We have been National Trust members for a couple of years now and much like our membership to the Horniman Museum in South East London, it's money well spent! The great thing about it is we can pitch up at any National Trust location and it doesn’t matter if we spend an hour or a day there. The trouble with these sort of places and young children is that you’re never sure how long you’ll get before one of them (or us) has a meltdown - if you are paying for each visit it can be either great value or very expensive depending on how long you stay. They are always really well set up for kids too, with activities, playgrounds, open spaces and (sometimes) animals!
Wimpole Hall and Home Farm in Cambridgeshire is somewhere I know well, I grew up a short drive away and have many memories from my childhood as we spent time on the farm and in the gardens. The Home Farm is a working farm and one of the UK’s largest rare breed centres and is great for kids to learn about and get up close to a range of animals from Long Horn Cattle, Shire Horses, Shetland Ponies, as well as Sandy and Black pigs.
Our visit on this occasion was only ever meant as a short one as we were on our way home from a birthday party. I’m rather partial to a cream tea and National Trust places tend to do great cream teas. Unfortunately, B had fallen asleep by the time we arrived, but as I was determined to get my tea I decided to wake him…boy what a mistake that was. It was like someone had told him that all the DC Comics and Marvel Characters didn’t want to be friends with him and Buzz Lightyear had moved out to ‘clear his head’ and probably wasn’t coming back! To get him to stop screaming I employed all of the parenting skills I had learned over the last three years, but in the end it came down to good old fashioned bribery in the form of cake (like his dad, B is turning into a bit of cake fiend). Of course, once we were on our way it was fine.
After some lunch, and my cream tea, we took a slow walk to the Farm, with B checking every single muddy puddle, no matter how small, to ensure it was good for splashing.
Once at the farm we made our way around the animals and then jumped on the tractor as it was ready to leave to take visitors back to the car parks. B was obviously delighted, in fact, we think he preferred it to the animals! Once back at the car park there was time for some photos in the tractor. B was in his element, sitting in the driver's seat and tooting the horn.
Tired and cold, we all jumped in the car. B was sans trousers as all the splashing had soaked them in cold muddy water (we had spares but he was wearing them following a urinal incident – not his fault). We headed back to London with the heated car seats on full blast.
What we took