One of those rare things happened today…a sunny Bank Holiday! I was stuck for ideas but after a quick search online I came up with Blickling Estate. It's a National Trust property a few miles out of Aylsham and I'm a sucker for stately homes.
Being on a tight budget we couldn't afford to go into the house and around the gardens today but access to the park, woodlands, children's play area, shops and cafe is free with parking just £2.50 all day (and even then you can use the voucher attached to get £2.50 off in the cafe or restaurant!)
We grabbed a map and headed off on the 3km Lake Walk. A 7.25km walk takes you to more interesting parts of the park; the pyramid-style Mausoleum, Tower, Great Wood and Pond meadow, but we felt that it was too far for Harry to walk (and me, with my dodgy hip!)
As you leave the car park and begin walking towards the lake you get some great views of Blickling Hall. My phone camera just doesn't do it justice.
We had a lovely, leisurely walk around the lake and the children had fun playing in the wooded area. Once you've circled the lake you come close to the house and gardens. Again, my camera didn't take a great shot but the bluebells below were beautiful.
Coming towards the front of the house again took us past this gorgeous Orangery. Trying to make the trip educational as well as fun I asked Molly if she knew why it was called an Orangery. After a long pause she asked "Was it painted orange?" Bless!
After our picnic lunch we took the children to the play area to run off some steam. It's rather small and looks tired and rundown but it kept them happy for half an hour! It was such a gorgeous and warm afternoon that I lay down on the grass soaking up some rays while they chased each other around (Charlie wearing Molly's cardigan for some odd reason) and competing to see who could do the best handstand. Oh, how I wish I could have taken part!
We then went for a quick wander around the courtyard and had a closer look at the house. The architecture is absolutely stunning. I'm hoping that we can save up and visit the house one day. Although stately homes & estates are not usually Charlie's thing he thoroughly enjoyed it and begged us to do the other 3km trail. If only I had that boy's energy!
We eventually managed to convince him that we will definitely return to Blickling so we then took a short trip to Cromer to enjoy an ice-cream.
A truly wonderful bank holiday. Let's hope the next one is as much fun!
This post has been linked up with Coombemill's Country Kids linky.