National Trust Family Friendly feedback thread NOW CLOSED

(49 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 15-Oct-13 12:49:26

This thread is for the 44 Mumsnetters who visited a National Trust location with their families. As part of the National Trust's MN Family Friendly membership (for more info see: www.mumsnet.com/family-friendly/nt), we asked MN Insight panel members to visit these specific properties to report back on how Family Friendly they were.

Here's what National Trust say: "Were really keen that families visiting our places feel welcomed, and free to enjoy themselves. Thats why we have come up with our family friendly standards. Your feedback will help us to understand how were doing and whether were missing any opportunities. Thank you very much for taking the time to do this for us and we hope you enjoy your visit!"

Below are a few feedback questions for you to answer - if you have any more comments, please feel free to add them to your response.

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

- What was the weather like when you visited?

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

All selected testers who adds a comment to this thread (and who complete the feedback form which was emailed to you) will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £100 National Trust gift voucher.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!

MNHQ

PS If you're not yet part of our Insight Panel you can sign up here

mummyofcutetwo Tue 15-Oct-13 16:01:41

- Which NT property did you visit?
Gibside

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, staff in the reception booth were great. Very welcoming and happy to talk with my chatty 5yo.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
We went to an apple event and it was great. The volunteers running the stalls really got my 5yo DS involved. He loved just having the space and freedom to run around the grounds too.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
There was one toilet cubicle with a baby change table in the ladies toilets, and I believe there was one in the gents too, but I don't know for sure.
The changing table was far too low to use.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
I didn't see any such signs at all, and I looked around the cafe to check. I did breastfeed in there about a year ago and didn't feel wholly comfortable doing it due to attitudes of other customers, but I can't say how it is now as DS2 is weaned.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
Higher changing tables. Parent and child parking spaces - or wider bays in general - as it was nigh on impossible getting DS2 out of the car. Trails or quiz sheets, as DS1 loves them!

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
There was one rude member of staff who almost ruined what had been an almost perfect visit. We could have done without that!

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
It's expensive to buy annual membership but once you've got it it makes for a number of great days out for the family with plenty of choice of places to visit.

- Which NT property did you visit?
Upton House

-Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes and no. We arrived just as it opened and the staff seemed a bit surprised to see us.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
No. There was a trail through the woods and some info on the house but my five year old was a bit old for the trail and the seven year old said it was 'boring, like being at school' (she's a precocious madam though!)

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

Didn't need to - my daughter said the loos were very clean.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

Nope

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
A climbing frame outside in the grounds would make it very much more family friendly!

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

Nope.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

It's great, but my kids are the wrong age. I'd wanted to try upton for ages but unless it's spring and the daffs are in flower there is little to stimulate my kids (or me actually). But the NT do have some other places which are really good for kids.

Hawkmoth Tue 15-Oct-13 18:48:29

- Which NT property did you visit?
Lyme Park

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Absolutely. From the man on the car gate to the shop staff, everyone was friendly and chatty.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Yes, both inside and outside. However, we didn't make much use of the playground due to poor weather.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
They were separate to the toilet and very clean, used by DH with no complaints.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
No, and I did look.
I breastfed my baby in the cafe with no problems, even though she was pretty shouty. I had a look in the feeding station which was a bit odd. A very small room with a sink, kettle, microwave and an uncomfortable-looking folding chair. This was quite close to the toilets and I detected a whiff of urine, but I wouldn't consider feeding my baby shut away from the rest of my family anyway.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
Maybe more treasure hunt type sheets for the children (I'm sure I saw a boy with one but we weren't offered).

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
The soft drinks in the cafe were eye-wateringly expensive and only one of our DC could be convinced to have a cup of tea at a lower price!

I asked DD and she said the indoor picnic area was too cold and dark, but couldn't think of anything else. She loves looking round old properties and at artefacts so she had a marvellous time.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
It's fantastic. All the volunteers were friendly and very enthusiastic. Combine the house with the opportunity for the DC to run wild in the woods and grounds and you can't go wrong.

JimbosJetSet Tue 15-Oct-13 19:53:16

We visited Cliveden.

Yes we were made very welcome - every member if staff we encountered without exception was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and they were friendly towards the children too.

Yes, there were age appropriate activities for the children - what there was was geared more towards older children (mine are 3&1) but there was certainly enough to keep them entertained.

Yes, both the men's and women's toilets had baby change facilities.

I didn't notice any breast feeding signs but I would have felt comfortable feeding the baby had I needed to.

We were given an information leaflet/map when we arrived - which was great - but it wasn't obvious from looking at it initially which bits we should head for if looking for family friendly activities.

Children's cutlery and activities in the cafe would have been good. Something like a sand pit would have been a good addition to the playground for the younger visitors.

Overall we were very impressed. We went with some trepidation, as we didn't think there would be enough to keep the children entertained - I wouldn't have previously thought of NT properties as a good place to take small children. But we were happily surprised and would recommend this particular site to other families.

Which NT property did you visit?
Erddig

Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, me, my mum, and ds (2.6 years) felt welcomed and included. Staff were knowledgeable and had suggestions to keep ds amused.

Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Yes - I assumed the main house would be boring for ds and a bit nerve wrecking ensuring he didn't run past ropes or touch things but he was engrossed in finding the teddy bear hidden in each room. The gardens were great to run around and I think the ducks enjoyed being chased hmm. There was a slightly hidden "wolf's den" which was probably aimed at older children (adventure course/wig wam building) but my ds loved it and even had a go at building a wigwam with MASSIVE tree branches! There was much more for him to enjoy than I was expecting.

If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
I saw signs to changing facilities in disabled toilets but didn't need to use them

Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property? No, and I am always on the lookout for them as a bf peer supporter.

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of? Better advertise the "wolfs den" - none of my inlaws, who are local and all have age appropriate children knew about it.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
Staff/signs should make it clear that children can borrow the binoculars at the entrance. Not sure if there is enough warning to parent with tiny babies that they will need to bring a sling if going in the house? For older babies the staff offered hip seats for parents to use to carry their babies/toddlers around the house. I thought this was a nice touch.

I checked both cafe's but couldn't see any high chairs or baby/toddler cutlery etc... pots of crayons and paper also always welcome at a cafe.

Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
The costs is quite high but a good run around the property and grounds thoroughly wore my son out and gave us all a good nights sleep so in that sense i would be happy to pay anything! The site we visited had a lot more to offer children of all ages than I realised, and it wasn't even half term. Unfortunately there are very few NT properties near me so membership probably wouldn't be something I would consider.

Nigglenaggle Thu 17-Oct-13 20:29:41

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Hardwick Hall. Heavily pregnant mum, dad and 20month old son

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Absolutely. We felt quite uncomfortable because we were clearly very disruptive to the other guests (DS has discovered echoes recently and there were lots of those to shout at!!), but the staff and volunteers really tried hard to make us feel welcome.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Not that many really. There were books and puppets in one room but most activities were aimed at older children. However in fairness, we remember the days before we had children and appreciate the needs of the people who want to go and study the history of the house - we don't expect the inside of a stately home to be massively toddler friendly - he's just at a difficult age. We did plan to go back again after the birth for a retest as will cross my due date before the 'mystery shop' is finished, but definitely won't brave the house again. Might pop back to the gardens if things are going well. DS enjoyed the autumn leaves in the gardens and just a general run around. Gardeners were friendly and fascinated him.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
We didn't need them and I forgot to look, although I meant to. The toilets were on the way out of the house and we were just keen to get him somewhere less disruptive!!

