A lovely sunny day gave us an opportunity to enjoy some family time between the morning feed run and afternoon train ride. We indulged in a late farm style breakfast and set off for Lanhydrock House. Despite having lived at Coombe Mill thirteen years and this great National Trust House being only 20 minutes from us, we have never visited. Guests are often asking us about it and the locals have told us the new cycle paths are wonderful for families so we piled in the car and set off. All of us except the eldest Alistair who is in the middle of his GCSE exams and stayed to revise. This was our first trip away from Coombe Mill as a family since his exams began and I did feel guilty leaving him, but we promised a BBQ with friends in the evening as an incentive and that he should make the most of a quiet house for a few hours.
Arriving at Lanhydrock we found parking easy in the newly built and free car park. I could see immediately why everyone is talking about Lanhydrock. There is a wonderful purpose built play area for children and very modern airy looking cafe right next to the car park. The kids all circled it but only Clio went in, a sad reminder that mine are growing up now. Years ago we would have struggled to move them passed this point and it looked as though many were here for a bite to eat and an easy afternoon’s play.
Bike hire from here means you can do some of the 10k of family cycle paths through woodland without paying to go into the house, or of course for free if you take your own bike and we have undercover bike storage at Coombe Mill. We did consider this but sorting seven bikes with the inevitable fixes they would need first meant it was one to wait for another day.
It is a short walk to the house entrance but there is a land train running back and forth, racing this was a must for my gang; followed by hopping over the garden wall just to fool the poor ticket lady as Nick tried to pay and explain there were five children with us!
The grounds are wonderful, I can only imagine we saw them at their best with the Rhododendrons out. There is plenty of space to wander free and paths for buggies, the kids soon found the little cafe selling ice creams and were very happy exploring and playing.
We insisted on a tour inside the house, it was beautifully presented with plenty of information on the family that owned the house, how it burned down and was then restored and the use for each of the many rooms. The younger children lost interest after the kitchens when I wouldn’t let them steal a jam tart from the display and went on ahead. The old style knife cutters, fridges and huge fireplace grill were actually fascinating.
As we passed the school room there was evidence on the little black boards they had worked their way right round, all be it faster than us!
On our way back to the car we stopped to watch the Gymkhana taking place and of course climb a tree or too.
My favourite photo from the day, it had to be with the beautiful rhododendrons.
A lovely day out and I think we will be back with the bikes too.
Back at Coombe Mill it was time for the train ride and to fire up that promised BBQ for Ally who missed all the fun.
Joining in with Country Kids
If you have been out enjoying the Summer weather do come and share here on the linky. All outdoor activities are welcome, Country Kids is about making the most of family screen free time for fun outdoors from your garden to the beach. Nature’s playground gives children so many opportunities for play, learning, crafts and adventure. Please do grab the badge and check out the other posts here, there are always some inspiring ideas you may like to try.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.