stained glass at compton verney

Making the most of an annual pass at Compton Verney

Last weekend we were at a bit of a loose end which is always good when you’ve got a full day free that’s full of sunshine.  Seeing a friend on Facebook was also looking for something to do, we decided to join up and head to Compton Verney for another visit.

compton verney

After only 2 visits, I’ve broken even on my annual membership – a bargain at £12, so I was happy, and we had a lazy wander.  My friend has a baby of around 7 months old so it was good to see how buggy friendly it was, and N obviously just loves to run around in the open spaces.

We checked out the Ice House again,

the ice house at compton verney

The willow tunnel which was now green and leafy compared with last time we visited.  N wasn’t too sure about it later on as there were other older children playing in it, but he still had a couple of run throughs, with a beaming smile on his face.  You can’t beat a tunnel, natural or manmade for firing up a child into action.

through the tunnel

We didn’t venture too close to the lake but it was as beautiful as ever, with the sun shining on the Rodin and Moore exhibits.  There’s also a World War 1 trench warfare exhibition running over the summer, so if you’re into your art, the exhibitions seem to change fairly frequently.  We didn’t check out any of the inside galleries as it’s not really that interesting for children that young when there’s sunny weather outside.

moore at compton verney

I hadn’t noticed the chapel last time we visited; it’s being restored so we had a quick look and saw some lovely stone work and stained windows.

stained glass at compton verney

An early lunch for which N scoffed it down.  They cater well for children, but 2 fingers of sandwich isn’t really sufficient for a 3 year old, let alone a 10 year old.  N was looking round for more sandwich.

As it was really warm weather, we took our time wandering back up the drive, having a sit down to look at the view and have a chat.  The children quite happily sat, lay, sang and jumped around as they wanted (N obviously doing the latter!)

sitting on grass at compton verney

I’d mentioned the playground so of course N wanted to check that out.  It was less muddy than last time, so there was chance to get in the dens,

checking out the dens

and explore and watch older children trying to build their own.  He had a couple of goes on the zip wire and over some of the wooden bridges where they were just about small enough for him to get on them.

When it comes to playground now, he really doesn’t have much fear, and wants to try out lots of the equipment.  There’s certain things I’m happy to let him have a go at, but huge rope climbing frames that are horizontal to the ground rather than vertical…maybe not!

compton verney

We had a lovely few hours spent there, and considering some schools had broken up for summer and the glorious weather, I’d have expected it to be busier.  Even as we left, the car park wasn’t full.  If you live near places like this with lots of outdoor space, I’d definitely advocate getting an annual pass if possible – it means you can drop in as and when you fancy an hour out here and there without having to worry about paying and spending a whole day there to get your money’s worth.  With many family passes, they don’t prescribe photos/specific family members (unfortunately Blenheim Palace does which doesn’t work for us as I never know who I’d be going with) which means you could visit with anyone.

Do you have any art gallery places like this near you?  Do you make the most of annual passes to places?

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  1. What a great place to have annual membership for. The willow tunnel looks wonderful and I’ve pinned this as an idea for Coombe Mill. I can see many more fun fternoons spent here. Thankyou for sharing on Country Kids.

  2. Emma, the stained glass window is just beautiful. I love the colours! Looks like a great place to wander about and get rid of the kids energy at the same time. #countrykids

    1. I need to use mine more. We’ve only been 3 times, but I think I have an extra 3 months on it which is good (must have been a renew and get another 3 months free offer on!). Must get there again now there’s stuff over the summer on

  3. What a nice place! i am so in love with that massive sculpture! The exhibits sounds awesome too. Just for the art exhibits the money you paid is so worth it! #pocolo

  4. This looks like such a lovely place to explore. There are so many different things to do. I keep intending to buy an annual pass for Texas State Parks but my son and I usually go to the State Parks with a friend who has an annual pass. The passes really do make visiting the parks a bargain.

    1. If you’ve got annual pass places nearby they’re definitely worth doing as you say. I like the ones that are just family passes – without photos, so you can taken anyone on them. one near us takes photos so it has to be the specific family person each time. Annoying as I go each time with different people.

  5. That does sound like a bargain. We have annual passes to a couple of places and they work out so well. Change them most years, so the novelty isn’t lost. It does look like a wonderful place to visit. #CountryKids

    1. That’s it, I think there’s so much more pressure from tourist venues to keep changing, it means there’s always something new to see. Thanks for stopping by

  6. That Henry Moore is just amazing! Looks like a wonderful place to visit, and I completely agree re passes. It’s so much nicer to be able to just pop into places for an hour and know you can come back again. #CountryKids

    1. Definitely, although I do find that because I want to go to different places all the time, we don’t use our passes as often as we should.

  7. It looks like such a beautiful place – I love the Rodin sculptures. I just try to make use of all the free local art galleries and museums.


    1. I know. It’s great for education for older children, but for that price it doesn’t matter if you just go for a picnic in the grounds/use the playground!

  8. Was a good day. You write very well about stuff, very logically and sensibly.

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