Anglesey Abbey is absolutely huge. We went in the autumn to try and catch the trees at their best. I think we may have either missed it slightly or gone too early – but it was still absolutely stunning. There is so much to love about this National Trust site – beautiful gardens to wander, a woodland adventure trail, a tree house and somewhere to stop for a coffee or cake on your way home. I can’t wait to visit Anglesey Abbey at all different times of the year to really get a feel for it. There’s also Lodge Mill and Lord Fairhaven’s House to visit whilst there. In the summer it is worth bringing a picnic – there’s lots of places to sit and enjoy the view whilst letting the little ones run about. You can see more info via our post here.
It’s only after my lovely friend recommended Wimpole that we decided to head there for a morning out – and what a gorgeous morning it was. Wander through the gorgeous gardens (they really are stunning) and head towards the home farm where the little ones can wander about and spot the animals. They have lots of pigs, horses goats and more – along with daily events including pig feeding, meeting rabbits, donkey grooming and meeting a farmer. Around the corner from the home farm, you’ll find an adventure playground for the kids to play on with climbing frames, balance beams and swings; also picnic tables and chairs nestled under the trees, its a place where the whole family can all unwind. They also have the beautiful hall to explore and a lovely courtyard where you can stop by for a coffee or cake. I can’t wait to head back to Wimpole and explore again!
Now, Dunstable Downs just reminds me of being a kid. We used to go here a lot, and whilst Daisy was still a baby we’d bring her here and go for a nice long walk. It’s the scenery that gets me every time – if you’ve been to Dunstable Downs then I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s just beautiful. They have a little shop and a cafe that you can head into if you need to shelter from the wind or the cold – talking of wind – it’s the perfect place to fly a kite! Be sure to keep an eye on the National Trust website to see what events they have on – there’s usually always something interesting to do depending on the time of year!
Before you head to Shaw’s Corner you should be aware that it is a very small site. Nonetheless, it’s a great place to spend a morning or afternoon wandering about the gardens and the house. What I loved about Shaw’s Corner is that it has a lot of history – Playwright, politician, and philosopher George Bernard Shaw lived in this Edwardian villa for over 40 years from 1906. 70 years ago he was one of the most famous, most photographed and most quoted men in the world. His home is left pretty much exactly how he left it – you can wander from room to room getting a feel for the gorgeous house and the life he lived. There are also a few custom sheds dotted around the site that he transformed into his workspace so he could escape from the home to work. It was a little less modern than the kind of office shed you can get today, but you can attempt to spin this shed around in the garden, and my little one found this great fun. There’s a little shop and some deck chairs that you can relax on in front of the green.
This is yet another great place to enjoy all year round. Ashridge Estate is a large area of the Chiltern Hills with beech and oak woodlands, commons and chalk downlands. These stunning landscapes each support a huge variety of wildlife, including carpets of bluebells in spring, rare butterflies in summer and fallow deer that rut in autumn. They have a cafe that you can stop by to have a nice English breakfast, light lunches and afternoon tea or you can bring your own picnic! It’s a beautiful place to wander through any time of the year.
What are your favourite National Trust sites?!