I do like a castle when we’re visiting places, and there were a few on Jersey to visit. I wanted to head out to the east coast to Gorey. The perfect opportunity to make the most of our bus passes, to see the coast, and explore the coastal town. Add Mont Orgueil castle in, and I was envisaging a lovely morning out.
Gorey is a pretty seaside town. The bus pulls right into the centre where flower displays abound, restaurants and cafes are around the ‘square’ and the castle sits looking down over the town.
We decided that there probably wasn’t much else other than the castle to see, so headed towards it. We did discover the rocky bay and a walkway out where people were swimming. N enjoyed walking along it, and it was like being on the edge of the world. A beautiful feeling.
The castle was a reached via steep steps, with a friendly welcome in the shop/reception. Given N’s staying power, I decided against the tour, but there was still plenty to discover on our own.
We started off with a short video and some interesting helmets and weaponry before heading up around the castle walls. There are a lot of steps involved, so not great for really young children or those unable to cope with steps.
First stop was the tower with the children’s costumes in. Several other children were roaming the castle wearing the fancy dress outfits. Of course N didn’t want to join in. It was then that he announced he was scared of castles.
This flummoxed me a bit because he’s never been scared of them before. But it seemed that walking through the walls, coming face to face with a life size statue of a knight on his horse had put him off. He was dragging me away from the brilliant statue and he wouldn’t walk past it even with me in between. He’s never been a child to be scared of things (apart from disliking model people at tourist places – but I’d thought he’d got over those a while before).
I suggested the play area which overlooked the sea. It was a fairly small play area, but all wooden. But I couldn’t get N to step inside because in addition to the climbing frame there were workmen carved out of wood. I despaired!
Once I managed to get him to come with me through some of the rest of the castle, he was quite happy looking at and asking questions about the gory giant soldier who showed the kinds of injuries that soldiers in battle would have received.
Exploring the rest of the castle was a harder job. Most of the castle is a shell, with the rooms still intact, but empty. It’s interesting to read about the people who lived there, and the different rooms purposes though. But N wasn’t happy and I could see it wasn’t going to be a leisurely look around.
After a while I gave up, and offered an ice cream. It was again a gloriously hot day, so ice creams were essential.
Once back down from the castle steps, we had a short wait until the next bus arrived. Then it was back for a relaxing swim at the hotel.
Do your children go through phases where they all of a sudden are scared of something? How did you get them over it?
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