The ‘why’ of this challenge is a slightly complicated question. I think the inspiration first came from the thought that I was just simply not taking enough holidays! I go on several weekend breaks with friends each year but take very few extended holidays, having always been a little reluctant to travel alone for any length of time and apprehensive about travelling abroad by myself. As a result, I thought that perhaps it was time to take a few holidays in the UK, which I might be better able to tackle alone.
And this led me on to the NT. As a child, I went on many holidays around Britain, which always included numerous visits to stately homes and gardens, so there was something comforting and familiar about the idea. Somehow, I think I will find it easier to take the plunge into solo holidays if I have a specific plan in place before I go.
That is not to say that I plan on doing this whole challenge on my own! I already have visits to Dorset and Kent properties lined up with friends over the next couple of months and I will be happy to welcome other friends and relatives who might want to accompany me at any time… although they should be warned that I intend to cover every property in as much detail as I can, with the inclusion of as many on-site cafés and second-hand bookshops as possible!