After all the snow and miserable weather we’ve had in March the sun finally came out, the bubble machine made an appearance from the shed (much to our delight… neighbours not so much as any sighting of a bubble sends these two in a crazy spin of shouting and laughing… I think it’s cute) so we decided to book in a lovely family day out to Dunham Massey Hall & Park having never been before.
The day came and so did the rain, but we threw on our waterproofs and wellies, packed up the picnic and made the journey regardless. M60 traffic left much to be desired but hey, that’s what the Ipad and Toy Story 2 is for!
So, we arrived in the rain but with a glimpse of sun trying to burst through… paid our dues… it was £7 per car, which includes access to the deer park and some little bits on display, i.e. a small mill and some old stables. We decided to pay the extra to go into the gardens which was £8.50 per adult… actually £10 as they ask if you want to add gift aid, which of course you can’t say know to.
We probably spent a good 4 hours there and in honesty didn’t feel like we saw 4 hours worth as it was probably too much walking for 2 year olds and there isn’t really a great deal there to amuse toddlers either. The site, whilst beautiful, doesn’t have a great deal of facilities to offer kids… a small playground wouldn’t go amiss.
The gardens were nice… but wrong time of year I guess, so wasn’t really value for money in my opinion. My niece, aged 6, enjoyed the flower hunt activity using a kids map around the gardens, but again that was wasted on toddlers and my nephew, aged 10, didn’t look all too amused either.
When it came to lunch time, the weather still wasn’t great and trying to find somewhere sheltered with seating to eat a picnic with a hoard of kids was difficult. They do have a lovely café and a restaurant, which seemed reasonably priced… and cakes where good, which we of course gorged on with a brew to warm up before home.
The highlight for me was getting to see the deer up close, but by the time we did that I had two toddlers groaning ‘carry’ at me… I knew I should have packed the buggy, rookie mistake!
Would I go again? Maybe when the boys are a bit older, but in all honesty I don’t think I would be rushing back. Sorry National Trust!