We were so excited earlier this month to visit Attingham Park previously owned by Lord and Lady Berwick and now managed by the National Trust we were eager to explore everything the estate had to offer.
Attingham is about a 2 1/2 hours from where we live, with two boys ages four and one at the time we anticipated arriving closer to lunch time but as it happened we arrived only fifteen minutes from when the entire property opens to the public. We were greeted by a friendly volunteer who asked us had we visited Attingham before, we hadn’t and so she explained to us all the highlights of the estate from the pleasure grounds, house, walled garden and many more.
After you pass the main entrance you meander through a spacious walk way until you reach the courtyard area, here you will find the cafe, shop, toilets, second hand bookshop and exit to the grounds.
I can’t recommend highly enough to purchase a National Trust passport, at only five pounds they bring such joy to a trip out with our children. When you visit a new place simply take your passport to the shop where they will use a unique stamp to remind you of our visit as well as date it for you too. Four year old Nathanael always wants his stamp immediately so we made sure to visit the shop first.
Then we headed off following the map provided towards the Walled Garden. Attingham featured on the first season of Channel Five Series National Trust Secrets after their depiction we couldn’t wait to see it for ourselves.
The Walled Garden has been lovingly restored over a period of ten years by the trust and is everything you would expect it to be. Nathanael loved spotting the vegetables he knows from his grandparents allotment especially the rhubarb.
There are signs spaced around the garden with information of how they began to restore the space which was great as our next visit scheduled for our trip was Shugborough Estate which was only taken over by the Trust last year. Already you can see this wealth of knowledge being transferred at other properties.
We took our picnic and found a spot in the fields where the playground area is situated, there are plenty of benches as well as a portable stand that had a great selection from drinks, ice-creams and snacks.
The play area is well thought out for a diverse age range our youngest liked the swings and the smaller slide while our eldest loved exploring the tunnels, small cabins and wagon slide too.
After our break we headed through the play area to meet up with the woodland walk, our children adore being outdoors with so much to see and we are free to go at their pace without being rushed. We particularly appreciated the signs regarding dogs being on leads or not, I happen to love dogs but I can see that if you don’t knowing when one will be on a lead or not is great. It also helped with the children as they are both inquisitive it can be a bit much for a dog suddenly to have children surrounding them so we could look out for this.
On our walk the children spotted so many interesting things, places to build a den, a stream running through and even a place to cross over stepping stones. Nathanael had to show his Mummy how to balance.
At the start of May there was plenty of bluebells to enjoy as we made our way on the walk, making sure not to run into them so others can enjoy the beauty of our native flower for many years to come.
We then trekked off into the Deer Park walk, the view of the estate was glorious! We also got to see the Berwick memorial in honour of the Lord who loved the deer park so much.
We were well rewarded after our long walk to spot a group of deer lounging in the shade of the trees. What a beautiful sight!
The deer park walk ends brining you to the house itself, we didn’t have chance to see inside as we opted for a Cream Tea in the courtyard cafe. As to be expected the food was delicious, as well as touring the places of the National Trust I can also rate their cream teas at each place too.
After refreshments we headed over to their second hand bookshops which was very impressive having three levels and so many genres. The boys were successful when we discovered a book in which you can create your own scene of vehicles from felt pieces enclosed,a steal for 50p – who didn’t love felt boards as a kid!
With a final tour around the play area we were finished at Attingham for the day. We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent there and there is truly something for all ages. We would love to return at some point to tour the house perhaps when the boys are a little older.
Let me know in the comments below some of your favourite National Trust places!