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property? No and I went into the cafe specifically to check. They do offer to puree any of the meals for babies though, which I thought was a nice gesture. Theres a stone gazebo in a corner of the garden with benches that would be a nice, secluded place to breastfeed.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of? I don't think making the house toddler friendly is necessarily a realisitc aim!! But theres loads of room outside and it would be nice to have some sort of outdoor adventure play area. That would probably tip us over into buying membership as we live really close. I've seen lovely areas in other NT properties. There were nature activity sheets available in the entry that would be great if he was older, and I know they run plenty of activities, again, for older children.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements? The car park is a long, long walk from the house if you are heavily pregnant! There are disabled spaces closer but maybe some family spaces would be nice. There is also a shuttle car running to the house but it wasn't clear how you requested this.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families? It sounds good. We have several friends who are NT family members and understand the appeal. LOVE the 50 things - brilliant idea for older children. For us, there aren't currently properties we would visit regularly enough locally to make it worthwhile.

Nigglenaggle Thu 17-Oct-13 20:33:24

Oh, and also second prettyprudence above - some sort of paper and pens or activity packs would be welcome in the cafe, even if there was a small charge. Didn't see any although we didn't stop to eat.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Oct-13 16:27:47

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Castle Ward. Group consisted of mum, dad, a seven year old and a one year old

Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, we were all made to feel welcome.

Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Yes, we visited on one of the days of the Scarecrow and Pumpkinfest. There were trails around the grounds for the older children to find scarecrows in various places. Our seven year old would have enjoyed it, but actually there was so much else to see and do that we didn't actually have time to do it. Loads of other children were enjoying it though. If the event had not been on, there were still things of interest in the courtyard area, the Victorian playroom for example.

If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
This was the low point of our visit. We were unable to find baby changing facilities anywhere on site. I'm sure they exist somewhere, but we just couldn't find them. We even stopped some other parents of small children (there were hundreds of people there that day, large numbers of whom were pushing buggies) and asked if they knew where they were, but no one that we asked could find them either. Very poor.

Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
We didn't notice anything like this at all.

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
Its a really good property because it has so much to offer, its much more than just a big house. It was lovely because on this particular day we were able to see around the house just by wandering round the rooms which were open, whereas on a standard day it has to be by guided tour. I understand the reasoning behind the guided tour, less staff needed, but in reality the guided tours can be boring for children. It was great to be able to just spend ten minutes taking a quick peek in each room, instead of an hour looking at everything in detail. Would it be possible for there to be more days when you can freely visit the house? Once a month, or once every six weeks maybe? Then families with smaller children might be able to enjoy the actual house rather than just the grounds.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
The toilet facilities could do with improvement. They were difficult to find (and in the case of baby changing, impossible to find) and whilst they were not dirty as such, they were cold and unwelcoming, and not particularly pleasant. A bit of investment in toilet facilities would make a huge difference to the overall visitor experience.

Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
I think the NT have a lot to offer families. From my childhood, I seem to remember NT properties being mostly about historical houses, but now when I take my own children to visit, its so much more than that.

notso Sat 19-Oct-13 21:26:04

Which NT property did you visit and who was in your group?
Erddig Hall. Myself, DH, DD 13, DS1 9, DS2 2.10, DS3 18 months.

Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes mostly, it took a looooonng time for the man at the desk to understand our tickets. Although he was lovely other people in the queue were getting a bit 'tutty'. DS2 was allowed to borrow some binoculars which he was pleased with. We were given leaflets about the hall, a map and a leaflet for the Wolfs Den.

Were there age appropriate activities for your DC?
Yes, we didn't actually go into the house as we had walked so were incredibly muddy and DS3 was asleep in the pram which we couldn't take into the house. There were teddy bears for DS2 to find if we had gone in. There was a room were you could dress up. We could have borrowed a mini beast kit as well as the binoculars. The ground were amazing, all my DC enjoyed running around even Dd who was a bit sceptical joined in hide and seek. The Wolfs Den was brilliant, even though it was pouring with rain they loved messing around climbing on logs and trying to build a den to keep dry.

if you needed to use the baby changing facilities was it possible for either a Mum or Dad to change their child in at least one of the toilets/changing stations on site?
Yes, had two nappies to change, the room we used was for anyone to use, it was pretty well equipped. There was a fold down changing table, a changing mat to put on it if you wished though both were a bit grubby. There was a step for little ones to reach the sink and plenty of soap. Paper towels to clean the mat and table with would have been welcome.

Did you notice any breast feeding friendly signs displayed anywhere around the property?
Sadly no.

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
Looking at a time table of events there are lots of child centred special weekends etc which is great however they tend to be a bit samey. The Easter hunt is the same every year. It would have been nice to have an age appropriate pack with all the features/activities suitable for your child. We just wandered around seeing bits and bobs to interest them and probably missed bits out.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
While the cafe we went in (there are three) had plenty of highchairs, they had plastic cups for children but the woman didn't know they were there and gave us take away cups for our boys drinks. There were half portions of all the adult meals if you wished except cottage pie! I found the sandwiches expensive and didn't see any children's ones. I was sad to see there was a sign saying they didn't deem any food suitable for people with nut allergies this mean't DS2 couldn't have anything. DD had a hair in her hot chocolate.
Children's drinks were expensive a child sized hot chocolate would have been welcome. Crayons etc in the cafe as others said.
As I mentioned above packs for children would be a good idea. I think a partnership with Horrible Histories would really appeal to older children.
I appreciate the toilets are in outbuildings but they were all a bit cobwebby and not the cleanest.

Overall what is your family's general impression of the NT offer for families.
We think the NT are working hard to encourage families. I think they need to mix it up a bit with their events. I still feel the admission prices and cafe/gift shop prices are alienating. My older two DC feel that NT is still mostly for older people or school trips.

TiggyD Sun 20-Oct-13 10:36:41

I'd like to focus on just one aspect of my visits to National Trust properties. (It also applies to most big tourist attractions.)

I take my own food with me now because of the extravagantly priced and over poncy crap you sell in your cafes and kiosks. A sandwich is a simple thing to make. An egg sandwhich is bread, egg, butter, mayonnaise, and salt/pepper. In Tesco you can buy them for about £1.30. In a tourist attraction such as an NT one you're looking at double that, at least. It would often be cheaper to buy a whole pack of bread, 6 eggs, and a pack of butter, than to buy a single sandwich from you. Are you trying to keep low income people out of your lovely properties? If you're unable to make sandwiches that are affordable, why not just send somebody to Tesco in the morning to buy theirs?
It's not just sandwiches. Why do you pick the fancy middle class version of everything? Why are all the crisps the expensive Tyrell's ones? Why is all the cola Fenitmans?
Please can you sell a variety of things for a variety of prices for a variety of visitors. National Trust, not The Middle Class Trust.

Nigglenaggle Sun 20-Oct-13 21:01:40

OMG this may be distracting the thread in which case I'm very sorry but finally found someone who feels the same about crisps and can't believe it!! Sodding Tyrells!!! Give me a pack of hula hoops anyday! They're crisps dammit! They are never going to be either a healthy or luxury item!!! And posh cola - still tastes like cola.

welshmum80 Mon 21-Oct-13 09:39:55

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Llanarchaeon with one adult and a one year old

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

Yes, very warm welcome.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

Too small to really take part in activities, she liked the animals though!

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

Very impressed with the changing facilities, unisex.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

Sadly not. I am not sure where you could breastfeed apart from the cafe, so maybe they can put one up in there?

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

I think, like others, offering more affordable food/entry could be really good. For example, a cheap Sunday offer once a month?

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

What about a nature trail round the lake for kids?

