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NOW CLOSED Visited a National Trust property over the summer? Come and tell us all about it - you could win £100 National Trust voucher!

(123 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 14-Aug-12 15:46:23

National Trust selected 5 Mumsnetters to attend a National Trust Great British Day Out with their family over the summer holidays. This thread is for their feedback, but we'd also like to hear from anyone else who has attended a National Trust property recently - please tell us all about it.

Below are a couple of questions to get you started but please feel free to add any other comments you may have.


Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?
Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?
Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?
Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?
Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?
Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?
Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?
Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Everyone who adds their comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win £100 National Trust voucher.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!

MNHQ

shinytrousers Tue 14-Aug-12 18:27:42

We have been a National Trust members for for 3 years and every year it more than pays for itself.
Our local favourite is Belton House as it has the best adventure playground for miles around complete with a mini train. There is plenty of open space to run around / play games and the house is great too.
As for weather, we picnic rain or shine but we have been at Belton through snow, hail and thunderstorms (sunshine too). Don't wear your best shoes as it can get quite muddy on the walk down to the playground.

Indith Wed 15-Aug-12 09:53:47

Oooh excellent, we went to Gibside last week and did den building and we're off there again today for pond dipping so I shall come back later!

MummyDoIt Wed 15-Aug-12 10:08:08

We went to Corfe Castle a couple of weeks ago. We were in the area, had a couple of hours to spare and are NT members. I'd been before but it was new to the DSs who loved it. They loved the fact that they could go scrambling about over the ruins, nothing was roped off or out of bounds.

There were special summer activities which were a surprise and a bonus. People dressed up in character, demonstrating crafts, archery and so on and encouraging the children to have a go. The "monk" who demonstrated writing with a quill and told us all about manuscripts was particularly good. There was also a treasure hunt/quiz type activity which the kids loved.

Very enjoyable afternoon and I'd recommend it to anyone.

yousankmybattleship Wed 15-Aug-12 10:16:42

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?
Wakehurst Place. We chose it becasue it is close and we have been thre many times
Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?
Lovely place. Well known and familiar so no surprised but we enjoy it every time.
Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?
Never heard of it. sorry!
Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?
They loved it. They love the open spaces and the fact that they can run across the grass. They also like being able to get away from the adults a bit in a safe environment
Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?
As with all National Trust Properties the cafe is horribly overpriced which is a shame. It would have been nice to treat everyone to a cake but we just couldn't afford to. Made do with our own drinks and a packet of biscuits.
Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?
Nope. It was nice though.
Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?
Weather was nice. Not rainy so no need for rainy day activities. In very hot weather it would be lovely to have a few stalls selling water dotted about. Occasionally I have forgotten to take water and when children are running about they need plenty.
Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?
Would definitely recommend. Most families I know are members and the membership offers great value.

megandraper Wed 15-Aug-12 10:29:44

Lifetime NT members here.

Q1. This summer went to

Gibside

Cragside

Dunstanburgh Castle

Cherryburn

Fountains Abbey

First four because we were on holiday in the area / travelling past them, and the last one because it's nearby and we go a lot.

Q2. All properties were great, and we had a good idea of what was there from the website. Dunstanburgh could have given more info about whether the walk was pushchair accessible (it was, with hefty forearms).

Q3. Have heard of the 50 things to do, but didn't do them. Would like to though, but the things have to be pretty in-your-face for us to find them and do them! (i.e. we have to spot them as we walk around, not hunt for them).

Q4. Kids (all under 5) loved all of them. Strawberry Castle playround at Gibside was fantastic, and Cragside playground also good. They liked running up to the castle and Dunstanburgh. They (surprisingly to me) liked the exhibition at Cherryburn (spotting the pics of animals). They also really liked the alpacas at Cherryburn. Fountains Abbey they always like picnicking in front of the Abbey.

Q5. Kids are coeliac, so for us having clearly labelled gluten-free food would be a big bonus (it seems to be a bit hit and miss what's available and whether staff know about it). Gluten-free ice cream would definitely improve things (Fountains Abbey has it, hurrah, but don't put a sign up saying so, which would help.)

Also, having more little things for kids to do/spot would help. Harlow Carr (RHS garden) is brilliant for this - every few hundred yards there's something for kids to look at or do, often just something small, but it keeps them interested and makes them forget they're 'on a walk'.

Q6. Nothing specific.

Q7. Chose dry days for all of them. Must admit, we tend to avoid National Trust on rainy days. Having more rainy day activities would be a big bonus, and would definitely increase our visits.

