The Vyne, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke

At The Vyne National Trust property at the moment is a restoration project to repair the roof of the house. The whole house is covered in scaffolding and a very large tent to protect the works from the weather. A large metal lift is available for members of the public to get to the top where you can go on a walk around the roof of the house and see the work which is being done for yourself.

The walk is fully wheelchair accessible, and enclosed with plywood panels to stop you falling. Every so often there is a glass or Perspex panel so that wheelchair users and children can also see what is going on.

The house has been extended over many centuries and you can see the many different types of construction that has been used. There are lots of different types of bricks and tiles. In one section of the roof there are four panels with different shades of red tiles. These patches were installed a few years ago, before the works began, so that they could choose the best type of tile to use for the restoration.

Because the building work is going on at present they have brought their collections down from the upper rooms into the main house. As the house does not have a lift I had not been able to see these before and had the opportunity to see these for the first time as well.

For lunch, there is the usual National Trust café and fare. I had a sandwich. Wayne chose to have a scone and a cup of tea. As it was nice out we decided to find a table outside. However, when we reached the table he realised that he had forgotten to pick up a cup for his tea. So, he left me at the table with his scone and went back inside. Meanwhile one cheeky crow swooped down onto the table and took Wayne’s scone and dropped it on the floor. Next, a small flock of other crows descended onto the scone and started fighting over it.

On Wayne’s return, all that was left on the table was an empty plate with a few crumbs. At first Wayne thought that I had eaten his scone, but then he saw the crows and the remains of his scone on the floor. So, he went back inside with the empty plate to beg for another one, which the National Trust staff were happy to oblige.

The weather was nice and it was very pleasant walking around the formal gardens and grounds.

I am a member of the National Trust so I get in for ‘free’ but for non-members it is £11.75. There is disabled parking by the entrance and access is flat. There is a longish walk from the car park entrance to the house with a shuttle bus available for those who can’t walk.