For south west honeymooners everywhere...

Nearly everyone I talk to about accommodation near Bristol airport moans about not being able to find anything decent. I have to say that up until now I’ve agreed. We all know of the chains and there are indeed a good few B&Bs (though I find these hit and miss). There’s even a gastro pub or two (with rooms). But ahead of my honeymoon – flying back into Bristol and with the intension of extending the romance for a night or two – I was stumped.

Then I remembered The National Trust and a quick cottage search led me to Chaplain's Lodge on the Tyntesfield estate near Wraxall, a mere 6 miles from the airport. We booked in for two nights.

Hidden gem

Dealing with one small negative first and a combination of neither sat nav nor daylight meant it was tricky to locate the exact estate entrance (note that a main gate may be misleadingly closed) and harder still to locate the exact property (the directions weren’t too clear and there’s more than one cottage dotted about).

But these are not things to be dwelled upon. Chaplain's Lodge is simply wonderful – and a real hidden gem for pre / post flight honeymooners.

It’s a painstakingly restored Gothic Victorian gate lodge (in terms of aesthetics I think the restoration is still on-going) with three bedrooms (a single, a double and a twin) split over three levels. It certainly felt cosy enough to be able to close the doors on the other two bedrooms and hibernate for 48 hours or so.

Our arrival pack included not only tea, milk, biscuits etc but a couple of vases of fresh flowers too, a nice touch.

Secret walks

Everything is there that you can think of bar wifi (but come on, you’re meant to be relaxing). Note that there’s also an interconnecting door between Chaplain's Lodge and the house it attaches to (Chaplain's House) meaning in theory there can be one huge house accommodating up to eleven. This was locked during our stay or of course I would have nosed inside...

Renting the property also meant full and free access to the main estate (including the main house) which is stunning, vast and quite breath-taking. We opted to wait until daytime visitors had left and then took walks to the main house and around the gardens – fun, romantic and a huge privilege (it felt like we were starring in our own version of Downton.) There are 500 acres in all.

A little bit of history and in the nineteenth century Chaplain's Lodge was home to the gate keeper but was also later lived in by Mr Hemmings, the butler of the grand estate’s owner, Mr Gibbs. The history of the estate itself is fascinating – including a more recent campaign to save the property from private sale (spoiler alert: the campaign was successful).

Nostalgia and romance

The most wonderful thing about Chaplain's Lodge for me though is what it inspired: a beautifully nostalgic afternoon when we had breakfast in the kitchen with cups of tea and blitz-era music blaring from a radio show. The following day I lost a good hour in the second-hand bookshop on the estate. And we had the most romantic evening walks with views I had no idea existed within ten minutes of Bristol Airport.

Light, airy, clean, comfortable, cosy, nostalgic, romantic – and with the best ‘back garden’ you could ever hope for. What more could you want?

Thank you Chaplain's Lodge for a much needed extension of our honeymoon. We’ll definitely be back.

Call 0344 335 1287 or email cottages@nationaltrust.org.uk to book.