Q8.Yes, would recommend, and often drag friends/family to NT properties. It suits the ones who like being outdoors better than the ones who don't, we find!

ILoveAFullFridge Wed 15-Aug-12 10:33:27

Pretty much every NT place we have visited has been great. I love the houses, and the fact that the staff are so knowledgeable and have such passion for their work. The only drawback is, as another poster mentioned, that the cafe is always so expensive. The food is not bad, but definitely not good enough to merit such prices. OTOH there are generally nice picnic places.

A major plus when travelling with tinies is that slings or buggies are often available for use, free.

We went to Cliveden, because it was near the trampoline-testing place. We love both places - faves at Cliveden are the water garden, the vintage cars(none this time), and that spectacularly OTT fountain. It's all looking a bit tired, needs some tlc.

Would we come again? Oh yes!
Would we recommend it? Oh yes!

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?

We went to Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire because, with an A road recently converted into a dual carriageway, we could get htere in under an hour.

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?

Our biggest surprise is that there isn't a property, only outhouses and the cahpel - the house was demolished after the 2nd WW. There was good parking and loads of space though, which we had expected.

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?

I have heard of this but we didn't deliberatey do any of them. DS is only just 3 so a bit young for "projects" like this. He just wants to have a good time outdoors and we just want to encourage him in that.

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?

We hired bikes so DS loved being on the back of his dad's bike. DS didn't like the playground which was relatively small and very crowded. DS preferred playing on the lawns by himself so we left the playground relatively quickly.

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?

A larger playground / two in different areas to reduce congestion.

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?

The countryside as we cycled along and the good quality of the bikes we hired. We'd gone expecting them to be relatively ppor quality but they were decent Raleigh bikes and both DH and I preferred them to the bikes we have at home!

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?

The weather was gorgeous - we decided to go having seen the weather forecast for last Saturday.

Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yes - we're threatening to take my mum and her dog when we go again. As we have a small child, we tend to shy away from stately homes as DS can't understnad that he has to wait, can't tough furniture etc and if he gets tired or has a strop there's only one very long way through the house to get him out. Clumber Park was fab because it was all outside and accessible for us.

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?
We went to Gibside, as it was fairly local for a day out, but also on the recommendation of a friend.

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?
I was amazed at how huge it was. I was expecting a stately home type place with "grounds", not acres of fields and woods.

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?
My 5yo son was taught how to start a fire without a match (thanks National Trust grin). We got there 5 minutes too late and they were packing up, but seeing my son's disappointment, the lovely lady in charge unpacked again and spent ages showing him how to start it with wood and finally metal

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy? I think my son enjoyed that! In general, just having all the space to run around in, plus the playground.

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what? We would ahve loved to stay later than 6pm - it was a lovely sunny day and it felt as though it was being cut short a bit. No complaints as it was fantastic, but there was a camping event on and I wished we had joined it as I really didn't want to go home.

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it? As I mentioned before, the staff member who took extra time to show my son something he was so interested in.

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? Yes, it was lovely and sunny, but we saw plenty of areas and events that I plan to visit in wet weather.

Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not? Yes!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 15-Aug-12 12:14:06

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?
Calke Abbey about 10 days ago. Its halfway between us and SIL.

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises? We have been there once before. The only surprises were the special Children's Tour of the house, which really catch their imagination and the bird hide which we failed to spot last time.

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it? We had heard of it but didn't take part. We had a pretty full day though and the children borrowed a rucksack with lots of things to do, which they loved.

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy? Think they enjoyed it all. We played in the playground, did craft and dressed up in the stables where there was a fantastic member of staff who was really enthusiastic and even sang happy birthday to DD. We picniced next to the deer. They loved the bird hide, playing in the grounds and the Children's Tour.

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what? a little less eye rolling and attitude from the lady who booked on the tour and gave us our rucksack. Apart from that it was great.

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it? has to be the Chidren's Tour. DD still keeps rattling on about the children who lived in Calke Abbey in the olden days now.

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones? Sunny all day.

*Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not? I have recommeded it to a friend who has NT membership and was talking about a property she had been to recently. Wouldn't recommend any NT property to anyone else as the entrance cost and food and drink are just prohibitive for most famililes.

WheresVinick Wed 15-Aug-12 12:21:37

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?
Mottisfont - it's the closest one to home.

