We’ve been National Trust members now for 18 months but this was our first visit to Washington Old Hall. This property is just a little drive from our house and not far at all from the shops in Washington. We visited The Galleries for lunch before heading into Washington Old Hall; apparently there is a tea room here but we didn’t go inside the house and therefore didn’t partake of an afternoon tea! This is a real gem for an afternoon exploration in the outside. It’s a small place, but big enough for a toddler and preschooler to find it thoroughly exciting. There are different levels of gardens, each different and all with areas for children to run around in.
When we visited there was an Easter egg hunt to complete. This was a rather sweet hunt, as we were searching for animals hidden in the gardens. A map showed us where each one was, and James is really loving maps these days since he’s been learning about them in nursery. At Washington Old Hall each animal was hidden under a slice of tree trunk with a clue to the identity of what was beneath, with smaller tree trunk slices nearby, but those had footprints of the creature etched on. Have you read the Gruffalo’s Child? It says “whose are these footprints and where do they go?”, which of course we had to say every time we found an animal.
Apart from the Easter hunt there was plenty to keep the boys occupied. A croquet game on the top lawn held them captive for a long time. Noah watched me show James how to hit the ball through the hoops and he spent a while trying to do the same. James preferred to use the hoops as hurdles.
The last area we explored was a field, with a pond, bee hives, trees and dens. So much fun!
We throughly enjoyed our time at Washington Old Hall. Maybe next time we’ll combine our visit to the gardens with a look around the house; I am interested in the links to George Washington!