Location: Doe Lea, S44 5QJ, Derbyshire, England
"Very child friendly…"
I was a mystery shopper for Hardwick Hall last year for Mumsnet, and this is the first time I've been back - I was really impressed with the changes they've made. My two sons are 2.5 and 10mths, they're at a really difficult stage, the oldest refuses to walk and the youngest wants to walk everywhere but isn't really capable, and this is the nicest morning out we've had for some time. We just did the gardens this time, and the boys still enjoyed the natural discoveries same as last time - the oldest was delighted and amazed to discover apples grow on trees He was also very excited to discover the fairies in the wood have new neighbours, in fact the worst bit of the trip was having to make him leave the fairy doors - he would have stayed there all day and there were some tears. They've put in lots of new games on the lawns - croquet, badminton, skittles, hula hoops etc etc, there's giant chess and some big foam bricks and sticks for the kids to build forts with. The restaurant is still more of an adult area (but adults are allowed some space!!) - next time I will bring a picnic, but there is lots of picnic space so this wouldn't be a problem. We had a lovely time overall, very well done indeed National Trust.