A couple of months ago when we were on holiday in Shropshire we took a visit to Attingham Park. As we are members of the National Trust we always try to visit at least one of their properties wherever we are and our membership has paid for itself dozens of times over. I do love the freedom membership gives us as it means we are happy to go to a NT site for a just a few hours, rather than having to take a whole day.
We arrived at Attingham Park about 2pm after a morning in Shrewsbury and we wasn't quite sure what the weather would do so we headed straight off to explore the grounds and find the play field that we had heard was fabulous. After a meander through the glorious walled kitchen garden, past the bothy, through a conservatory and across a small orchard we came to the play field and no, we were not disappointed.
The play field is just as it sounds, a massive fenced and gated area with swings, slides, climbing equipment, natural hills, a fort kind of area, concrete table tennis tables and loads more. It is perfect for imaginative play and there is so much there for the kids to do. We managed to bag a bench and table as there were quite a few dotted around for the adults but also lots of families had taken a large area with blankets and such on the floor for a fun picnic.
There were refreshments available to purchase and toilets close at hand, so it made it very easy to use this area for a good hour or so but I imagine some people come here for hours. We payed 50p for a table tennis ball and borrowed some bats and JJ and I really enjoyed ourselves running around and hardly hitting any of the balls!
Once out the play field we decided to take the long walk back to the house and go to see if we could spot some deer. We had a really nice walk through some woods and across a bridge. The signage made it easy to choose which walk we wanted to take and we saw lots of families with their dogs in the woods, so this is somewhere nice to explore if you like to take your pet with you.
On our walk we saw loads of deer and all different types. I have to say that Miss M and I were a bit scared and we stayed a long way back from the deer and hence I didn't manage to get any really great pictures but it made my husbands day as he loves to see the wildlife. It is quite something to walk through a wide open field and see a group of about 20 deer, including mighty stags happily grazing together.
We probably spent a good 90 minutes exploring the grounds and walking the woods and fields. It really is beautiful and to be highly recommended. The walk ended up taking us in a big circle and we came up to the house about 5pm and silly me I assumed the house would have closed inside, so we did a few external photos and vowed to come back another day. Sadly we had such a busy week we didn't manage to go back to explore the inside but from some of the posters we saw around the site it looks as if we missed a treat and whilst we were having a delicious cream tea in the Carriage House Cafe we noticed the house was open until 5.30pm and we could have had a peek around. Oh well, next time.
The kids were just as happy having a nose in the Grooms' rooms and choosing themselves some bargain second-hand books to read on the journey back home.
A family ticket to explore the play field, park and walled garden like we did is £16.85 for the day and this is great value, or if you want the full experience with the mansion too then the price is £28.10 for all the family to gain access. As with all NT properties it is really well maintained, we found access and parking easy and there were plenty of toilets and dining options.
This is probably my favourite picture from the day, it was just before we were going to go home. Dh sat down and the kids jumped on him!
I'm linking this post up with Fiona at Coombe Mill for #CountryKids.
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