Last weekend on a whim we decided to head over to Bateman's, a beautiful National Trust site just about a half-hour from our home. My husband had seen a tweet that they were having a World War I encampment weekend complete with a mess tent, field ambulance, planes and more.
So without there being any extra cost to go along (just the regular entry or your membership if you have already joined), we headed over there. We could see it would be busy as we headed into an overflow car park but it was all managed well and it only took minutes to park and get settled. There was also no parking cost, which is unusual for NT sites.
We've been to Bateman's before, back in May 2014 I wrote about our fun family day exploring the house of Rudyard Kipling, author of the Jungle Book but this time we didn't even get into the house or to explore the grounds too much as the focus of our visit was the WWI re-enactments. We are intending to head back again though in the near future as there are loads of estate walks that we want to take, the scenery there is just stunning.
The camp was open from 11am - 4pm each day and you could easily spend a few hours there as there were so many ex-soldiers and historians who were delighted to speak to you and help you to understand what life was like back in the early 1900s. There was also a central roped off area for displays and demonstration and the things happening here changed throughout the day.
There was a couple of planes that you could get really close to, some fabulous leathercraft for the kids to take part in (just £1.50 per child) and an actual re-enactment of a battle to close the day. It looks like this wonderful event takes place yearly at Bateman's too, around the same time each year, so keep an eye out for early August next year.
I think this kind of event is best seen in pictures, so without further ado, here you go -
Also, one of the kids favourite activities at Bateman's is watching all the goldfish in the very large pond.
Whilst we were at Bateman's we enjoyed a cappuccino, brownie and ice cream from the Mulberry Tearoom. It is really pleasant with lots of indoor and outdoor seating. The Cappuccinos cost us £2.50 each, £2.25 for the brownie and £2.00 for an ice-cream. The kids also enjoyed visiting the shop and Miss E bought herself a gooey slug, it was disgusting but made her happy and it is good to see they have cheap £3 toys for the little one's pocket money!
Bateman's is open all year round and the regular entry costs are £26.25 for a family or £10.40 for an adult and £5.20 for a child. I think these are very reasonable as you can spend quite some hours at Bateman's as there is the house, a mill, formal gardens and the wider estate for walking.
The site is generally open 10am - 5pm daily and the times of the house change according to the season, so check the website before travelling.
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Disclosure: We've received some free passes to allow us entry to this National Trust site for the purpose of writing about it. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.