Tag Archives: National Trust

Cragside and the Labyrinth

30 Sep

Cragside is so vast, we are always finding new areas of the estate to explore. Spotted this good place for a breather before we got lost in the Labyrinth… enjoy the surprise if you find the middle!















Cragside House & Gardens


Water poking on the lakes walk at Cragside

7 Apr






I always feel like I am entering a world slightly apart from the rest of Northumberland when I cross through the gates of Cragside that the great North East engineer Lord Armstrong carved out of the rocky moorland.

We’ve visited several times before but barely ever seem to skim the surface of  this vast estate, especially walking at 3-year-old pace…

This time we followed the driveway through the archway leading to the house and carried on until we reached the Crozier car park, which is very conveniently right next to the good-sized adventure play area. After a picnic, clamber about and a zipwire or ten we headed off towards one of the artificial lakes Lord Armstrong created  to harness the power of water for the turbine at the Power House.

The children loved climbing over the bare rock faces and the lakeside walk is much flatter than many of the other walks and much easier on little legs, with lots of places to make hideaways and dens along the way. We did the loop following the signs for Nelly’s Moss North and South and the path that separates the two lakes is a beautiful spot for a picnic, with plenty of opportunities to play that amazing game of poke a stick in the water and get ourselves soaking wet since mummy hasn’t brought a chance of clothes – one of my two’s favourites…

On a practical note, there are toilets and picnic benches at the carpark/playarea and even a little van selling coffee and snacks.

More details of the walk can be found here…


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Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle

20 Oct





Holy Island

Holy Island
















Sometimes revisiting childhood memories can disappoint, not Lindisfarne. Had a wonderful day taking my daughters on their first visit. Can’t believe I have not been for so long. A magical place.

Practicalities: Pushchair friendly until you get to the castle summit which is pretty steep, although I did see a Phil & Teds at the top! A baby change can be found in the central car park.

Check out the safe crossing times at’c2~http://www.northumberlandlife.org/holy-island/




September walk at Gibside

22 Sep

Beautiful day at Gibside today. We usually only get as far as the Strawberry Castle Fort as at toddler pace that can take up a few hours in itself. But today we came armed with the backpacks and set off to explore further afield. With the new path opened through the West Wood it was great to be able to continue on and the children enjoyed hunting out the carved wooden creatures in the forest. After a visit to the stables, where they milked Daisy and played in the discovery room we headed back where the favourite activity of the day was gathering acorns under the oak trees. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside/


Seaton Delaval Hall

4 Aug
Picnic, hay fight and statues


Wallington Hall

1 Aug
After becoming accustomed to the gentle political correctness of cbeebies, my first Punch & Judy show since I was a kid myself came as a bit of a shock, especially against the sophisticated backdrop of Wallington Hall. But everyone loved it. It was one of several special events thrown on over the summer in the Best of British theme. With four children between my friend and I aged 7, 4, 3, and almost 2, Wallington was a great place for them all to let off steam and have the all important picnic. First we headed to the most recent addition, a train climbing frame, where they all enjoyed clambering about and there was some very imaginative role play going on with a group of boys shovelling coal into the engine. Then via some foraging and muddy puddles we moved onto the playpark, with swings, a slide a zip wire and much more. It was then time for Punch & Judy, where despite being a bit taken aback by the sight of punch battering a baby, all seemed to have a good time. After a picnic on the grass we then explored the grounds and the Olympic theme was a great idea. I couldn’t believe how hard work sack racing was! The different activities including triple jumps, skittles and hoop throwing kept everyone entertained. We didn’t have time to explore the house or extensive grounds, but from a previous visit I can tell you they are all worth the trip. One of the best things about Wallington with young children is that the main attractions are quite compact, it is just a few minutes to the play area or the house, with handy toilets and a cafe on hand. But if you want to extend your trip the gardens and lakes are also an option. It is also pushchair friendly. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wallington/par



Gibside and the amazing Strawberry Fort

1 Aug




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