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The shortest ever National Trust visit – Canons Ashby

A recent change of plans meant we made a fleeting visit to National Trust’s Canons Ashby.

We’ve made pretty good use of my National Trust membership since buying it.  Last weekend we had a free day and I’d planned to take N to Waddesdon Manor to see their decorations. Unfortunately when I went online to check, there were no weekend tickets left in December.  Grr.  I was not impressed.  We already have plans for seeing Father Christmas, so I didn’t see the point of going there and then not being able to see some of the areas, including the lights and decorations I specifically wanted to see.

So change of plan and I decided we’d head to Canons Ashby instead.  It’s much closer, and I thought we’d still see some Christmas decorations, and if we stayed for a couple of hours, we’d still be able to get back for the bloodhounds meet on the farm.

However it seemed that N had other ideas. He didn’t want to be there once we arrived.

canons ashby sitemap

Canons Ashby is a lovely house, but pretty small.  We arrived early – the bonus for a National Trust property is that we didn’t have to walk far to reach the visitors entrance and the house.  But because we were there when the gardens opened it meant there was a long wait until the house opened.

christmas trees at canons ashby

N didn’t want to have a look at the church, so we had a wander round the gardens….which didn’t take long.

canons ashby garden view

He was interested in the sundial

sundial at canons ashby

And pointed out the various different gates he saw.

gate at canons ashby

There is a paddock there for a play area, along with picnic benches, but it was a bit wet underfoot and we hadn’t spotted the wild play area.

canons ashby house

The stables tea rooms were calling us.  They’re quite small, although in the colder weather there’s an extension courtesy of a marquee, but we decided to stick with the indoors.  Cake and drinks finished, I headed towards the house, but there was no way N was stepping inside there.  It wasn’t quite a tantrum, but I could see he would be a pain if I did drag him in so we headed to go.

I was pleased we didn’t have to pay to get in because we had National Trust membership, And that we hadn’t travelled far.  It must have been one of the shortest trips to a National Trust property at only 25 minutes.

The bonus was that we got to see a bit of it, but still got back to the farm as well in plenty of time.

Do you ever have times when your children refuse to go anywhere?

Check out these other places to visit in Northamptonshire.

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  1. Yes! A lot! One of the twins is usually in a funny mood or having an issue and ruins the day! Sorry to hear you didn’t have long however at least you got out and about. Better luck next time xxx

  2. These little ones know how to make their feelings known when they don’t want to do something. Aaron was too tired to go to Santa at the Zoo after school yesterday and I had to drag him to the bus stop. I do love your photography and great you did get a look around the gardens as well as a visit to the cafe xx

    1. They definitely have minds of their own which is a good thing for the future, if not for current plans. Gives me a good excuse to come back another time.

  3. I can’t believe Waddesdon Manor. Fancy making a christmas lights display and then not selling enough tickets to see it! This reminds me of Lanhydrock NT house near us and yes were quite indifferent to our last visit so I’ve not taken them back since! Funny how some days they enjoy a visit out and other days they want to be home. I’m glad you got home in time to see the hunt off though. Thanks for a double Country Kids link up.

    1. I think it’s just because it’s so popular, that to get in the house they have to limit it. If it was closer I’d do a late night opening one, but it’s almost an hour drive, so wanted a weekend. Lesson learnt and we’ll book in August or September – seems insane because it’s so far in advance.
      Thanks for stopping by

  4. Fingers crossed my two are beyond that now they are older although I am sure when the hormones grow there will be tantrums on a different scale! That’s the joy of NT membership- you can just pop in for a flying visit. Hope your next trip is longer, looks like a lovely place x

    1. Yep, agree on the short visits. I was surprised when I joined because I hadn’t realised how many there were near us (well, within an hour). Just have to make sure the ones we visit have something for children other than just parkland.

    1. Oh dear. I’m not sure N would like the lights switch on because it would be really busy. I always wonder whether you actually see anything unless you’re right at the front and then bored waiting for hours?!

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