April 27, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    The Vyne is just around the corner from us and my mummy has been taking me there since I was 2 months old. It's our local haunt and we love it there. NT membership was the best thing we bought 🙂 #Whatevertheweather #bloggerclubuk xx

  6. April 28, 2016 / 6:49 am

    Basingstoke isn't far from us, but I've never heard of The Vyne. I love a good stately home, but my 4 year old wouldn't be bothered by the house itself. But the grounds look lovely! thanks for the heads up!

  7. April 28, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Yes I'm good thanks hun. It was a beautiful day, so lucky the sun was shining. National Trust is amazing. I can't wait to do some more exploring xx

  8. April 28, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    Ohh you should go! Yes I think the house is probably quite boring for kids but it's worth a visit just for the lovely grounds xx

  9. April 28, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    Ohh you're soo lucky you live so close. I can't wait to visit again xx

  10. April 28, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    Membership really is a great gift, so many days out all already payed for. I know, the garden sounds great doesn't it, hopefully we'll have to play hobbits next time haha xx

  11. April 28, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    We loved it there too!can't wait to go back xx

  12. April 28, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    It was a fab day out. Ohh I bet there are loads of places for you to explore in London xx

  13. April 28, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    Oh yay :). You should definitely go here, so easy to get to from hampshire. .just up the m3 xx

  14. April 28, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    I love the National Trust properties, and funnily we were only recently saying that we should get cards. The Vyne looks like a great place to visit, perhaps next time you will get to see everything. #FamilyFun

  15. May 1, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    It sounds like there is so much to do. I've love to see the walled garden. I love that he collects magic wands. That's so sweet. The National Trust is always such good value for money isn't it. Thank you so much for sharing with #whatevertheweather x

  16. May 2, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    It looks like a great place to explore! We don't have many NT placed too near, but the passes look worth it if you do. Great that you can explore so many places now! Love that Leo found a little snail to admire and the funny face tree is so sweet! Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  17. Cuddle Fairy
    May 3, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    What a fabulous day out. The estate & grounds are absolutely gorgeous! So fun that you could have a picnic lunch & all! Thanks so much for linking up with us at #bloggerclubuk

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