Henry moore sculpture

Exploring sculptures at Compton Verney

It’s been almost a week since we went to Compton Verney for a day out, but I’ve only just got round to sorting through all the photos I took.  I’d never been to Compton Verney and always meant to given it’s less than half an hour away from us, so when we had a spare day, it was time to make the trip.

I’d checked in advance whether it would be suitable for children of N’s age given it’s basically a museum of art and exhibitions.  But the website was pretty comprehensive in detailing what family and child activities were on, plus there is a playground.  For under fives it’s also free, and it’s not expensive for adults either, so even if it hadn’t been as expected, it wouldn’t have been that much of a problem.

view across the lake to Compton Verney

I needn’t have worried with N though.  Let’s face it, he’ll enjoy anywhere as long as there’s lots of green space to explore, and food.  Compton Verney has both.  I bought a season ticket as for only a couple of quid extra, it will mean I only need to go twice to break even.  It’s definitely good value.  You can choose to pay extra for the additional exhibitions, but there’s plenty for your money artwork-wise without paying the extra.

The car park’s not far from the house and it’s a lovely walk through the willows, past the Ice House, and over the bridge to cross the lake and walk up to the house.

willow tunnel fun

I hadn’t realised before turning up that there was a Henry Moore/Rodin exhibition in the grounds so I was pleased there were some sculptures to introduce N to.  I do like Henry Moore pieces, so it was interesting to see them in the flesh.

Rodin sculpture compton verney
Henry Moore sculpture
Rodin sculpture
Henry moore sculpture
N loved this Moore piece. He thought it was a tractor…it does look a bit like one

The grounds are lovely, and with lots to see and places to explore.  There’s also some natural den areas set up for children, although they were a bit muddy so we didn’t really check them out.  N did do a spot of tree ‘climbing’ or pretending to ride a horse.

climbing trees at comptom verney

I also tried to explain to him the concept of counting rings on trees to work out their age.  My estimation for this stump was ‘very old’ which N seemed to accept.

counting tree stump rings

N refused to let me head up the hill to find the final 3 sculptures, instead he was enjoying playing with the gravel more.

child playing with gravel

I think he was a bit gutted as I’d told him he couldn’t take his bike or scooter, but there were other children on theirs.  But he didn’t seem too concerned as there was plenty of grass to play on, and corners of the building to explore.

The building is beautiful,and inside is full of rooms of beautiful artwork.  We only flitted through the Naples room where N seemed to like one painting where he told me ‘the babies haven’t got any clothes on’.

art at Compton Verney

Something tells me he wasn’t feeling much for most of the art on display though.

laying down at Compton Verney

We did stop in the family room and discover area.  If you go to Compton Verney with children, this room gives you more information about the place, provide games and activities for children to play with, and just generally provides a bit of a respite if the children aren’t feeling the grown-up art.

I also had a nosy at the children’s backpacks that are available for free to help kids discover Compton Verney and what’s there.  There were a good variety, aimed at different ages.  Definitely worth checking out if you head there at the start of your visit.

Of course we checked out the cafe.  There’s a proper restaurant as well, but we opted for the cafe.  There’s sandwiches, soup, jacket potatoes and salads, and a children’s pick and mix bag for which there were decent sandwiches (no fake cheese or jam!) and nice healthy choices.  The service was REALLY slow considering there weren’t really any complicated meals being ordered, but the prices weren’t ridiculous, and the choices were all reasonable.

Before heading back to the car, we detoured off to the playground.  The walk through the redwoods was amazing with the sun streaming through them.  N was keen to find the biggest stick possible.

playing with twigs

I was relieved that he decided to leave it behind.

The playground is better for older children than those of N’s age.  There is a toddler area with a train and swings

wooden play train at Compton Verney
playswing in the woods at Compton Verney

I think N would have loved to have tried the zip wire, and there were some great climbing and obstacles for older children.  I loved the dens that were built around the playground area.  We didn’t explore them as it was a bit boggy underground and we weren’t in wellies, but in summer, being there with friends, it would be great to have them as little secret hideaways.

Compton Verney

The best thing about Compton Verney was that although the car park was packed when we left, it didn’t seem crowded in any of the places we were in because there’s so much space, even in the galleries themselves.

We’ll definitely be going back and possibly taking a picnic next time to make the most of the grounds.

Check out the Winter light trails at Compton Verney.

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    1. Definitely head back. Especially if you can get there for the Moore Rodin exhibition. The playground’s a little old, but lots of dens to explore and space for picnics.

    1. Definitely for all ages. I’m not a big art fan, but the sculpture was something a bit different, so nice to have turned up to find the exhibition on.
      Thanks for popping by

    1. I’m not particularly into art as such. Like a bit of the classics at the National Gallery, but that’s about it. But the sculptures were quite interesting and made the grounds a bit more interesting.
      Thanks for popping by

  1. How funny! I’ve got a friend who just posted on Facebook that she was going to visit Compton Verney, and I’d never heard of it before then. It looks like a lovely place and your pictures show what a great day out you clearly had 🙂

    1. Definitely a small world. Seems like quite a small place, and not that well known round here, but turns out it’s a great day out.
      Thanks for commenting

  2. Looks like a great place ad a great day out. I agree the Henry Moore sculpture does look like a tractor! Never too young to enjoy sculptures

  3. It looks like you had tons of fun together. I like the idea of an ‘Ice House’ – was it as cool as I imagine it to be? (Sorry for the terrible joke!)

    1. lol. I was imagining an actual ‘igloo’ but it was stone and thatch – where they used to store ice. You could definitely feel the cold there.

  4. A lovely visit and something for both young and old! I love the sculptures in the grounds they must have looked amazing against the beautiful backdrop of the house. As you say a return visit in the summer with a picnic with friends will be lovely. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

    1. You’re right about how nice the sculptures looked. Really was quite a sight as you walked up to the house to see them all.

  5. That looks like a really good day out. Not sure my kids will be that interested in the art but sounds like the playground is perfect for their age. #countrykids

    1. The galleries are a bit old I think, but the sculptures are interesting for kids. One family were giving the poor kids a proper lesson about the history on Moore/Rodin.

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