We visited the very beautiful Chirk Castle, which is a National Trust property in North Wales. We arrived at opening time (10am) though we were not the first in the car park, by any means! First things first, we had to play for a while in the stick houses, and the surrounding area. These dens are next to the car park, just to the right of the entrance cottage.
After a good while playing, balancing, hiding and generally having fun, we headed through the visitor centre, past the shop, and out into the grounds. Almost. James spotted some tractors and at the same time I saw there was a track to drive them on, so I picked one up and carried it up the hill. He played there, very happily, with a few other preschoolers for a long time, until I called him over for our picnic.
The last time we were at Chirk Castle, I was pregnant with Noah. Now he’s a crawling, eating, massive baby! How time flies!
There’s also a playground next to the food hatch, which is conveniently near to the tractor track, so you can sit at the picnic tables, drink a coffee, and watch your little ones all while relaxing. Ideal. More places need to think of this!
We played in there for a good while until we set out for the castle. To get to the castle from the visitor centre area, you have to go along a gravelled path, up a steep hill, and then run along next to the castle before you come to the enormous entrance door. This took quite a time, because James decided he was an excavator, and lay on the ground digging the gravel with his hands. Then, he ran backwards up the hill…
Anyway, we got there eventually!
Inside the entrance there is a large courtyard, and there’s another cafe, if you need a cuppa after puffing up that hill (actually, a bus will shuttle you up the hill at fairly regular intervals, but any excuse for a coffee, eh?)
I managed to capture the first time a ladybird climbed on to his finger on video.
After this magical encounter with the wildlife, James dotted in and out of the rooms downstairs, telling anyone who would listen that he’d found some ladybirds, and they’d crawled on his hands. It’s so cute to hear him excited about things, but even more great when adults interact with his enthusiasm.
Inside the castle tower we played at building castles for a while, and also did some drawing. There is a rail full of brilliant dress-up clothes. I think the next time we visit, James might fit some of them a little better. He was very keen to wear a cape, but they were all massive and put him off.
Then, after a very full day, we headed home. We left Chirk Castle at 4pm, so we really had been there all day, which you can’t fault really – there’s so many different things to do. Well done, National Trust!