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

Unique and lovely for families but needs to be a bit more savvy in attracting all types of people, i.e. by doing special deals etc. smile

androbbob Mon 21-Oct-13 16:20:23

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

We went to Lyme Park - myself, DD (11) and DS (6)

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

yes everyone was great, from the lady in the car park, the shuttle bus driver and all room staff. They spoke directly to the children rather than me in some cases.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

Yes - dressing up clothes that you could then walk round in, things to touch in each room and plenty of room guides to flick through. We werent offered any quiz sheets or treasure hunt sheets though.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

Not needed but noticed the feeding station was in the ladies toilets - rather small cramped room. Changing facilities were available for either mum or dad to use.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

I didnt notice any at all

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

There was a playground but we didnt use it as it was raining. Plenty of open areas to walk round and there was some half term spooky activities planned, but it was too wet to bother.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

having two different age ranges is hard as DD just wants to sit around all day. The food options in the restaurant were not at all suitable - nothing that appealed to any of us, which is unusual. Soup was an unusual flavour and would have been better if another more 'safe' flavour available. Kids menu had three choices which where odd. Tried the coffee shop but not much better.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

Its ok but depends upon whether your family enjoy walking around houses. DD related to some things from topics covered at school, but DS just wanted to get outside.

WilhelminaButlin Tue 22-Oct-13 14:22:37

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Clumber Park. Me, DH DS (8) and DS (6)

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

No, although I think this is more to do with the entry system and the property being a large park, rather than the staff being rude to be fair. You pay to park at a toll booth from your car, so no real chance for interaction. There was no conversation at all with any member of staff during our visit.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

Yes, there is a small children's Discovery Centre housing a number of interesting interactive displays, and a good woodland adventure playground. The grounds, gardens, chapel etc were of little interest to them, and we didn't find any worksheets or trails to help us chivvy them along.

It is half term here, but we don't think there were any children's activities available. Nothing was mentioned anyway, we might just have been in the wrong places at the wrong times.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

I did notice a changing table in the toilets, and DH is fairly sure there was one in the gents' toilet too.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

No.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

The staff manning the entry booths should hand out worksheets or trails that are suitable for the children in the car (and acknowledge the children in the process!), as this is the only point of guaranteed contact between staff and visitors. We felt we missed out because the boys weren't interested in walking much in the miserable weather, but with a sheet and some sort of 'aim', they'll walk for miles.

More picnic tables, preferably sheltered. We know you want people to stop bringing their own food and use the cafes instead, but, if you truly do want to have more children visiting, please consider those who can't (see next answer!).

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

Please provide more reasonably priced food! I don't always want to take a picnic, especially when the weather is as bad as it is currently, but I'm unwilling to pay as much as NT charges for a light lunch in a far from luxurious cafeteria. We did pop our heads in the cafe with the aim of having a cup of tea, but it looked a bit chaotic with uncleared tables and a long queue, and the prices were the deciding factor.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
Good enough. We still think they favour the 'retired couples and coach parties' audience though grin.

hellymelly Tue 22-Oct-13 18:13:48

1.We visited Llanerchaeron. We were a party of four, Myself, DH, our two dds who are 6 and 8.
2.Whole family welcomed? Yes. All the staff, from the ticket lady onwards, were very friendly towards all of us and spoke to the children as well as the adults.
3.Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs? Well, there weren't specific activities that we found on the day we visited, but there was plenty that the children enjoyed. They loved running around the clipped box hedges in the walled garden, and they really enjoyed seeing the piglets and the Welsh Black calf.
4. Re the baby changing facilities, I am afraid I forgot to look out for them, as we didn't need them, but the loos were clean and there wasn't a long walk to either of the ones we used.
5. I didn't notice any baby feeding signs, but there may have been some.
6.Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
Well the house is not terribly large but it is beautiful and interesting, however as the rooms are all carefully roped and information brief, it is less interesting to a child than it might be. The staff were very kind and chatty about the house though, and tried to help my dd who was upset by a stuffed otter! (sensitive about animals). Baking in the kitchen, farm activities based on food like using an apple press or similar would be lots of fun, perhaps they do things like this sometimes?
7. Any suggestions for improvements?
Mainly just being able to be a bit more hands on. I would have loved to be able to just stand and look out of one of the beautiful long windows but due to the roping-off it is hard to really experience the rooms as the family would have. Getting a feel for working in the vast kitchens or the outside space would be interesting. It is hard to get a sense of the building as a whole as a lot of rooms seemed to be closed off to the public. More ginger cake in the cafe! (they had run out, but to be fair to them it was closing time when we went).
8. overall, what did we feel about the NT offer for families?
Well we all enjoyed it. I liked the house, the gardens were enjoyed by all of us, as was the farm. We all appreciated the fact the place is so productive still, as we came away with the best apples I have ever tasted, at least 6 varieties (and we didn't try them all.) Squashes, and very very reasonably priced plants. My 6 year old dd enjoyed finding new corridors in the house, and both dds were really interested in the astonishing variety of fungi on the lawns (a sssi).The doves were beautiful, the geese amusing, and the pigs gorgeous. I am sure we will visit again. (I want to go to Erddig too! I haven't been since it very first opened).

Cantdothisagain Sat 26-Oct-13 14:27:01

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
We visited Cragside. Family of four.

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes-we were greeted as we drove into the entrance and the member of staff was very polite and welcoming.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
There didn't seem to be specific organized activities on, but there was a fantastic outdoor play area and a maze. And we saw rabbits and squirrels which was lovely.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
Didn't need them. Toilets were clean though.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
No, nowhere

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
Not that I can think of.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
The tearooms - the food was expensive - my DD wanted a scone and the cheapest fruit scone was actually only available as one of a pair of scones with jam/cream and was £4.60. I agree about crayons in the café too.

- Overall what is your family's general impression of the NT offer for families?
I think it's a good way to spend time outside and the play area etc were really good -but we won't buy a season ticket because we don't live close enough to properties to go often enough to make up the money. It does feel expensive though if you went often enough it would be a good use of money. There was a distinctly middle class vibe there today, presumably because it's expensive.

Andrea75 Sat 26-Oct-13 21:20:41

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Upton House; me, DH, DD (6), DS1 (4) and DS2 (3 months)

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes everyone was very friendly.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Yes - in the restaurant area there was an easel and a colouring table - however this meant that the kids were more keen to leave our table and run across the restaurant to the activity table. It would be better to have activity packs or colouring which they just take to their table and do as they are sitting eating. Difficult to supervise when you're trying to sit and drink/eat.
In the woodland there was an animal trail and also a mini obstacle course of tree trunks etc for them to play on which they enjoyed.
In the house, there were treasure boxes in some rooms with artefacts the kids could touch and they were v keen on this. It made them engage with it all more and ask the volunteers questions. The volunteers chatted to us in most rooms - sometimes I wondered if they guessed we were mystery shopping for mumsnet because they were much friendlier and engaging than I've experienced before at other properties !! But they can't have known ;-)
You could try out the billiard table/piano and there were old board games in the sitting room to play with - my kids were very pleased at being able to touch so much - they are normally itching to but then are told no all the time. However it was difficult then to explain why they couldn't touch everything in the room!!

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
Yes - all very clean.
Also the toilet cubicles in the restaurant were large enough for me to easily stand in with my son to help him, which was useful, sometimes the single cubicles are so small it is a squeeze if he needs help with getting loo roll etc!!

