Hyde Hall Gardens

Another day out – we went to Hyde Hall Gardens in April. We’ve been before, but this was easily my favourite time. The gardens were in bloom, and although it was a little windy, there are enough cafes and sheltered spots to make it enjoyable. Once again the photos will show it off better than my words…Starred Photos251

The little one loved the ducks of course, and we were all fascinated by the sculptures including the one below which moved in the wind.

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The small print – Hyde Hall is and RHS garden. Entry is £9.95 for adults, £4.95 for children aged 5-16 and free for under 5’s. The amounts vary a bit according to whether you include gift aid, buy family tickets etc etc but that’s roughly what you’ll pay. The cafe was busy, but we did get a table fairly easily. The food was good, although I wouldn’t recommend their kiddie lunchboxes – most of it was processed food and it included no fruit. They also have a very nice shop with plants, books, home goods, toys and more.

It’s not set up for children – keep an eye on them around the pond – so there is no playground, but there are plenty of areas for little ones to potter and it’s fairly buggy friendly (although you will be pushing on smooth grass if you want to explore the whole garden). We all had a lovely time and look forward to going again in a different season.

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Claremont Landscape Garden

We visited Claremont in early February for a family day out and had such a lovely time, it has inspired what I hope will be a regular series of posts here. I always love to read about what other people do in their free time, especially if it inspires adventures of our own.IMG_5791IMG_5810It was chilly (see the birds standing on the ice?) but bright and Claremont is a lovely little place to visit for a breath of fresh air, beautiful views and (as with all National Trust places) excellent cake in the cafe. I think photos will do it more justice than words so here are a few more…

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IMG_5803We are NT members so entry was free, but the website lists prices at £8 per adult and £4 per child. I’d say for a day out that would be a little pricey for us but with membership it is a bargain. There is a lovely wooden playground with a castle and a bridge, and the little one loved pottering around near the birds by the lake. As you can see, they’re pretty tame. In the woods you’ll stumble across lots of sculptures, and a thatched cottage with 19th century games and costumes (for the children!). There’s a nine pin bowling alley near the top of the hill, a lake, a tower and an amazing turf amphitheatre. And again, the cakes really do deserve a second mention…