I am never certain what I should blog about. I'm always intrigued what interests readers, what bores them etc etc so please let me know. Is there anything you'd like me to do (POLITE PLEASE). More/less birds, more/less churches, more/less museums or other heritage stuff. Whatever, i'd be interested.
All in all I had an enjoyable winter break. Yes I was in England in January but the weather was ok. Friday was dull as my rather dreary photos show (oh did the sharp eyed amongst you notice the two b&w photos on Friday? did you like them? I ask because I thought they worked.) but it never hampered me.
As I drove back today with the sun shining I couldn't help but think it would have been good to stop off and visit a "heritage" property. Of course it's January so the vast majority of properties are safely locked up. It strikes me as a missed opportunity, yes parks are open but the houses are securely locked. The National Trust tells us that properties have to be shut for conservation, cost reasons etc etc BUT some properties do have some limited opening times in Winter.
For instance Osterley Park (owned by the National Trust) is open in December. Now I'm not asking the trust to throw open the doors to all properties all years, its just that I suspect there are people out there who do go away for weekends and would visit a property. The trust encourages us to visit its gardens and parks so you can walk, but if the rain comes down you are left with no where to go.
I appreciate that our heritage needs protecting but I am not asking for much. Properties open at weekends only. Not even all weekends, in Kent the Trust could open Chartwell one weekend, Igtham the next etc.
English Heritage has it a little easier since it has few houses in the syle of the National Trust. Private houses have to make a commercial decision (most are closed), yes the Trust does as well but I suspect that a lot less of its properties are dependent on paid staff and where staff are paid (e.g restaurants) they are in profit making areas. Why are all the gardens open do you reckon? To attract punters into the cafe's and restaurants.
Interestly IF I had had my Hudson Historic Houses 2009 in the car (and why wasn't it??) I'd have known that Leeds Castle was open. I'd have popped in and regaled you with pictures instead of heading home! Oh well my car is clean!!