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
No

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
There was no picnic area, and I usually bring a picnic to these kinds of places whatever the weather as it gets too pricey to pay for admission and food when we go out...and we also have two fussy eaters in tow. The lady at the entrance showed us on the map where we could have our picnic when I asked her - but when we got there it was a covered area with three wicker chairs, which looked more like a display than a picnic area, and there was a family already there...so instead we headed for the restaurant where we had hot drinks and the kids had their picnic sarnies...no-one complained about eating our own food in there thankfully. Then we ate the rest of our picnic in the car before leaving as the rain and wind were quite bad today!!
Prices in the restaurant are too much for us - it would be good to see some kind of meal deal or fixed price menu like you get in restaurants so often today, to make it more appealing/affordable. Even an offer on cake and hot drink. Everything feels full/over priced with no incentives to buy (apart from drinks loyalty card)

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
We had a pram and at times found it tricky navigating round the paths of the property, in particular the garden, with the steep drops and steps - there was a way round with no steps, but it wasn't obvious.
We were warned of the steep drop at the entrance, but there were no signs up when we got there to remind us, and if kids ran onto the garden, which is tempting and v natural, you have to be quick to remind them not to run and fall off the end!!

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
I was pleasantly surprised, esp inside the house. To be honest that was the bit I was dreading - I went in on my own with my two eldest and held their hands and gave them a warning not to run around and touch everything...but the volunteers were so friendly and engaged with them and showed them things they could touch, one even showed them a secret staircase which they loved!!
There was also a Civil war reenactment, which engaged my husband who is not mad-keen on looking round old houses - so those special events for no extra charge are great.
I wouldn't visit NT properties unless I had an annual season ticket. The single admission prices are just too much for us. I hadn't considered getting NT membership with three young kids, because from past experience, when DD was a toddler it didn't seem so family friendly, but Upton House was today.

sabretiggr Sat 26-Oct-13 23:20:34

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
We visited Bodium Castle with three children (aged 9,7,1) and 2 adults.

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
yes. The person welcoming into the castle bit was really friendly and made an effort to speak to the kids.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
yes - trails available. (nothing for very youngest but she is only 1)

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
yes

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

didn't notice. The cafe was quite busy and cramped which would make it tricky to breastfeed due to lack of space. But staff seemed relaxed and friendly around kids so would feel comfortable that breastfeeding was acceptable there.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

not sure really as it is a really old castle it is tricky to get around the steps with a young baby but it is still a nice place to visit and it would be really nice in summer for picnics on the grass outside the castle.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

more highchairs in cafe (ideally bigger cafe as it was busy and popular). It was nice there was hot food on offer at the cafe and it was good quality healthy hot food. The sandwiches / rolls seemed pricey but the hot food was worth it.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

better than it used to be! Used to feel 'stuffy' and like they didn't like kids around- now a lot more welcoming.

10thingsihateaboutpoo Sun 27-Oct-13 16:39:22

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Castle Drogo. I went with DH and DDs (2.5 and 4 months).

Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, the staff on the main entrance and entrance to the castle were very friendly.

Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
There were a couple of activities for children in the castle but DD1 was a bit young for those. She enjoyed playing on the crochet lawn with the tennis bats/balls and hula hoops though. There was also a small playground near the entrance. I wouldn't really expect there to be too much for toddlers.

If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
Yes, the baby change was a separate room to the toilets so was unisex. Nice and clean and modern.

Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
No, but then I didn't look too closely. I breastfed DD2 in both the restaurant and walking around the castle and felt very comfortable.

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
Perhaps more activities in the gardens/grounds.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
The cafe was lovely, very large and the main menu was good. DH and I had cold platters which were tasty and value for money. DD's lunchbox deal was not good value though. It was £4 but had quite limited choice for the contents. And the main "sandwich" bit was no choice, it was one very small white roll (like you get on an airplane) with a portion of butter, so no filling at all.
Also, we often take packed lunches with us on days out like this as the cost of entry and lunch in the cafe would be prohibitive. There were picnic benches outside the cafe but I think these were just for cafe customers, so more benches (ideally with some under cover in case of bad weather) would be great.
The castle is undergoing major renovations so a lot of the displays weren't available to see, but learning about the renovations was interesting in itself.

Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
We had a lovely day. We've made use of the free passes at another property today and they had some half-term activities on. To make membership worthwhile you need to live near a few properties and know that you will go several times.

CatAmongThePigeons Tue 29-Oct-13 18:31:29

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group? We visited Castle Drogo with Myself, DH, DS1 (7), DS2 (1), FIL and MIL

Were the whole family welcomed into the property? Yes, DS1 was told about the activities inside the castle and DS2 was spoken to by lovely volunteers. We were all warmly welcomed.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs? In the castle itself there were postcards left for the children to read and a few hands on 'building' projects to tie in with the current works to restore Drogo. The peepholes through the works were a fabulously exciting touch for the children, they enjoyed hunting them out.

There was a Halloween trail for a small extra fee, but sadly we didn't know about this until we were leaving which is a shame. The staff should have mentioned it as it was easy to miss in the throng.

If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site? The main changing facilities were in a separate room with a low level toilet and sink, perfect for young children. Both my husband and I could use these facilities to change DS2 and DS1 could use them too, which was a big help!

Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property? I didn't notice any signs up about breastfeeding, although I know I am allowed to wherever I need to. The café walls were glass and it probably wouldn't be the easiest place to feed with a wriggling baby.

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of? Overall it was very good for older children but a little trail around the castle for toddlers (involving looking for various things) would be lovely. Also, there needs to be warnings before the rooms that have open displays, we went into one room and had to closely guard DS2 from trying to play with everything. A little note on the staircase would be so handy so we could have avoided the risk!

The café needs somewhere to store prams as there wasn't space around the tables as it was a bit cramped.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Improved signage to the picnic areas as the map was very hard to follow and signs which point to routes suitable for prams/wheelchairs.

Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families? The NT offers a great range of things for older children, although the grounds were great and they were both enthralled for some hours exploring the house and gardens. Our overall impression was really good. The DC were welcomed everywhere and that has changed for the better since I was a child.

perfectstorm Wed 30-Oct-13 20:18:49

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Attingham Park: Myself, DH, my mum and DS (4).

Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

Yes, very much so. The guides were lovely - and fascinating.

Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

There really were - I was impressed! They had a mouse hunt trail, with little velvet mice hidden all over the rooms and a map with hunks of cheese indicating how many were in each room. They also had details from various objects of interest to kids - someone reading a book as a clock support, an eagle on a gilt thing, sections of a portrait. My son was entranced and really enjoyed the visit. There were major restoration and building works in progress for some areas and they had displays on what was happening, plus lego stations for the kids to build their own versions! Really, really clever and thoughtful, once again.

If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

I didn't, but as I'm pregnant my son notices everything baby related and got me to demonstrate the baby change table folding out from the walls! It was nicely done with plenty of space, and really new and clean.

Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

No, sorry. But in the boudoir in the main building one of the guides said it would probably have been used for breastfeeding ladies, in a very relaxed and open way as part of a list of more private family life activities. It seemed clear that she saw this way of feeding as totally normal, and while I don't know if that is a personal view or the site culture, as I have a large bump it was welcome!

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

Quite frankly the food could have been nicer. My son couldn't eat the soup as it contained an awful lot of celery, which at this time of year is fibrous, and it hadn't been sieved. The cheese scone hadn't been fully cooked all the way through, and none of us liked the chocolate cake enough to eat more than a bite each - think that has to be a first! I appreciate that's not squarely under "family-friendly" but food does matter when taking small children out and about.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

Only the actual food. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the serving staff, of all ages - they were uniformly delightful. And the guides in the house were absolutely brilliant. My son has been ill and the stairs down to the basement, after lots going up and down, defeated him. They noticed he was convalescent and a bit tired and ushered us through the main state rooms so we had a short cut to get to the cafe. So kind. And all the room staff joined in with the mouse hunting so sweetly.

Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

really, really good. My mum took us a lot when I was a child and I enjoyed it, but not at my son's age. He loved it to bits and asked if he could go back when he was feeling better, he had so much fun. We've told him there are hundreds of them all over the country and his eyes lit up. Though I think he may be sad to discover they don't all harbour mice....

SmilingandWaving Thu 31-Oct-13 16:29:42

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Claremont Gardens: Myself, DP & DS(2)

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

Yes, we were made to feel very welcome.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

There was a play area, wooded areas to explore & plenty of room to run around so yes.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

I didn't need them but I think there were.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

I did look out for them as I knew this was a question but I didn't see any.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

There was meant to be a 9 pin bowling alley and a place where DCs could dress up & play with Victorian toys, but due to the weather these were closed so I can't say what they were like. There did seem to be a Halloween treasure hunt going on for the older children which I thought was a good idea and DS was given a children's map that he was very happy with. I thought there was plenty there to keen children of most ages amused.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

Not really

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

We all had a great day out and were pleasantly surprised, I only saw one 'keep off the grass' sign, & that was only as it had just been fertilised. DS loved being able to explore and run around but then we could have taken him to the local country park for that so it would maybe need to offer a bit more to warrant the usual £17 entrance fee. I'm not sure he would have enjoyed it quite so much if we'd been visiting a property rather than gardens. Overall though we had a lovely time.

WitchOfEndor Fri 01-Nov-13 08:52:58

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Attingham Park, Me,DH, DMum and DS

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Yes, there was a great Mouse in the House game where we had to find one in each room of the house which was great because otherwise we'd have struggled to get DS3 to go through it. DS was thrilled to get a sticker at the end to say we had spotted all the mice.

The staff were very child friendly and joined in the game, the man in the Butlers Pantry (I think, it was the shop in the house) let me stop half way through buying something to take a desperate DS to the loo (marked Private so I'd never have found it if he hadn't pointed it out) and then he gave me hints to where the mice were in three other rooms.

There is a big field out by the walled garden with swings, slides, tunnels and picnic tables which has lots of room for children to run and play.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
I didn't need to use baby change facilities, I only saw one toilet with baby change facilities but I think all of them were marked as Toilets, rather than gender specific ones.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
No, didn't see any, and I did look, especially around the courtyard cafe area. There was a breastfeeding mum there though.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
The Mouse game was so good they should do a trail outside in the grounds (although make it easier as we wouldn't have anyone helping us!), maybe collecting different types of leaves or something.

The play area could have more equipment in it (like Weston Park), and more picnic tables too, as I'm sure it's packed in the summer.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
The House staff were very friendly, grounds staff not so much. DS stood by the side of the path for one of the buggies go past and waved madly at them and they just drove past (and we were the only ones on the path so they couldn't have missed us), which he was disappointed about, so maybe ask them to be a bit friendlier with the public? The fruit and veg on sale could have been more prominently sold, maybe by the cafes, as a way to bring in more revenue.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
It's a lovely place, and if it wasn't nearly £5 per adult we would go a lot more regularly. I was considering a family ticket but think it is a bit pricey as we don't have that many properties nearby so DS might get bored going back too often, on the other hand if we had better weather and we could be guaranteed to go there more regularly and maybe take the dog I would consider it (confusing myself).

AlmaMartyr Fri 01-Nov-13 10:14:31

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Arlington Court, me and DD (5) and DS (3)
- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, very much. Both children were chatted to as we arrived. We felt very welcome
- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Yes, there was lots to do for the children. They loved drawing in the bat cave and looking for bats, looking in the carriage museum (with hobby horses around for them to have a go on) and all the Halloween activities. We didn't go inside the house on this occasion but they normally love the mouse game in other properties
- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
I didn't need to use them so didn't notice
- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
I didn't specifically notice but I know I would have felt happy to breastfeed there (and have in the past)
- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
It seems pretty good, there's a great little playpark outside the main entrance which the kids enjoyed.
- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
No
- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
We love the National Trust, they've been making a big effort to be more family friendly lately and it is appreciated. Sadly, our nearest place (Castle Drogo) is a bit hit and miss for families in my opinion but most places are fab.

lottytheladybird Fri 01-Nov-13 15:07:34

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
We went to Corfe Castle. I went with my husband and 2 sons, one who's 1 and one who's 3.

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, we were. The ticket lady was very welcoming and informative.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
My three year old loved the Teddy zip wire. It was a great way to distract them whilst going up the hill and it was great fun, too!

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
Yes! I was realy pleased to find that there were changing facilities in both the mens and the ladies. Often, there are only changing facilities in the ladies and I feel like I always have to be the one who does the nappies when we're out!

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
No, not that I noticed, but then it was a Castle, so it was all outdoors!

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
I think it was more family friendly than we could have hoped for really.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
The only thing we would have appreciated would have been a bench to have a snack and a drink on, but with the site being on a hill, I guess it's not easy to do.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
We had a very good impression of the NT as a family friendly place to visit. We all had fun and it made us think that we would like to become members.

MrsKwazii Fri 01-Nov-13 17:23:23

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

I visited Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire with MrK our toddler and newborn

Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

Yes, the staff in the ticket office were very welcoming, talking to our toodler and giving her a sticker to wear which pleased her no end. They also advised us that there was a quiz for children in the house.

Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

Wimpole Hall has a working farm which is absolutely fantastic for children and the whole family to visit. There are plenty of animals to see, tractors to play on and guides to chat to. There are often events to go to as well. The cafe is also great, with good food and nice touches like the buckets of farm toys to play with and crayons to draw with.

We've been to the farm a few times - but didn't go on this occasion as it costs extra to visit, even if you are a NT member. The farm is also a good ten to fifteen minutes walk from the entrance, which was a bit much for me given I had a C-Section a few weeks ago. There are golf buggies available to take less-able visitors around, but I wasn't sure I'd be up to trudging round the farm.

Instead, we went to the house and around the gardens. The house is staffed by incredibly friendly volunteers who made us very welcome. They offered us the childrens' quiz but it did turn out to be for older ones - say five or six yo upwards. Something for younger children would be great, perhaps pictures of items in each of the rooms to look for?

On previous visits, small farm animal figures have been hidden in each room for children to look for (under beds, on top of cabinets and so on) and our DD was looking for them, but they weren't there this visit. One guide said that they may have been packed away as the house is closing for the winter soon. I hope they'll be there next time we visit as they're great fun, shown by DD remembering them.

The grounds around the house are beautiful and DD had great fun charging around and using up some energy while we watched wink

If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

We used the baby changing facilities in the stable block which were in a separate room so anyone could have used it. There was also a chair for breastfeeding which was good. We only had the sling, not the pram, but it would have fitted into the space easily. My only complaint is that the hot water was scaldingly hot as it came out of the tap.

The changing facilities in the Rectory cafe were in the disabled loo which I always think is a bit rubbish, as changing babies can take so long. I always worry that someone who really needs the loo will be held up by be stripping a baby after a poo explosion. A separate space would be good to have if possible.

Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

I didn't notice any signs but felt comfortable BF in the Rectory cafe and out on the terrace. Glasses and free water was available for all customers, good for BF mums as well.

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

The 'Things to do before you're 11 3/4' was very evident, with information in the ticket office and signs elsewhere. A nature trail around the grounds would be fun, based around the plants and planting perhaps? Quiz sheets and/or signs on the trees or around the paths would make the grounds more interesting for children. It could also make the trek over to the farm more interactive.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

The Hall doesn't allow prams and pushchairs inside (quite rightly) but you are asked to leave them outside the Hall while you take the tour. We had taken our sling with us as I'd seen the signs on a previous visit, but if you hadn't, and had an older, non-walking baby, it could be an issue. Clear information on the website would be good. Some form of buggy shelter with bike locks would also be welcome, rather than leaving what can be a very expensive piece of kit out in a place where people could just walk off with it.