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?
The cafe was great and exactly what I expected - I like being able to buy food out instead of taking a picnic. The kite-making (part of the 50 Things...) was a lovely surprise. Really easy to do, well set out, well thought out for the property etc. I had not expected the focus on the art. My memories of NT places are to do with history and buildings - which is what I'm interested in. I am generally underwhelmed by art.

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?
Yes, kite making - see above. We loved it! It was inviting, even though it was un-manned. It was easy for my 3 year old to get her head around and perfect for the setting (think running into the wind down long sloping lawns).

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?
Loved kite-making and lunch. Nervous in the house and disappointed that we couldn't see up-stairs (an exhibition was being prepared).

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?
Being able to see upstairs. More information about the families who had lived in the house (most of the information which was readily available was about the last resident or about her art collection).

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?
Kite making.

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?
It was muddy, but we were prepared for that. No rain, though.

Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?
NT is hard to recommend because of the price (although with one adult and two under fives it seems like better value than with two adults). Still, I wish I had bought membership at the start of the year. Some years it would never be worth it, though.

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?

Hanbury Hall, Coughton Court, Trerice, Croft Castle, Brockhampton Estate, Croome Park, Moseley Old Hall, Wightwick Manor, Buscot Park, Attingham Park and Dudmaston Estate are the ones I can remember.

We've visted so many over the summer I can't remember them all. If we're out and about and getting peckish we usually look for an NT property for a snack or afternoon tea.

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?

I loved the art collection at (I think!) Dudmaston(??). It was great to see a modern art collection. I also love the Briar Rose friezes at Buscott.

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?

We have heard of it but DD is only 2 so a little young.

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?

DD loves running around. She really likes the boxes of toys and things to look at which some of the houses have. She also loved it when Daddy put a helmet on.

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?

I know that the canteens are staffed by volunteers, but can you hire in a consultant to show the volunteers how they can improve their efficiency? Service remains slow and badly organised at most places, there must be improvements that can be made.

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?

The volunteers are awesome. It's also nice if you turn up at a property and there's an event on that you weren't expecting.

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?

If it rains we get wet. We're usually at NT properties to see the House and get food, so we don't tend to walk much around the grounds.

Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?

I think I'd recommend membership above individual properties. If you use it regularly then it works out a real bargain. I think entry has cost us about £2 - £3 per adult per visit, and there's not a lot you can see these days for that little money.

MeghanMc Wed 15-Aug-12 13:46:42

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?

Culzean Castle in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?
Love the place as the castle and ground is just stunning got married there 6 yrs ago in Culzean Castle, says alot :D

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?
Hmmm... don't know anything about this

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?
Spotting the lego figure while walking through the castle, a small hiking trip and the big playground near to the swan pond. It's a good day out.

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?
Nicer weather? Also extra activities are always a bonus and another reason to go there ;)

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?
My wedding :D And also the easter egg hunts went down a treat at Easter.

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?
.... only been there on sunny days.

Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?
Definitely recommend this place.

LineRunner Wed 15-Aug-12 15:07:25

Hadrian's Wall, as beautiful as ever, rain or shine. Definitely recommended for family walking along the crags, with plenty of sites to see and pub meals on hand! Pretty good for public transport (buses, train), too.

Didn't know about the '50 things to do'.

Would always recommend the NT properties to friends. They are so well cared for and not at all 'Disneyfied'.

maples Wed 15-Aug-12 16:24:14

Visited Winpole Hall

Wonderful property but wouldn't recommend. Even if you join you still have to pay for the farm which is the bit our 13 month old most enjoys.

Seeing the farm as a non member costs about £15 for 2 adults and one baby! Parking £2.

As a member £88 for the membership plus £8 each time for the farm!

With such a young toddler we don't yet go that far afield for the membership to be worth it.

Going to the farm once a month as a member = over £180. Can't you offer a season ticket to the farm NT? sadsad

MegBusset Wed 15-Aug-12 16:37:52

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?
Felbrigg Hall, yesterday. It's close to where we live and we hadn't visited it before.

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?
We didn't make it into the house itself (ran out of time) but the garden and grounds were fabulous, from the walled kitchen gardens to longer woodland walks. There was loads of space for the DC to run around and explore.

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?
Is that the list of things kids are supposed to have done by the age of 11? If so then yes I have heard of it and the DC have done most of them smile

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?
They loved following the (very well-marked) paths, climbing trees and having a picnic under a tree.

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?
There was a kids' trail inside the house but not in the gardens; the DC love a trail so might have been nice to have one eg around the walled garden. But only if it's free; given the cost of NT properties it's a bit of a cheek to charge extra for kids' trails, we have been charged up to £2 per child at some properties!

