One of my favourite ways to spend the weekend is with a visit to a National Trust place. Tucked away in the beautiful Dorset countryside, not far from Wimborne, is White Mill, an 18th-century corn mill surrounded by a peaceful garden and a pretty river towards the back. This is the smallest National Trust property we’ve explored so far but its quaint charm and quiet corners easily make it my favourite.
Driving through the rural country lanes of Dorset, it was hard to believe that we were only a few miles from home and not somewhere in the Cotswolds. We passed Kingston Lacy, another beautiful National Trust house worth visiting, and fields dotted with animals. A little later, in our typical fashion, we ended up missing the sign for our destination but this meant that we were able to see a little of the nearby village and its pretty stone cottages. The bridge crossing the river was equally lovely but very, very narrow, even for the little car.
My favourite thing about this place was the air of tranquility that washed over as soon as we stepped through the gate. Every nook was a chance to breathe in fresh country air and bathe in the warm May sun. It almost felt like we had entered the pages of a Jane Austen novel. Surrounded by greenery and the gentle sound of the river, all of life’s worries disappeared there and then.
Inside the mill, the cool air and darkness was a welcome break from the midday sun. We climbed the wooden steps to the top, narrower with each floor reached, and ducked under the many cobwebs. The view from one of the rooms looked over the mill garden and village bridge. Everything inside was dusty yet nostalgically perfect, as if it had been left like that centuries ago. I like to wander around these little historic spots and imagine what life would have been back in their day.
Back outside, we took photos under a tree, glimpses of the sun painting a pattern on the grass below our feet. This summery lighting is my favourite. It would have been an idyllic spot for a picnic here.
Not wanting to leave this picturesque place, we promised ourselves to return soon, picnic and blanket in hand. We decided to complete our day out with a quick stop in the pretty town of Wimborne nearby, one of our favourites close to home. Slow Sundays like this are how every weekend should be spent.
What’s your favourite National Trust place?