My summer break has officially started (in fact I’m almost at the end of the first week) and we are always on the look out for fun family days out that don’t cost the earth.
We renewed our National Trust membership in January and I am ashamed to say that we haven’t used it once since then! I literally don’t know where the time has gone. In order to help us get our money’s worth over the next 6 months, I have decided to write a National Trust bucket list of places I’d like to visit over the summer holidays.
Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire.
Mr Mess visited here in his teens and twenties (some time ago now) and has been saying he’d like to go back and visit for some time now. Apparently it’s a beautiful and atmospheric place to visit with some particularly impressive gardens and grounds. Although it’s a decent drive away we thought it would be nice for a family day trip and picnic. As well as the abbey ruins, water garden and medieval deer park there is also a restaurant, tea room and shop plus there’s a play area which is always a hit for the kids!
Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
I’m particularly interested in visiting Calke Abbey as it’s supposed to be an example of a country house estate in decline. It’s also probably one of the only National Trust properties in Derbyshire so I feel like I should really check it out. There is also a restaurant to get lunch (or maybe an afternoon tea!) and the ever important children’s play area.
The Workhouse, Southwell, Nottinghamshire
This Victorian workhouse was built in 1824 as a refuge for poor people who had no other place to go. I’m probably going to visit this one without the children, as I worry the subject matter could be a little upsetting, but I personally will find it fascinating from a historical viewpoint. There are facilities there for children, such as dressing up, so I may be tempted to take them when they’re older for educational purposes but just now I feel like they’re a little young.
Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk
We’ll be taking a trip down to Norfolk later in the year and this is one of the National Trust properties that I haven’t visited yet. The National Trust website describes Felbrigg as a “hidden gem” and there are a number of activities for the kids (and a play area), so I’m sure we’ll have a lovely day out there.
Belton Hall, Lincolnshire
This one is kind of a bit of a cheat as I have actually been there before. However, the kids moaned the WHOLE way around the house and gardens and so I really didn’t get the opportunity to have a good explore. As awful as it sounds, I’d really like to go back, adults-only, so that I can really appreciate all the the beautiful house and gardens have to offer!
There are tons more that have caught my eye and I hope to see, but these are the top ones on my list so far. Hopefully I can write about my visits on the blog in a few weeks time.
Have you visited any National Trust properties? Do you have any that you’d particularly recommend?