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?
We just really enjoyed wandering around the estate, and sitting out on the lawn in front of the tea shop with coffee and cakes.

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?
We were lucky and it was glorious all day. If it had rained we would have gone inside the house, they had a kids' trail inside.

Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?
I would certainly recommend it to NT members but it is always so expensive for non members especially when you add parking!

MegBusset Wed 15-Aug-12 16:40:32

We have also visited Lanhydrock and Trerice this summer during our holiday in Cornwall, and would highly recommend both.

Booboobedoo Wed 15-Aug-12 16:51:55

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?

Hatchlands near Guildford: because the website flagged it up as particularly good for children.

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?

Beautiful, and much quieter than Polesden Lacey which is our usual haunt. A very relaxed place to be.

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?

We didn't - my two are a bit too young. We'd read about it on the website, though.

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?

They LOVED Wizard Wix's Willow Warren. So much so that we returned the next week.

DS wasn't keen on the cows, but he's scared of his own shadow.

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?

The cafe wasn't well-stocked on the day we were there - no chocolate and only fruit juice or water in the drinks chiller.

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?

The playground, as mentioned above. Also, the sense of space and quietness - unusual in NT properties around here.

I particularly loved the collection of keyboards and the FANTASTIC portrait of Charles II.

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?

It was muggy but dry, so perfect really.

Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Definitely. We've joined recently, and there are so many places near us I think it's paid for itself already!

Indith Wed 15-Aug-12 17:52:01

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?

We went to Gibside. We chose it because it is local to us. We went on the free weekends and having seen how much there was to explore then I decided to get membership this summer to entertain the dcs over the holidays! We have been twice to far this summer and will go again at least once, probably twice.

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?

I like it a lot. Having been before there were no surprises but the first time I went I was amazed at how huge it was! The play area is great, as are the stables with the milking cow. hours of fun.

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?

We have done den building and marshmallow toasting and pond dipping. I think it is great and I love how there are activities every single day so it isn't crowded, the things we've done have just been very simple and chilled out.

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?

They have had a great time exploring both times really (well ok the den building day dd threw a huge tantrum but she is 3 and shattered due to huge growth spurt.) They loved the den building and lugging branches around to make benches and today they spent absolutely ages pond dipping, they could have been there all day.

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?

I think the only thing that would help would be a toilet of some sort at the play area. I know it would have to be composting loos or something and is probably a logistical nightmare but Gibside is HUGE. Loos at stables, great but then the other ones are back out through the entrance and over the other side of the carpark which is a very, very long way from the play area with small children! The play area is a pretty natural place to go with a picnic on arrival with a family so you really don't want to have to herd small, tantrumming infants back out again to the toilet before you can start to explore towards the rope course and up through the woods which involves going back through the play area again.

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?

The kindness of the volunteers and staff at the activities, they just spent so long pointing out bugs and beasties with the children and exclaiming over their finds even though it was probably the millionth one they had seen that day.

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?

We have had lovely weather so far.

Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yes, there is always something good within striking distance for people. Now that we have our membership we will have to visit the over places near us.

gilliancd Wed 15-Aug-12 18:20:23

We joined the NT with the intention of spending all summer having picnics at Fountains abbey. The rain hasn't made this possible but we have still had plenty of days out there- rain or shine!
We're going on holiday in a few weeks so the membership will come in handy for lots of cheap days out on the Pembrokeshire coast.

nickiminja Wed 15-Aug-12 18:26:43

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?
Belton House - nearest property to us, have never been before as it's just too expensive for us, but kids go free in August and I went with a friend so it just cost £9.50 for 3 of us.
Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?
The house was closed on the day we went which was disappointing as the kids wanted to go in because they thought it might be haunted. The grounds were great, we only spent about 30 mins in the playground, and 3.5 hours spent playing hide and seek and running around the grounds. I loved that there were no keep off the grass signs, also lollies were £1.25 which was a reasonable price
Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?
We have heard of it and have done lot sof things on the list in everyday life. It's a nice idea for inspiration
Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy? Freedon to roam
Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what? Would have been nice if th ehouse was open
Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it? Nice weather!
Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones? was good weather
Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not? Already have said we enjoyed this day but it would be too expensive to go with DH and pay for kids too. I wouldn't be able to afford family membership

