Over the past few weeks, Munira has visited many local tourist attractions to lend her support to staff and volunteers as they reopen following lockdown closures.
Following her ‘staycation’ visits Munira said:
“Foreign travel may be difficult at the moment, but this summer is an opportunity to explore everything our local community has to offer. Twickenham is blessed with wonderful cultural, sporting, natural and historic attractions. There is something for everyone.
“These sites have done fantastically well to adapt over the past 18 months including: keeping gardens and grounds open where possible, providing online talks and events and keeping volunteers, staff and communities engaged.. This is no small feat, and a testament to the local communities’ support.”
“As these sites re-open I encourage everyone to visit and support sites across the constituency.”
Beginning with Marble Hill House and Park, Munira learnt about the £8 million refurbishment project that has taken place in the grounds to reinstate them to the original 1748 splendour, when it was a retreat from court for Henrietta Howard. Situated next to the Thames, it is a wonderful way to spend a few hours.
Just down the road from Marble Hill is Turner’s House. The house is truly a ‘hidden gem’, built in 1813 and designed by Turner to be a tranquil retreat. Munira was particularly pleased to learn about the work Turner’s House Trust does with local schools and charities.
Also on the Thames, Munira spent a wonderful afternoon at Horace Walpole’s “little gothic castle”, Strawberry Hill House and Garden. The extravagantly gothic house is filled with curious artefacts to discover. The grounds are glorious and include a community garden which is now being prescribed for many, such as those with dementia.
Stepping further back in time, Munira had the pleasure of visiting Hampton Court Palace, formerly home of Thomas Wolsey and then famously, Henry VIII. The grounds here are also spectacular, including the oldest surviving hedge maze in Britain. There is much to explore for a day-trip, and it is a must visit. The annual membership is also great value for locals, especially for those with children wanting to access the Magic Garden on a regular basis.
If history and architecture are not your thing, then you might prefer the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham Stadium which holds the most extensive collection of rugby memorabilia in the world, including over 11,000 historic photographs. Combined with a stadium tour and an interactive zone, it is a great family day out.