In early February on a grey rainy afternoon we found ourselves trudging through the forest looking for a huge den to accommodate all 9 of us along with my (rather heavy) cast iron fondue set. This adventure is best not to be taken too seriously - you don’t want to go far carrying a cast iron fondue set and there is always the threat of the meths spilling out everywhere - but the hot bubbling reward at the end is worth it!
If you want to thoroughly wear your children out take them to National Trusts Anglesey Abbey. To keep them occupied there is a 2-story tree house, woodland xylophone, secret garden, willow tunnel, discovery cabin to route around in, hammocks to lounge in, fortresses to protect, hay bales to run on and a dream dome for you to contemplate why you haven’t got quite as much energy as these little people! That’s all just in Hoe fen - then there is the rest of the gardens, the house, the mill and the restaurant.
This 16th Century Manor House is the boys favourite National Trust property. The interior was created by a collaboration between the National Trust and the BBC to reflect the house’s use through the ages. This is not a great spot for a Heritage purist, but if you are a little person who likes dressing up, playing chef and climbing in four poster beds, then it is the stuff dreams are made of.
If you ever find yourself unsuccessfully trying to persuade your little people out the door into the great outdoors, you may need some geocaching in your life! Treasure hunting, orienteering, a secret quest and scampering around in the leaves with the thrill of the find around the corner – what’s not to like?
Built 4500 years ago with what must have been a deep love or honour for its long-forgotten cause. The largest prehistoric stone circle in the World, with deep ditches and hundreds of stones, some of which are truly enormous. All worked by hand with simple tools and brute strength. If you can’t feel the wonder or the magic of this place then you are dead inside!
You can smell the apples before you can see them at the New Forest Cider Making Weekend. Everywhere you look apples are being squashed by hand presses with good old graft as power, enormous steam powered contraptions and everything in between. Live music and cider in every form – this is how country fairs should be!
We have sat outside this ancient rural pub in the sunshine on huge rocks taking in the sea views and we have snuggled inside with our children asleep around us, whiling away the evening alongside tourists, walkers and locals – it is one of my favourite pubs for so many reasons!
There are few places more magical than sunrise at Stonehenge. Standing there as others would have 5000 years ago, watching the same sun rise up between the stones – it doesn’t get more atmospheric than that.
Our trip to Dancing Ledge was about as idyllic as it could possibly be. A scenic coastal walk, a spot of rock climbing and then a swim in a crystal-clear pool with the tide lapping on the shore only feet away.
The lost gardens of Heligan are as magical as the story behind them. Hidden away under decades of weeds they were discovered and now thrive. Complete with its own jungle, rope bridge, magical gardens, sculptures, woodland, giant exotic plants, rare breeds and the best holiday actives for children imaginable.