Days Out, My Favourite Family

National Trust’s Upton House and Gardens in Warwickshire

Over the weekend, we had a lovely day out at Upton House and Gardens, in Warwickshire, close to Banbury in Oxfordshire. It’s a National Trust property, and we have been here before, but this time there was a brilliant exhibition called ‘Banking for Victory’, about what happened to the house during the Second World War.

Upton House

We started off with lunch in the lovely restaurant, then had a (rather chilly) walk around the grounds. The estate was only partly open as it’s winter, but even so, it was lovely.

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Then we went on our tour of the house, which is really homey, and cosy. When war broke out, the Bearsted family move out of the beautiful house, and their family bank, M. Samuel & Co. moved in! The bank stayed there for the whole war, to protect the staff and the banking assets from air-raids in London.

We started in the Dining Room, which was set up as if the family had just left it after War was declared.

Upton House's Dining Room

The Dining Room was set up as it would have been on the day that War was declared.

That is the only room that looked like it would have done before the war – all the others had sheets draped over the beautiful furniture, and the bedrooms were set up like dormitories for the bank staff to sleep in. The Bearsteds had prepared really well for the war, and moved their business up to the house from London, and also moved their valuable paintings from London too.

If you’ve read my post on our New Year’s Resolutions you’ll know we are hoping to live a more sustainable life, and I found the vintage posters and recycling systems really interesting – good inspiration for us all!War Recycling at Upton House

I always like seeing the kitchens at stately homes, and the one at Upton did not disappoint – just look at those Agas!

Upton House's Agas

Not one, but two beautiful Agas!

Vintage Aga poster

It makes me want an Aga.

Ava was really fascinated by the vintage typewriters, though she struggled to press the buttons. We weren’t sure if she’d like looking round the house, but she did, albeit in quite a quick fashion!

Vintage Elizabeth Arden Ardena cosmetics at Upton House

Isn’t this a beautiful collection of potions?

We finished with tea and cake in the restaurant again, yum!

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Marjorie's Golden Rules for the Perfect Cuppa!

Good advice here for making the perfect cup of tea!

It was getting dark as we walked back to the car, and the house looked pretty gorgeous.

Upton House at dusk

The house looked stunning as we left at dusk.

The exhibition is on for a few years, and I’d definitely recommend it, especially if your kids are studying the war at school.

Upton House events

There are lots of great events coming up!

Run Jump Scrap!
Life Unexpected


  1. Love Family Holidays

    21st March 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I need to get myself national trust membership! Want to visit Belton House very soon – apparently it has a fantastic kids park!

    1. Becky Pink

      21st March 2016 at 9:05 pm

      I really recommend getting membership – the more you use it, the happier you get! Enjoy Belton House xx

      1. Love Family Holidays

        24th May 2016 at 6:05 am

        We finally made it! You’re welcome to read about our experience! 🙂 Seriously considering your advice on getting membership!

        1. Becky Pink

          24th May 2016 at 8:53 pm

          I just went and had a look, it looks like you had a great time, I’m so glad! xx

  2. Jenny Eaves

    27th January 2016 at 1:24 pm

    A fab exhibition! I love learning about the wartime and what better way than looking at the memorabilia and posters that would have been dotted around. It looks like a great place for an explore and find lots if interesting things, my two. We’re fascinated by the type writers at our local museum and insisted on sitting ‘typing’ for ages. I loved my parents old typewriter, tempted to get one again for fun!
    Thanks for for linking up to #Whateverthweather 🙂 x

  3. Chloe

    24th January 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Wow what a great place and wonderful exhibitions. I love looking at old houses and places kept in a time warp state. You can really use your imagination to see how people used to live and it’s always interesting seeing the things they used then compared to ours now. It sounds like a lovely place to explore. Thank you for sharing your adventure on #whatevertheweather x

    1. Becky Pink

      24th January 2016 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks Chloe, we love the National Trust for that, and the fact that there is always plenty of space to run around outside too! Perfect for all weathers. xx

  4. Polly Williams

    23rd January 2016 at 9:57 pm

    This looks so lovely, loads to look at and a beautiful setting too. I brought myself a national trust pass for Christmas and can’t wait to start exploring xx

    1. Becky Pink

      23rd January 2016 at 11:18 pm

      Yay we got our membership with our Christmas money and think we will only need to go to two more places to get our money’s worth. We had membership part of last year too, but let it lapse because we got RHS cards. There are more reviews of NT places on my blog if you want to read any more. Enjoy your membership! xx

  5. Claire

    21st January 2016 at 7:59 pm

    What an interesting exhibition and a new angle on somewhere you’ve visited before. i love all the old wartime posters and have the one about switching off lights in my kitchen 🙂 #whatevertheweather

    1. Becky Pink

      21st January 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks Claire, I bet that looks fab, I think I might try and print some out as a reminder to us all! xx

  6. Mummy on a Budget

    21st January 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Looks like a fascinating place. We love visiting National Trust places but rarely venture into the houses as LO is still a bit young and I’m always nervous of what she’ll touch!

    1. Becky Pink

      21st January 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Ha ha I know what you mean – often Ryan will explore the grounds with the girls whilst I look at the house, but actually they were really good (though we had to carry Thea around!) xx

  7. Emma

    21st January 2016 at 9:34 am

    That looks a fascinating place to visit and great for everyone in the family! #whatevertheweather

    1. Becky Pink

      21st January 2016 at 9:44 am

      It really is lovely, thanks so much for reading xx

  8. thisdayilove

    20th January 2016 at 11:10 pm

    What a fantastic place to explore, and look at those Aga!

    1. Becky Pink

      21st January 2016 at 9:45 am

      They are gorgeous aren’t they! And really shiny. I love the idea of them but our kitchen is too small – they make a room so cosy xx

  9. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap)

    20th January 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Looks really interesting! I’m always a big fan of historical kitchens are well…no clue why as hubby does the cooking. I bet you had a lovely day together and 2 times in the restaurant is pretty cool 🙂 Great piccys too. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

    1. Becky Pink

      20th January 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks for hosting Sarah, it was a lovely day thanks xx

  10. Mackenzie Glanville

    20th January 2016 at 9:29 am

    The history is just amazing! I long to visit England it is so full of history we just don’t have the same here in Australia. A though we are in Tasmania at the moment and it is quite rich with Convict History. I love a good cuppa! #bestandworst

    1. Becky Pink

      20th January 2016 at 10:00 am

      Thanks Mackenzie, If you’re planning on visiting England, the National Trust have so many amazing properties – I;ve never found one I didn’t like! And they almost all have excellent cafes, so what’s not to love! xx

  11. Donna

    19th January 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Oh I just love National Trust! We got passes in the summer and have been to so many places. This is on my list of places to go to though – looks like you had a great day out x

    1. Becky Pink

      20th January 2016 at 9:58 am

      Oooh yes I really recommend it, we all had a great time and it will be lovely in summer too xx

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