piprabbit Wed 15-Aug-12 18:46:43

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?
Knole - because I have happy childhood memories of visiting myself, because it is not too far from home, because I thought the DCs would like it.
Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?
It was wonderful. Even the (unexpected) Knole in flux side of things was handled very well
Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?
Yes - 8yo DD has been filling in her list online for a few months and I downloaded a voucher so the children got free entry. Great idea!
Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?
8yo DD enjoyed it all, especially the Materials Quiz as she went round the house. 4yo DS was less impressed, but liked climbing on stuff in the park. He also enjoyed talking to one of the guides about dinosaurs.
Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?
The DCs had seen on the website something about playing skittles, but there was no sign of this sort of activity.
Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?
The lovely guides who all took lots of time to talk to us and were very kind and good at including both DCs
Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?
It rained on arrival and rained as we left - but didn't impact our day
Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes, definitely

LunarRose Wed 15-Aug-12 19:01:52

We do a lot of national trusts but wanted to make a special mention about Ightam Motes I-spy children's activity.

Literally just a couple of photocopied pages of digital camera shot of different items around the house. The shots were in order of the tour round and covered everything from a beautiful bit of stained glass to a lamp in the corridor. There were anywhere between 1 and 4 items from each room and corridor.

DD looked around the house with increased interest, she actually looked at all of itshockgrin (she didn't want to miss anything) and didn't spend the time running from one children's quiz question to the next. It gave her openings to ask about things she might otherwise not have noticed, and we could talk to her about things that specifically interested her.

but what was so brilliant was that DS (special needs) could actually do it too. Usually the kids quizzes are totally beyond him but he loved playing I-spy (even if he didn't find everything) and because both DC were doing the same thing for once DD enjoyed being able to help DS.

Much better than the craft activities (which can be a bit generic) because it was specific to the place and both kids got something educational out of it. Also because it is Cheap, easy to reproduce it is less likely to run out (grr fancy childrens quizz booklet at standen)

Please please please can we have them at all other NT properties too.....

flapperghasted Wed 15-Aug-12 19:05:34

Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?

Dunstanburgh Castle Northumberland. Chosen because it was close to our holiday cottage this year.

Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?

Great castle in a stunning location. Quite ruined but you still got the impression of what t would have been like to live there. This year there was an art installation there but it had been impacted by bad weather.

Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?

We didn't - I had heard of it but we were keen to 'chill' and that's what we did.

Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?

DD loved taking photos and the dog explored everywhere. We hadn't realised what a curious little pup she was.

Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?

No.

Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?

A sailing ship with a huge sail came past and looked stunning against the battlements.

Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?

It was a dry clear day, so no.

Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Definitely. We are members of English Heritage or we'd join. And the properties are always so interesting.

Curlyfrizzball Wed 15-Aug-12 19:26:36

We are members of the NT and visit lots of them. The membership is really worth it if you have a few properties locally.
Q1. Which National Trust property did you visit? Why did you choose this property?
This summer so far we have been to Sudbury Museum of Childhood, Tatton Park, Lyme Park (all when on holiday) and Hinton Ampner because it is local.
Q2. What was your overall impression of the property? Was it what you expected? Were there any surprises?
Enjoyed them all. We know Hinton Ampner quite well. The 3 we visited on holiday surprised me with the amount of stuff there for children, especially at Sudbury. My DD (almost 3) loved it, and all the adults had a good time too.
Q3. Did you take part in any of the National Trust's "50 Things to do"? If so, what did you think of it? If you didn't take part, had you heard of it?
I think I have seen something about it (maybe on Facebook?), but no we didn't take part.
Q4. What did your child(ren) enjoy most about the day? Was there anything they didn't enjoy?
Being allowed to touch things! The Sudbury museum is really interactive, we were there for hours. At Tatton she loved the farm. At Lyme Park children can play with the toys in the childrens bedroom, which was great and she also enjoyed us all dressing up and standing on the stage. At Hinton Ampner she always enjoys running around the grounds exploring!
Q5. Can you think of anything that could have improved your day out? If so, what?
Better weather. Cheaper food and drinks in the cafes - the selection isn't always great for small children either.
Q6. Was there anything that made your day particularly special or memorable? If so, what was it?
All the interactive stuff for children.
Q7. Did the weather affect your day? If it rained, did you take part in any special rainy day activities? If so which ones?
A little. Would have been lovely to explore the grounds more at Lyme Park. I am not aware of rainy day activities taking place at any of the places we visited.
Q8. If it came up in conversation, would you recommend a National Trust property as a day out to friends or family? If so, why? If not, why not?
Definitely. I think they are often quite expensive for a single day out, but the membership is really worthwhile.

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