A buggy park would also be useful at the Rectory cafe. There were a number of customers inside with older toddlers and their buggies which made it difficult to navigate around the tables. A place to leave them outside would be handy.

The childrens' lunchbox is a great idea, but less salty crisps would be welcome and white bread sandwiches would be welcome. The only bread available was granary which my toddler didn't like because of the 'bits'. Mini portions of the hot meals would also be a nice touch.

Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

Wimpole Estate is a great place for a family visit, mainly due to the farm, but it can still be fun to just visit the hall and grounds. There are a few things that could be done to make it more fun for younger children, but it still a great day out. I know that the NT wants to appeal to a wide age range, and that historic houses aren't really first on a toddler's list of interests, but a few tweaks would make it even more inviting than it already is.

We are already NT members as we holiday in the UK and like to be able to visit local historic sites. The family friendliness varies according to the nature of the site, but I often see events advertised that look great for families and which I would definitely consider when our children are older.

Thank you very much to you MN and the NT for our day out smile

SunshinePanda Sat 02-Nov-13 16:20:19

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Belton House with my DH, DS 13 and DD 15.

Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes the staff were very welcoming and explained where things were located on the map and gave information about tours available. Our guided tour guide made sure that he spoke directly to the children and included them in his talk, relating their lives to the lives they would have had as servants in the house.

Were there age appropriate activities?
Yes we all enjoyed our tour of life below stairs in the country house. Excellent adventure playground, plenty of space and indoor soft play for younger children.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
Changing facilities in both male and female toilets and a parent and baby room.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
No.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
They already do an excellent job. Really pleased that our older children enjoyed it as I know it has lots for younger ones.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
No

- Overall what is your family's general impression of the NT offer for families?
They loved it. We also went to St Michael's Mount in half term, which was another great day out. Thank you!

Bluecarrot Sat 02-Nov-13 19:41:14

We visited castle ward on 1st nov- my DP, dd (10), her friend (8) and myself.

Lady at the shed ticket booth was lovely and welcomed the kids directly as well as the adults. The only other staff we had contact with was an outside company ( clear sky) who operate from the grounds and he was lovely too. The house was closed, as was one of the play areas ( where kids can dress up). This was stated on the website though, but we were tied with the day we could visit. I know from before the house tour is not v family friendly.

There was plenty of info on the " things to do before you are 11 3/4" and had we been able to locate the info before we did our trail, we would have used the kits. I know from past experience that these are great to do though but you need to allow a few hours. We spent about 1.5 hours on one of the reasonably well marked trails ( two girls on bikes, adults walking) and then the girls went off to enjoy the two great parks. Quick nosey in the barn but it is aimed at younger kids, with colouring, small world play and dress up upstairs and an indoor/outdoor play area downstairs with tractors etc for toddlers.

I didn't see the baby changing area but the toilets were a bit rough and ready, and very cold. Reasonably clean. Could do with some investment I think. I'd have probably preferred to change a baby in the car if changing facilities were similar.

One tearoom was closed and we didn't make it up as far as the second tearoom ( not sure if it was open) so unsure about breastfeeding posters.

The map was a bit rubbish tbh, and could have done with some improvement. And where you exit onto the public road its a bit confusing where we were supposed to go.

As for family friendly, if you have a young family or an older outdoorsy family this place is perfect, ESP with clearsky outdoor adventure Center located in it for older ones.

I'd like to have seen more info as we went round the trails - info board on wildlife we would likely see as we walked along the shore, info on trees etc. maybe even info on conservation projects, wildlife management etc. or ideas from the things to do leaflets at appropriate places.

We enjoyed the trail and the park very much and plan to return again in the summer, perhaps even staying a night or two in the pods. If the weather was bad there wouldn't be enough to do at Castle ward, but on a nice day its a great haven to explore nature and get some great walks/bike rides in.

incogKNEEto Sat 02-Nov-13 19:55:49

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Anglesey Abbey, Lode Mill and Gardens in Cambridgeshire, we went in a family group of two adults and four children (aged 4-13).

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

Yes, right from when we first arrived the staff were friendly, and welcoming to all of us and included the children in any conversations etc.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

Yes, lots of lovely wide open spaces for them to run free in, together with woodland and wildlife activity areas and an impressive tree house!

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

I didn't use these facilities.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

No, I am no longer breastfeeding and didn't notice any signs, but if I was still breastfeeding I would have been happy to feed here, it just felt like it would be completely acceptable and the whole place had a family friendly feeling.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

I would have liked to have been able to make some willow pieces with the children, but we had missed the one day it was available in the holidays sadly. There were lots of staff around to help and advise throughout the estate though, maybe someone could have been stationed in the wildlife exploring area with a bunch of willow and some instructions?

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

See above. Also, a nature trail or stamp trail would have been very popular with our children, there may have been something like this but we didn't see it if so.

- Overall what is your family's general impression of the NT offer for families?

We thought it was good overall, the children enjoyed the freedom to run and play in the fresh air, but would have liked some structured activities for the children.

cosysocks Sat 02-Nov-13 23:48:12

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Gibside two adults and two 7 year old boys

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
No just myself.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Yes there was a potion collecting hunt going on.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it ppossible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

Main entrance had baby change in ladies and gents.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
No

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
Walks could be better signposted, more volunteers around and maybe a trail for the kids to do.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
Positive. Had a lovely day playing in the playground and on the low ropes. Not sure though if there is enough to draw us back again in the short term. On a longer term basis we will be back.
Oh and the cow had run out of water which disappointed the boys and there was nobody around to ask for some assistance.

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Hardwick Hall.
Me, DH and DS aged 7

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Yes, great quizes

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site? yes, unisex in stable block but not in main house

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
Did not see signs but did not feel it would have been a problem

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
Extra handrails for children. Menu for children was very good but not very clear at the til - only at the tables...

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
As above, there would have been potentially a fair bit of carrying on the stairs - might have been a problem for buggys/children using wheelchairs.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
very good, we don't really use NT properties for days out, but based on this experience we would do so again.

russetbella1000 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:53:05

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group? We visited Claremont Gardens. Just me and my dd.

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?Yes very friendly.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?Not really. My daughter is one and because it was raining the play area wasn't really available but nevertheless I don't think it would be suitable for LOs of her age.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site? Yes. The room just had a baby change sign on the door...

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property? No i didn't see any.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?As others have suggested the prices of the food I found quite expensive and actually quite limited. So perhaps there could be more offers along the lines of tea/cake combos etc or attractive 'meal deals'.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?Personally, I think there should be some kind of agreement with train/bus companies since the fares were £10 overall and the service (bus every hour!!) not very convenient. Furthermore at the station, to go home, I had to climb a bazilllion stairs with a pushchair so it didn't really give me a positive experience overall. I do feel therefore that the access to these gardens was limited which is a shame

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?The gardens themselves were attractive but, perhaps the rain didn't help, I have seen better in parks in Kent for example so I'm not sure this is one of the National Trust's best locations...
Thanks

Arion Sun 03-Nov-13 22:51:22

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Belton House. Me, DH, DD 5 and DS 2

Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

Yes, we were all made to feel welcome, even my 2 year old DS who has been nicknamed 'the destroyer' by DD!

Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

Yes, there were activities in the hall (games in the games room) and a centre dedicated to activities for children, including backpacks to take around the grounds for outdoor activities.

