We have been so busy these last few weeks that I haven’t managed to write about our visit to Blickling Estate for February half term. Well until now.
A year ago, Sam and I made the decision to become National Trust members. We had been to Oxburgh Hall a couple of times and really liked it. It seemed like a great way to make sure we would have something to do every weekend. Somewhere new to explore with the children. The with everything that happened last year, we just didn’t get round to using it. Something that we plan to change this year. So, our first visit of the year was February, to Blickling Estate, for their Tiger That Came to Tea exhibition.
The Tiger That Came to Tea.
The children love the book “The Tiger That Came to Tea” and so it made perfect sense to take them in the half term to the exhibition. There was to be different activities, including the story being read which we booked onto. We were hoping for some nice weather to enjoy the gardens a little, we were blessed with the best weather ever for February.
Our day didn’t start off well. The children were bickering, again. This meant that we left very late, and missed our slot for the story. Reuben was a bit upset he had missed it. Part of me was pleased, a lesson that all actions have consequences. The other part felt bad for them. Anyway I digress..
Looking for Tigers
We decided to look around the house first.
We were greeted by staff who showed us where to put my friends pushchair (it is not accessible by pushchair). Once we had dropped off what we wasn’t taking, we were then asked if we had been before. We hadn’t. They explained the order you walk the house as it is a one way direction. This is really helpful due to the areas that have been roped off. They also explained to Reuben how there were 10 little tigers hidden around the house that he needed to find.
I thought this was a great way to keep the younger children entertained in a place in which they may now have interest. The only issue we had is that then Reuben wanted to only look for the tigers and that meant we was ushered around by a 5-year-old. Still he had fun, and he found 8 of the 10 tigers.
Near the kitchens is where the drawing activities were set up and the prints from the book. Reuben and Jessica put the tiger capes on, although as soon as the camera was pointed they were out of them again. There was a statue tiger sitting at the table and some food toys scattered. It was very busy here with the young children wanting to play with the tiger. It did mean that Jessica, Reuben and Little Miss F (my friends little girl) didn’t stand a chance of getting near it, so we moved on.
In the Grounds
Once we had finished in the house, we thought it was a good time to eat. As we came out a different door it meant we had to find our way to the front of the house again to get the pushchair. I would suggest if you are taking a pushchair that you don’t go out the exit but return to the main staircase – that’s what a lot of others were doing anyway.
With the weather being as lovely as it was we decided to picnic. There were plenty of picnic areas around, or space for a blanket on the floor if you prefer. The picnic benches were overlooking the lake and it was a lovely area. They also offer a cafe if you prefer not to picnic.
Because of how much space there was we were able to let the children run around whilst we sat and watched. I imagine the space can become more crowded in the summer but for us it was lovely.
Once we were finished we cleaned up and then headed to the growing gardens. Here, the children could see the vegetables growing, as well as pot their own broad bean to bring home. This was free but donations are recommended.
We didn’t manage to go on any of the various walks. I foolishly didn’t take our pushchair for Jessica and so little legs were becoming tired. Good news is that it means I have to go back and do some more exploring. This time we can take Daddy with us!!
Have you been to Blickling Estate? Or do you have another favourite National Trust location to visit? Let me know…