We like to break up long car jorneys with a stop over at a National Trust property (free as we're members). Just thought it would be nice to share tips over which ones are good to go to with kids as sometimes its hard to tell from the handbook. So;
Belton House, Lincs (off A1 near Grantham). Fantastic adventure playground, mini-train rides, formal gardens as well as the house. House has one room with old Victorian era toys that children can get hands on with. Also in the old stable block is a kids' craft room where there is normally some type of crafty activity to do.
Clumber Park, Notts (near Worksop). Large woodland/parkland and lake. Great for walking, cycling and picnics.
Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury. Good adventure playground, aviary with rare, tropical birds, gardens. We didn't go in the house.
Well yes, we're in the same boat. Which is why we're trying to use the membership more. I always try and convince myself that its a free day out when we do go. But its idea before and after a holiday when I'm spent up and have no more money. I was literaly counting out change to buy DD an icecream today after an expensive weekend away. [grin
We are also members but use it alot as there are 5/6 sites reasonably close to us which we visit at least once a year and most of them 2/3 times.
My fave is Montacute House, just off the A303 in Somerset (good for those London - Cornwall journeys)
They do loads of events for childrens. There is a picnic area/play area. The cakes in the coffee shop are superb. They have part of the National Portrait Gallery in the attic, with jigsaws for the children as well as drawing stuff.
Dyrham Park, J18 of the M4 is also a nice house and gardens, nothing specifically for children but much better than a motorway service station.