If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/changing stations on-site.

Yes, were pull-down change tables in both the ladies and gents toilets and also a separate parent room in the cafe with the indoor play-area.

Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

No.

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

Not that I can think of.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

No, we were impressed by the facilities available, and the attitude of the staff.

Overall what is your family's general impression of the NT offer for families.

Although the halls are hard to make interesting for children, the NT seems to be achieving a child friendly balance with the other activities available, eg outdoor play areas and holiday activities.

kaza1033 Tue 05-Nov-13 13:54:00

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Lanhydrock, Bodmin. DP and DS (and Ddoggie!)

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
It was half term and was extremely busy, lots of people with dogs and it was soo nice to be able to take our pooch with us (although not in the house). There is a vast area for dog walking and a cafe with outside seating (and covered areas) where they are welcome. You can't take dogs in the house so only DS and myself went in but we felt very 'welcomed' by all the volunteers/crew of the house. They were very happy to answer questions.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

There was a pumpkin hunt going on around the house, several young children clasping clipboards to their chests.

My son is a teenager so was quite happy to just have a perusal around.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

I only noticed outside loos - which I didn't use; so don't know.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

Didn't notice any signs around for that, we didn't make it into the inside Restaurant area though which is maybe where they would be - it was super busy in the Restaurant I did have a peek in the door.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
Maybe an adventure playground area??
Such a lot of land, I'm sure they could squeeze one in.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

The main parking area was quite a hike from the house, I would imagine a bit of a pain for parents with a pram and a toddler - there was a few disabled spaces closer to the house - maybe incorporate some Parent Parking?? (there was also a little golf type buggy running between the house and main parking area, for a little donation, incase you couldn't face the walk either way)

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

We really enjoyed our visit there was such a lot to see, lots of artefacts -you could really get a feel for life Upstairs and Down. If you have the chance go, you won't be disappointed!

TheTempest Wed 06-Nov-13 22:45:10

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Bodiam. It was me DP, DMum, DD aged 4 and DSD aged 15.

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, we were given a very warm welcome. DSD is a sulky teen and they engaged with her and DD very well.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

Yes for DD aged 4, not for DSD but I'm not surprised really.
-
If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it
possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

We didn't need them as DDs are trained (funnily enough!) but I did notice that there was definitely one in the ladies and disabled.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

Yes, in reception the cafe and on the toilet doors.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

I can't think if any.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

Better parking with wider spaces, a colouring corner with Znational Trust colouring/ activity sheets.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT
offer for families?

Very good, quite Middle Class traditionally but very accessible to everyone.

Thanks for the opportunity, we will definitely return!

PatriciaHolm Thu 07-Nov-13 14:05:04

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Polesdon Lacey. Me, DH, kids 7 & 9

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
yes, guy on the desk was very welcoming

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
playground and outdoor games as well as loads of space for running around in!

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
NA

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

didn't notice

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
The outdoor games are great but very worn and run down, they could be upgraded and added to as they went down well with all.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
We would have liked a bit more information about the outdoor features - the theatre, the statues - some sort of kids trail would be great

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

Good, for this age group at least

MissSusanStoHelit Thu 07-Nov-13 14:38:56

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Polesden Lacey in Surrey - it was DD (4yo), DP and myself

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

Yes we were - the greeter was especially friendly to DD

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

Not really - the weather was really miserable so it was the house or nothing.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

DD is potty trained so we didn't need the baby changing, but I don't recall seeing it in a dad-friendly place. I wasn't really looking though...

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

None that I noticed.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

Yes - the grounds are spectacular for picnics but on rainy days children are limited to the house, which is too full of precious things to afford a really fun time!

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

More indoorsy fun things for rainy days

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
We are life members and love going to NT properties... we've always felt welcomed as a family here.

Happy to go again!

Carrotcakeisace Sat 09-Nov-13 16:38:24

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Arlington Court, me, dh and girls (8&6), dog

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, we had a very friendly welcome from everyone we met. The dog was welcome in the grounds too

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
Yes a trail in the house plus extra Halloween activities

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
I forgot to check

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
No but I did see a lady breast feeding in the cafe

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
We had to do the house in shifts because of the dog, kennels or somewhere safe for dogs to wait near the house would be perfect

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
See above, plus the cafe is too expensive for families so some sort of meal deal would be great

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
We always find visits interesting and they are much more child friendly than they used to be

nancerama Sun 10-Nov-13 22:44:59

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
I visited Cliveden with 2 year old DS. A friend (NT member) with her 2 year old DS and newborn DD met us there. The plan was initially to visit with DH for a family day out, but our plans were ruined by dreadful weekend weather the whole time we were in possession of the pass.

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, the man who met us at the gate, and all the volunteers working at Cliveden made us feel very welcome.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
A lovely lady gave us a paper bag for collecting autumn leaves, conkers and acorns (which DS promptly lost). The playground was lovely. We were quite disappointed that we visited on 31st October, but all the halloween activities had already taken place earlier in the week.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
Yes - there were unisex baby change facilities right by the playground and cafe.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
None, but if DS was young enough to still need daytime feeds, I would have felt comfortable feeding anywhere.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
It seems odd that there were no Halloween activities actually taking place on Halloween. The rooftop slide looked like lots of fun, but was out of action because of the weather. We will be back to try it another time.

It's a pity that the lovely playground is so near a noisy busy road. Whilst there is no danger posed by the traffic, the constant noise is intrusive.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
Perhaps more family friendly events every day during school holidays, but there is plenty on offer without additional activities.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
We were really pleasantly surprised. Cliveden had loads to offer and we really enjoyed ourselves. The cafe was much better value for money than we expected too (although the service was really, really slow, which is frustrating when you have a wriggly 2 year old to control).

I managed to use the pass for a day out at Basildon Park too, which we really enjoyed. It's such a pity that the weather has been so awful this month - I would have loved to visit more NT properties while I had the chance. Thank you so much for the opportunity - best product test I've been picked for yet.

DevaDiva Wed 13-Nov-13 20:48:20

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Speke Hall, Me, DH and DS 9.

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, most enthusiastic welcome we've ever had from the guides at an NT property.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs? Yes, he loved the maze and the playground. Plus being allowed to actually touch things in the house and have a go on the billiards table went down really well. He also enjoyed foraging (scrumping) an apple from one of the numerous trees smile

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site? didn't go in but saw signs for facilities.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property? None

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of? I think they're doing a good job of it, family section of the restaurant is a bit pokey though.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements? See above smile

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families? We've been to several properties and whilst the DCs can get a bit bored sometimes there's always lots to do to break off from what they see as the dull bits.

Sorry this is a bit delayed, did the survey but forgot about the thread.

perfectstorm Sun 17-Nov-13 13:46:49

Just as an aside, DS managed to leave his brand new winter coat in the cafe at Attingham, and we didn't notice because he'd been so poorly we'd not been taking him out more than a few minutes at a time (they have a ferry service between car park and house). I'd put my mobile number and his name in the label, for school's use, and someone from Attingham had taken the time to search the labels and then call me to say they had it safely and ask what we wanted them to do.

That's pretty family friendly IMO!

maggiemou Sun 24-Nov-13 19:16:06

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

We visited Corfe Castle - myself and my husband and our 4 children (aged 4, 6, 7, and 9)

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

We had a really good welcome from the ticket office staff, they were incredibly helpful without being asked for information, they talked to the children about doing a "quest" round the castle (finding answers to questions)

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

All of the children were able to take part in the quest - 4 year old loved running around finding the pumpkins and ghosts boards where the questions were.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

Didn't use the baby changing facilities, but did note that they were available in both male and female toilets, and the toilets were very child friendly with sinks that were low enough for the children to reach easily - the handdryers however only blew out really cold air!

