Monday, 22 April 2013
At the weekend
On Saturday afternoon we took advantage of the National Trust's "Visit for Free" voucher and went to beautiful Newark Park in Gloucestershire.
The grounds were lovely and in the sun it really felt like spring. The children had to look for dragon clues as we walked, which helped move them along, although it was nice to dawdle a bit too.
Everywhere under the trees was smothered in strong-smelling wild garlic.
Inside the house was very relaxed. Most of the rooms were not roped off, and visitors were encouraged to feel at home. We sat in here for a moment, enjoying the view and the piles of Country Living magazines. Of course, small boys don't sit still for long so then we were off upstairs.
The house is on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment, and the view is breathtaking. You can literally see for miles and miles, and to have lived there and to have woken up to see this must have been amazing.
I found this amazing quilt on one of the beds. Then everyone had finished the indoor trail questions and we were back off outside.
There was plenty of space to play, and a choice of croquet, chess, chequers and garden-sized Jenga, which entertained them for ages while the grown-ups sat on benches. OH practised his golf-swing with a croquet mallet until I pointed out that if the end flew off he could kill someone. Later on the littlest boy managed to get the end off of his.
Of course, there were peacocks, and they wandered around amongst us while we played. And further out from the property there were dozens of plump pheasants grazing in the fields.
And lambs, lots of lambs. All in all a fantastic afternoon. The kind that restores your soul and helps you face the week ahead. Thank you National Trust for the opportunity to visit for free.