I was raised on National Trust properties; my mum likes to remind me of the time I got told off for running and flapping my coat down the long gallery at somewhere or other. To be honest, can you blame me? Back then the National Trust really wasn’t geared up for children – everything in the houses was look don’t touch, and the gardens were just borders of plants with no exciting play spaces.
The National Trust really have put in a lot of effort to make their properties more inviting to children, and more family friendly, and that’s why we love them! Our NT membership is definitely money well spent. Free parking, a toilet (with baby change), a cafe and a playground means they are the perfect place to stop off on long journeys, as well as a brilliant place to go for a whole day out.
The forecast for Sunday was looking really good, so we planned for a picnic and headed over to The Vyne for some fresh air and exercise. The parking isn’t great, and the overflow area was off limits, so we had some difficulty finding a place to leave the car, meaning it was nearly midday before we got inside.
We headed straight for the picnic area which also has lots of toys – ride on tractors, bouncy cows and lawn mowers. We had pasta and hard boiled eggs for lunch, two of Rosalie’s favourite foods, but the temptation of the toys was too much! It’s exciting seeing her go off on her own now that she’s bigger – she was happy to go off and find a tractor to climb on (although pedaling it proved more of a challenge and required a push from daddy!); and she ran off to relieve a bouncy cow from a group of older girls.
The daffodils were still out in force, creating beautiful swathes of yellow. I couldn’t resist getting some photos of Rosalie amongst them!
I love those last two photos, running into daddy’s arms with the biggest smile on her face. I feel so grateful to have these two in my life.
Rosalie loves climbing on tree stumps and she clambered up here herself. There was lots of beautiful blossom on the trees so I had to snap a few photos of her here too!
There are lots of little places to explore in the woods, including a bit which you get to by walking across a log where there’s a den building area or the log pile house according to Rosalie!
The Hidden Realm play area has a lot going on – water, tunnels, a slide, a bridge and a fireman’s pole. I still worry about Rosalie in large play areas as the bigger kids can be so boisterous, and she still seems so little in comparison. But she had a lot of fun, but wished she had her bucket and spade after seeing some other children digging in the gravel. Note to self: add bucket and spade to list of stuff to take for a day out.
Rosalie was exhausted and had a two hour nap in the afternoon – proof of an exciting day out!
Please note, the National Trust did not ask me to write this post, we just genuinely love their properties!