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

Did not notice any breastfeeding friendly signs (but did not go into tea room)

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

More seating areas would be good, there was no where to sit that I noticed in the actual castle ruins or the grounds - would be nice to be able to sit down to talk to the children about what there was around them

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

As above

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

Very good, will def go back again in the Summer with children

snowballinafryingpan Tue 26-Nov-13 15:51:08

-Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Lanhydrock, Bodmin. Dh, ds12yrs and me.

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

The house is now closed for the winter and the ticket office was shut, so no welcome, just a very friendly open gate and free access to the grounds, cafe and NT shop.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

I am sure that in the house there are lots of things for the kids to do and get involved in. Around the grounds there are some interactive things for kids, you could make an ornamental Victorian garden out of shapes for example... this did not really rock ds12 world but he did go through the motions all the same!

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

Right next to the toilet block there was a well designed baby changing block that looked to be unisex. Toilets were fine, low urinal in the gents and all the sinks were low and child friendly.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

We didn't spot any breastfeeding signs, there may be in the house. The cafe was quiet, did a nice line in soups, pasties etc. There was a microwave especially for parents to heat up bottles and food. It was clean and well positioned and high chairs were readily available.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

I loved it because it was very simple, we have gone past the stage of playgrounds etc but there were lots of much younger kids there happily running around, no signs telling them to get off grass, mind this that or whatever. It was lovely, a really nice relaxed atmosphere. Ds spent ages finding conkers and enjoyed the space. All the paths are well laid and suitable for prams or wheelchair access.
There are picnic tables dotted around and benches here and there, we only explored a very small section.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

Not really, I think it is a formula that works pretty well.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

We left a very happy family. The gift shop was fab of course where ds turned back into a small boy and bought pocket money stuff. It is usually if I am honest the lure of the shop that gets him round stately homes and gardens. I listened into the conversation while he bought his goodies and the lady was absolutely lovely with him, talked to him about his afternoon and went the extra few steps to make him feel special.

Next door to Lanhydrock they are building a cycle hub which I think is going to be focused on offering easy bike routes - think I have that right. It looks really promising and worth keeping an eye out for.

Tweasels Sun 08-Dec-13 18:14:28

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?

Myself, DH, DS(8) and DD(2) visited Cragside

- What was the weather like when you visited?

It was a damp, cloudy day but surprisingly mild for December

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?

Yes, we were greeted by a member of staff before we'd even got out of the car. They told me all about the property and how some of it was out of bounds due to the recent high winds. She asked how old the DC were and recommended a route for us to walk that would go past the adventure playground and return us to the visitor centre. The route was very hilly and DH even struggled to get the buggy up the biggest hill. To be fair though, there may have normally been a better buggy friendly route that was closed due to fallen trees.

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?

There was a huge adventure playground with more than enough equipment to keep DD and DS happy which is rare due to their age difference. The size of the tantrum DD had when we tried to get her out of the park indicates how good it was! DS loved all the big rocks he could climb on and secret paths.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?

There weren't any in the tea room but I found one across the courtyard next to the visitor centre. It was a separate room so mum or dad could use it but there was no sink in it to wash hands afterwards.

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?

Sadly not. I looked everywhere in the tea rooms. What I found rather disappointing is they had a poster titled 'babies' of which the opening paragraph was "We understand how challenging it can be to feed your baby whilst you're out." It then went on to list how they provide a microwave and a bottle warmer but no mention of supporting, encouraging or enabling breastfeeding. This is something they need to look at.

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?

Not particularly, I felt they hade made a great deal of effort towards family friendliness.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

Change the poster about babies to add in that breastfeeding is welcomed anywhere on the property and give pointers to comfortable places where mum's might want to go. Some comfortable chairs with arms for feeding in too.

Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?

Really impressed actually. The nature of the site means it is very appealing to older children; lots of secret paths and caves etc. however, they have tried to introduce things for toddlers too. The playground was fab and the little play area in the tea rooms was great. I really felt that they wanted us as a family to feel welcome.

Lent1l Mon 09-Dec-13 10:09:24

Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Speke Hall in Merseyside. Went with husband, 21 month old daughter and my Mum (an NT member) joined us.

What was the weather like when you visited?
It was a gorgeous day, a little windy but dry.

Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
I didn't fell overly welcomed into the property. It was their last day of opening this year and they did seem very busy and seemed as though they were jsut trying to get through everyone.

Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
It is not a place I would really take a toddler. She's not that interested in history yet and I was dragged by her reins around the house - she would ahve got us through even quicker if she could have done. I did notice there were things within the family room in the restaurant to entertain little ones but it was also quite busy and not easy to get past others to see what they all were.

If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
I ddi have a quick look in, although not use, the facilities. They were in a disabled toilet so either of us could have used them without issue.

Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
I didn't see any. As mentioned there is a family room off the restaurant and I would have happily fed in there if I was still breastfeeding - but I was not shy about where I fed my daughter.

Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
To be honest the hosue itself is not really for children as young as my daughter, and those with buggies found they had to leave them and carry their children (it is an old tudor house so hardly surprising). Older children seemed to be enjoying the maze and the playground and I did see a story session going on as well as hearing Mr Punch so I think they do try to cater for many ages.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
The Stable Coffee Shop was not suitable for those with buggies or toddlers as no high chairs and very small space. Perhaps this could be mentioned as you are entering the property. The restaurant also had tables quite packed in, but would ahve made it awkward to navigate with a buggy. Not sure how this could be tackled though.

Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
I do think with the other activities that they were putting on they are definitely trying to make them more family friendly than I remember from when I was little. Some properties will jsut never be overly suitable for certain ages and think my little girl was one of those.

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 17-Jan-14 16:29:39

ballstoit was having some trouble posting in the thread, so their feedback is below:

- Which NT property did you visit? And who was in your group?
Went to Clumber Park with my DC aged 8,6 & 4 and DSis and bil.

- What was the weather like when you visited?
Weather was cold but dry.

- Were the whole family welcomed into the property?
Yes, we all felt welcomed into the property. Clear signs and all staff/volunteers we spoke to were lovely

- Were there age appropriate activities for your DCs?
There were age appropriate activities for DC, they loved the play area especially.

- If you needed to use the baby changing facilities, was it possible for either a Mum or a Dad to change their child in at least one of the bathrooms/ changing stations on-site?
My DC no longer need changing facilities (yay!)

- Did you notice any breastfeeding friendly signs displayed around the property?
I didn't notice any breastfeeding signs, but did see a breastfeeding mum in the cafe who looked quite comfortable.

- Are there family friendly things the property could make more of?
I felt the property was very family friendly, although the cafe food and drinks were on the expensive side for children.

- Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
It would be great to have unisex or family toilet cubicles. We had my bill with us on this visit, but we have found having male and female toilets some distance apart has been difficult at other places when I'm on my own with the DC. This is a general problem, rather than being solely a National Trust thing though.

- Overall what is your familys general impression of the NT offer for families?
My impression on how welcome families were was very positive...much more so than on visits to other properties (particularly Calke Abbey where I was made to feel distinctly unwelcome when visiting when 3 toddlers a couple of years ago!)

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 24-Jan-14 10:59:12

Thanks for all your feedback! The winner of the prize draw is welshmum80 - congratulations smile I'll be in touch shortly to confirm your details.

elsaresearch Mon 19-May-14 12:29:28

Please feel free to comment on here if you want to help me about for my dissertation research!

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/family_friendly_programme/2083786-Help-needed-with-MA-dissertation-research-country-houses-and-families

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