We were delighted when the Landmark Trust offered WAY members the opportunity to stay at a beautiful Medieval property in Suffolk as part of their #50forfree scheme, which gives charities and their members a chance to stay at one of their beautiful historic buildings at no cost.
For WAY member Kirsty, whose husband died in 2018, it was a welcome an opportunity for herself and her two young children to get away from everything for a few days.
“There was no TV and no WiFi,” said Kirsty. “We took loads of games and it was really nice to just switch off. We just did simple things like sitting round the fire.”
Kirsty and her two children Lucy (5) and Finlay (3) travelled from Derby to Suffolk with her friend, Dawn, and her two children just before the Coronavirus lockdown began in March. Kirsty was absolutely blown away when she walked into the stunning Medieval building, which was in use as an inn by 1478 and still boasts an open Medieval hall that was once a communal point for weary travellers.
“It was proper ‘wow’ when we came in there,” she said. “It felt so massive and so spacious – there were lots of beams everywhere. All the furniture was ‘olde worlde’ and it was just beautiful.”
Although Kirsty was apprehensive at first about coping without a TV or WiFi, she appreciated the opportunity to escape from a hectic daily routine of bringing up two children on her own. And it was an added bonus to have the chance to chat to her friend Dawn in the evenings after the children had gone to bed.
“It was lovely having the opportunity to spend time together without the pressures of normal daily life,” she said. “It was a shame we couldn't explore the local area and attractions more as everything was starting to close that week due to Coronavirus, but the chance to just chill out, go for walks and play games all day was wonderful. We don’t normally have the chance to do that.”
Kirsty also surprised herself by picking up some new skills.
“I learned how to start a fire and how to keep it going,” she said. “It took a few attempts to work out what to do – but we did it!”
In spite of the challenges of the impending Coronavirus lockdown, Kirsty is really pleased that she took the opportunity to enjoy the Landmark Trust’s hospitality – and she’d love to go back again.
“A massive thank you for giving us the chance to get away,” she said. “It’s not something I’d normally be brave enough to take the kids to – but we enjoyed spending quality time together and we made some lovely memories.”