This is our second year of being National Trust members and I am no where close to being bored of it. We will often visit the same spots several times a year, but each visit is unique and just as fun depending on the season or time of year. Last Saturday we decided to start off the school hols by going back to Beningbrough Hall (not far from York) to enjoy some family time there. It was Megan and I’s second visit, Nathan and Ethan’s 1st.
I really like the location, the views and lots of other things about it, and it was lovely to not only spend time together there for a chilled start to bank holiday weekend, but also have our 1st picnic of the year and really take in and appreciate the wonderful things it has to offer. For some reason it is a place I think a lot about and one I am always excited to return to – Here are my top 5 reasons why:
- An Amazing play area – National trust is renowned for its outdoor play facilities and it never ceases to amaze me the lengths they go to to build them. Each one is fabulous and a place that stretches the kids physically and imaginatively. I love this one because it is deep in the woods, large and has a cool fort with wooden horses outside of it, as well as swings, a wooden house, boat and “pirate look out”. We had our picnic here on the tables provided and it was brilliant to see the kids go from one spot to another, changing character, making plans and munching carrot sticks!
- Pockets of History all around – This stood out to me and stayed with me from the 1st time I visited last Autumn with my sister in law. I love that around every corner there are little buildings to wander into boasting an array of articles from way back when…the potting shed and Victorian laundry are especially interesting, and really captured the kids attention. They had lots of questions and especially enjoyed seeing how clothes were laundered in “the olden days”!
- Children’s facilities in the house – I love to visit old houses, I love to see how the other half lived and read little unique tales about the people who daily walked the halls and rooms. Kids however do not, and whilst mine are becoming more and more intrigued by “the olden days”, they still haven’t grasped the etiquette of viewing stately homes. Cooperation is guaranteed though when there is something for the kids, and not only did they have a little “find the dogs” around the house, but they also had dress up areas, an interactive gallery and play room – all of which was very appealing to the kids and made it a pleasant and rowdy free visit around the house!
- Beautiful gardens and woodland walks – I am really getting into and appreciating the gardens of stately homes and I find it most peaceful to just stroll through them. I like the old metal gates, the little ponds and ever changing plants. The kids too, since helping Grandma in her garden, have taken more interest and will ask about plants and vegetables, comment on the lovely colours and smells and look for bees and insects. The near by woods and little paths make for more fun and adventures and opportunities to find dens and logs to climb on.
- Free Scooters and Bikes for the Kids – Saving the best til last, this is an absolutely brilliant idea that the kids just love. They have various bikes and scooters lying around the grounds for visitors to use and enjoy. The kids ride them for a bit and then leave them somewhere for the next kids to come along and pick up. Its a lot of fun and a great way to learn to share and take turns.
I can’t wait to go back again during the summer hols, check out the latest plants and things they have going on for the kids, and spend a warm day picnicking and wandering in lovely Yorkshire scenery!