Today we went out to Anglesey Abbey. It happens to be conveniently located between Merry and myself, and so an ideal place for us to arrange a transfer of daughters – I have acquired an extra one for a few days. It also achieved ticking off of another item from my summer todo list – visit more National Trust properties. We have annual membership, but have been sadly pathetic at actually using it this year, which is bad, considering how much there is near us. So I’m now on a drive to make it pay for itself by visiting sufficient properties between now and the end of September when our membership renews.
Of course, if they all have such good food offers as today, it won’t be cheap even without the entrance fees…
Usually when we go to this type of place I’m a skinflint and take a packed lunch. This despite being very aware that National Trust properties do excellent food, as we experienced when I won a meal out at Sutton hoo. Today however I just hadn’t got organised, and we didn’t have any bread in the house, so I was winging it somewhat. So I was interested to see a sign for Family meal deal for £15. This turned out to be any 4 sandwiches (the grown up versions seemed to be £3.25, while the kids’ rolls were £1.50), a bottle of posh apple juice, a large bag of crisps and a meal deal pack of 4 flapjacks, marked up at £3. Not a bad selection of food, and everyone catered for.
Dp pointed out when we got home that we could consider this in terms of a service station stop. We’d not get much change out of £15 then, wouldn’t enjoy the visit nearly as much, and certainly wouldn’t get the added enjoyment of exploring the rather glorious gardens. Given that it’s just over an hour from home (depending of course on what the traffic is doing, which we won’t talk about too much *sob*) it’s a good place to bear in mind for meeting up with more distant friends, and the food option enhanced that nicely.
So, I think I’ve covered the food now. The house isn’t open Mon/Tues, but that left a large expanse of very beautiful gardens for exploring, which we did slowly as it was a very hot day. Plus Smallest was on foot, so our pace couldn’t be particularly rapid.
Brings me to a thought. When I sling her about the place, one of the questions ppl ask is how will she ever learn to walk? My experience is that slinged (slung?) children tend to walk sooner and further, and there’s a simple reason behind this. It’s that they are heavy, so when you get where you’re going, you tend to take them out of the sling/wrap/carrier and *put them down*. Which encourages the whole locomotion thing. Whereas it can be easier, it seems, to leave children in buggies longer – they are out of trouble, you know where they are, and so on. There’s no particularly obvious cut off point as to when you should get them out – while size dictates less carrying and more walking when carrying is your way forward. Just a thought. Smallest certainly walks pretty well, if not terribly quickly, but then again, she has only got little legs 😉
So we spent several hours gently exploring gardens. Small was a bit bored – I should have encouraged him to pick up the spotting statues children’s pack and he’d have had something to be doing. But the girls had a great time, and it was good to have bits of chats on various benches with Merry and Max. Until eventually I loaded up four children into the car and came home.
Pizza for tea, which I couldn’t eat 🙁 and a gradual settling down with the extra child. I suspect there may be a late morning happening tomorrow.
(If you’d like a second opinion on Anglesey Abbey with kids, check out this precious little one blog