We’ve been to most National Trust places near us, but I forget that living where we do, we seem to be an hour away from so many other locations.  Knowing that we were due sunny weather at the weekend, I shortlisted a few options for N and we decided to visit Croome Park in Worcester.

sunny walks at croome park - Bubbablue and me

Croome Park is a beautiful house set in gorgeous grounds, somewhat similar to Stowe with various walks, rotundas, stone follies and bridges to view as you walk.  Not forgetting the lovely river flowing through.  But as well as the house, there’s also the RAF Deptford air museum, a 1940s style canteen including outside mess tents to have refreshments in and 2 great little playgrounds, one with air force based equipment and the other a natural playground for building dens and exploring.

We started off at the playground to give N a bit of a run around.  The playground’s suitable for age 4 to 11, although there are toddler swings and the equipment is fine for younger children with a bit of help.

playground car at croome park
netting at croome park
rope bridge at croome park

It was perfect for N and he enjoyed himself there for a while before we went to check out the natural playground.

view from the natural playground at croome park

N turned up his nose at walking on the balancing logs and wooden beams, scoffed at searching for bugs, but when he spotted the den building opportunities he was straight in grabbing branches to make his own den.  The one downside with having only one child and him having a dad always working, means that I’m always the one who has to help with the den building.  N did try quite a bit himself, but given he’d not chosen to use the den structures built for the den bases, instead he used a tree so needed some help.

finding branches
dens at croome park
branches at croome park

He was quite happy ordering me around and telling me to either keep watch on our pile of branches, or getting me to bring him longer and bigger branches to bring over.  N really had a good time until I mentioned we might want to walk down to the house so we could get some lunch.  We decided to eat there rather than the mess tent although there is limited choice and space at the house tea rooms.

bluebells at croome park
statues at croome park

It’s a 5-15 minute walk down to the house depending on the route you take, and N for once was happy to take a longer route to get to the house.  We stopped for a drink on the way as it was beautiful sunshine…and N had refused to wear his sunhat (he told me afterwards that he should have done – yep, I’m always right when it comes to things like that).

We spotted statues, beautiful bluebells and had a look at the open water culvert which was built by Capability Brown as part of his landscaping of the park.  Capability Brown really was prolific during his time, everywhere we visit seems to have gained something from him.

the view to croome park
chinese bridge at croome park

The walk was lovely – despite N’s questions about how they cut the grass there, or whether they actually do given the number of dandelions, daisies and other pretty weeds and wildflowers off the paths.  It was really warm though – not really walking weather but bliss to be outside.

croome park stairways

The house itself upstairs hasn’t got a lot to see, that is, it’s not furnished.  There’s a couple of rooms with jigsaws or models of the house suitable for children to play with but we didn’t find either of these.  Instead we ‘enjoyed’ some of the modern artwork that was on view.  The door viewfinder sculpture kept N interested for a while.

We headed downstairs to check out the kids construction activity room where there’s Lego, wooden tool box and table, and other activities for children to have a go at.  We were the only ones in there for the 20 minutes we were there, and thinking about it, we didn’t see many children at all around the house (only a few older ones), just in the playground.

building play at croome park activity room
construction zone at croome park

Downstairs there is a wonderful shoe exhibition and a chance for you to design your own as well as trying on some of the decorative historical shoes.

shoe displays at croome park

But apart from that area and the tapestry room (now wood panelled due to the pink tapestries being sold), there’s not that much in the house other than a few bits to read about.

The tea room serves what’s needed – sandwiches, kids lunch boxes, drinks and cakes – although there’s only a few tables.  Some people were sitting outside to eat, and there’s plenty of picnicking space around.

Then we headed the more direct route back up to the playground and museum.

selfie at croome park
playground swing fun at croome park
dandelion clock at croome park

I have to say I was expecting more from the museum which celebrates Croome Park being a wartime air force site until its closure.  The ambulance shed wasn’t open although a man went in and changed the sign to open, but the door was still shut.  Other than listening posts around the museum (and the rest of the site), I’d say you needed to be more of an enthusiast and want to know everything about the history because it’s a little dry and wordy for my ideal, and certainly didn’t attract N to look.

air force museum at croome park

After a brief walk round the museum, ice creams were calling as well as another brief playground stop before we headed back to the car and home.  Croome Park is a lovely National Trust site but I could see it being a place to visit in good weather so you can let the kids run off and enjoy themselves rather than being stuck in a house with fewer activities than there often area at National Trust places.

Have you ever been to Croome Park?  Where’s the best ‘adult’ place you’ve found with good kids activities?

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10 Comments

  1. Wow what a perfect weather! Can I just say that you did lots! This place is massive and so pretty! NT sites are always so pretty to visit especially on warm and bright weather =)

    #countrykids

    • We do tend to pack in everything. Apart from the walking to get there, you can get round the place quickly so time to fit in plenty. Although N’s staying power isn’t great so we don’t stay in one section for long

  2. Wonderful seeing how N was so keen to build a den. I always love taking my two to natural playgrounds I must admit. Although there were some ups and downs to Croome it still seems like a lovely place to visit.

    • I agree about natural playgrounds, but I have to admit that I have to push N a bit to give it a go in the first place. Once he’s there and involved, he loves them.

  3. That looks like a fantastic National Trust property with plenty of varied activities to keep even the hard pleased happy! It looks like you had a lovely day 🙂

  4. It looks like a lovely place to go and stretch your legs, so much open space to explore! It’s a shame the house wasn’t as exciting as the grounds were but at least there was some interactive bits to help keep N interested. Den building zones are always a big hit with the kids, it’s fab that there’s lots of playgrounds to keep kids exploring. Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    • I think there was probably more for kids in the house than there was for adults (unless you were into the history of the sold pink tapestries!). The playgrounds were spot on though.

  5. Tricky to balance adult and children interests sometimes. The natural play areas look good. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Croome. The house looks amazing from the outside. #CountryKids

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