Let’s face it, visiting historical stately homes is interesting for adults, but for children, looking at one opulent room after another, can get a little tedious and before long those words you dread are heard – this is boring! But what I like about visiting National Trust properties is that there’s usually something for children to do rather than just see.
This year the National Trust produced an inspiring list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ . We duly bought our National Trust annual family pass and enjoyed several days out and about visiting some truly outstanding properties. Looking back on 2013 our best days out to NT places were: Waddesdon Manor, Osterly House, Ham House and Studlands Beach. Here are some of the things we’ve ticked off the list- and this time, we’ve done it in rhyme!
Rolling down a hill at Waddesdon Manor
Getting all grassy and our heads spinning round
Our children are dizzy and giggles abound!
This French style chateau complete with fairy tale tower
Is filled with family treasures bought from riches and power.
There’s silverware dinner sets and modern lights made of smashed crockery
Grandfather clocks and even a portrait by David Hockney.
The aviary is filled with exotic birds including the rare Mynas that speak!
Whilst the grounds and gardens have trees, perfect for hide and seek.
Auspicious Osterley House belonged to the Child family,
Bankers that financed the East India Company,
This house was a statement of their arrival in high society.
We stopped at the grand entrance to pat horses and ponies,
And floated some leaves in the large man-made lake,
We wandered in the fragrant herb garden full of spices to cook with and bake.
Ham House, Richmond
is a place of spooks,
a haunted house,
home to duchesses and dukes.
In Easter, we visited and took part in the egg trail,
Then visited the cellar, where they served real ale,
Downstairs were many children’s arts and crafts activities,
Unfortunately, the ghosts and ghouls were hiding during the festivities!
Studland Beach, Dorset
Summertime at Studland Beach, covered with soft golden sand,
is a great place to relax and get tanned!
The kids built a den, a sand castle, and roamed free.
We had loads of fun canoeing and swimming in the glistening warm sea!