Even before we had children, Hubs and I have always been National Trust members. We used to while away many hours strolling around beautiful gardens, exploring stately homes and sampling the menus in some of the finest little eateries in the country.
Fast forward a couple of years, two children later and we are still in love with all things National Trust. Their nearest property is a stones throw away from our house, which is perfect for those days when that SAHM cabin fever hits.
Now that Baby J is walking there is no stopping her, the nature trails are ideal for her to explore. Our local property has den building, tree climbing, swings and tree stump courses! The swings are her absolute favourite and the first thing we have to do when we arrive! The Stable Yard is picturesque, with stone buildings oozing history. With a café that does a victoria sponge to die for and a shop full of gorgeous items, it really is the perfect day out.
As NT members entry to the houses and gardens is free. Walking around the gardens at their properties is always a treat, different flowers bloom throughout the year making it a different experience with each visit. If you decide to go inside the properties there are activities geared up for keeping little ones entertained, whilst teaching them about the history of the property along the way.
Now for the best bit! If you have little ones in tow and you all like to explore, the NT have created the 50 Things to do Before You’re 11 3/4 list! It’s a list of activities designed to get children outside and active whatever the weather. The activities include: picking wild berries, star gazing and making mud pies among many more. Not only does it keep the munchkins active but they learn so much whilst they are at it.
This list can be ticked off online, in a book available from the NT and they even have their very own ’50 Things’ app – perfect for the techy kids out there! As Baby J is a keen explorer, we have downloaded our app and we are heading out to start our ’50 Things’ journey – take a peek at our Instagram here to see how we get on!
Our top 5 favourite National Trust properties:
- Calke Abbey – this is my all time favourite. The house is a stately home in disrepair after the last owner could not afford it’s upkeep. The gardens and park offer hours of fun and exploration – an absolute must for any fellow National Trust geeks out there!
- Sudbury Hall – this property also houses the NT Museum of Childhood which is definitely worth a visit whatever your age.
- Clumber Park – picturesque grounds, a discovery centre ideal for the munchkins and if you like to visit Churches this on is a must see!
- Hardwick Hall – beautiful gardens and an activity filled house and park, a definite must with children!
- St. Michaels Mount – whether you cross the causeway or ride the tides this property and island is fascinating, with breath-taking views for miles out to sea. Keep an eye out for the giant’s heart on the way up!
*This post is my own personal opinion. It is in no way associated with the National Trust.