Tuesday 22 July 2014

#CountryKids at National Trust Allan Bank in Grasmere

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

We hadn't been to the Allan Bank at Grasmere since the week it opened to the pubic in 2012. So when an acquaintance wanted to meet somewhere child friendly near Langdale I immediately suggested it as a rendezvous. Several members of my family decided to copy us too so that we had 3 generations visiting the place. 

After finding a car park space at the right end of the village we walked up the lane to the property as there is only limited disabled parking on site. My children couldn't resist climbing the rock formation to the side of the drive:

It was interesting to see how much had changed in the last 2 and a bit years! As it was gutted by fire in 2011 it has been a slow job to restore any of the rooms:

fire damaged door panels

The first room my daughter made a beeline for is now called Wordsworth's study as the poet lived here with his family and that of Samuel Coleridge. The bay window was set up for bird and squirrel watching with chairs and binoculars:

The thing my children both enjoyed doing in here though was trying out the various typewriters. Neither of them had of course come across one before and I had to dredge the memory banks to help get them going and troubleshoot:

After a while the appeal of typing palled and they moved on to the playroom. This is set to cater for lots of different ages with a comfy sofa:

Prompts and hand outs for 50 things:

Or just a book corner:

My children were quite happy being left to their own devices so I wandered around and was pleased to find that there was still an art room laid out with paint, pencils and pastels:

The room that really tempted me though was the reading room with lots of chairs and loads of books to browse:

We then went upstairs and discovered that there was a room full of board games which would be perfect on a wet or cold day:

There are so many windows in the property and each of them had some form of activity to do whilst you enjoy the view. Just wish I'd known how to knit a square to add to the blanket being created here:

Whilst I was up there I heard the sound of a piano and when I peeked over the balcony my daughter was having a go on the lovely grand piano: 

If you would like to hear her then its on Instagram. By now I was peckish and as it was a lovely day we took our picnic outside (you can eat anywhere inside though!). My children loved the deckchairs dotted around the terrace:

After a while they had had enough of eating and headed over to the swing hanging from one of the trees:

My daughter spotted that the toddler swing was snagged in the branches and got me to extract it. Then she proved she was still skinny enough to get into it (getting out again caused much hilarity!):

We then retired back indoors as the rest of our party were in the house and the children all headed for the art room:

Don't think either of them will be keeping me with their royalties just yet but they both enjoyed themselves. My son's modernist work is currently on the fireplace in one of the display frames!

I was keen to explore the grounds a bit so we took what was advised as a 10 minute walk through the gardens. The longer 45 minute walk isn't safe for younger children as there are steep drops. We got as far as the chapel and were diverted by the games they had laid out inside what had been a billiards room in Victorian times:

I left the younger ones with my friends and took my daughter up the steep path to see where it led. On the way she spotted a rabbit:

At the top is a tunnel which cuts through the ridge of the hill:

We didn't get a chance to explore further but I will do sometime when we haven't got a toddler with us. Instead we went back down to join the others:

It was amazing how long it took to traverse the next bit of path as my son dragged everyone into the woods to build a den:

Further along we came across the more official den building area which also had some logs which were very comfy to sit on:

There were also 2 rope swings in the tree which my daughter had lots of fun on:

Finally we realised it was time to return to cars before the tickets ran out. We spent just over 3.5 hours there but could easily have spent a day! Definitely a property to recommend to people of all ages.

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