I’m always looking for a chance to use our National Trust membership and haven’t been for a while. So with the agreement that we’d go out for the day for my birthday, I only had to decide which site to visit. We’re lucky because we’re only an hour from so many places, and I decided that Snowshill Manor and Gardens should be the next place to visit.
Snowshill Manor is just into Worcestershire, so was just under an hour’s drive. We arrived just before 12, and after some stress from a rude man telling me to drive a car I could cope with because he didn’t want to reverse back so I could 3 point turn to get into the last space, were in the queue to get in.
Food – keep the kids going
Our first stop was the café for lunch. This was disappointing for me. N was happy, he had a kids lunchbox. I just wanted a sandwich but the choices all had added extras, there was nothing plain. I don’t eat smoked salmon and putting truffle in an egg mayonnaise sandwich. Bleurgh. So hot food it had to be. There was a reasonable choice, but I didn’t want much given we were eating a roast in the evening.
Unfortunately the jacket potatoes turned out not to be cooked fully, so mine and another table asked for replacements. But then had to wait ages for another one. In the meantime N had nearly finished his lunch. The second plate wasn’t much better but I chopped off the hard bits and ate the remainder. I did get offered a piece of cake as an apology, so we did head back before leaving to get a piece of delicious brownie. I just wish places would stop trying to go posh. What’s wrong with plain egg mayo and salad or cress anyway?
The house via the orchard
The house was owned previously by Charles Wade, an eccentric who decided to collect everything he saw that was interesting and put it into the manor. I love visiting quirky places – and it amazes me how many rich men in the past just decided to make their homes like museums with totally random and pretty useless stuff.
It’s quite a walk up to the house – well, not really that far, but is up and down so in the sun was quite warm. I’d said to N we could catch the golf buggy back down afterwards, but we’d have had to walk back up the hill again to catch it, so preferred just to walk back anyway. The house entry is vaguely timed – we were able to go in between 12.45-2.
Kids sticker trail
As usual there was a lovely friendly welcome and N collected his sticker trail to do. He had to spot different items in each of the rooms, then collect a sticker, and he managed to collect all of them. The room guides were available for any questions and they were certainly knowledge – we did have to wait to move through a few times because we had to wait to collect N’s sticker until people had stopped talking, but there was plenty to see in the collection to keep us entertained.
A favourite was the bicycle collection and the toys. Although the musical instrument collection also piqued N’s interest. The fancy dress area provided some laughs watching adults trying things on. I was amazed when N wanted to try on a chain mail hood and asked me to take a photo to show his dad.
The collection and rooms extend to other buildings outside the main manor so there was plenty to see and find out about Charles Wade and his strange collecting habits. Oddly he slept in what could only be described as a wooden box bed with a curtain.
Explore the gardens
We wandered down through the gardens. There’s a dovecote, a pond, and another building, with plenty of terrace levels to enjoy and explore, ending in the kitchen garden before you head out.
One thing N really enjoyed was the Hazel Run off the path to the manor house. This was a natural play area with tunnels, runways and dens to explore and he had a great time trying to work out which way he could go. Needless to say most of my photos were him disappearing in the distance between the trees. There was no chance of getting him to wait for me to get ready to take a picture!
An ice cream for N on the way out and it was a brief journey home again. We had a lovely afternoon for the couple of hours we were there.
Snowshill Manor and Gardens is great for -> families with children who’ll be interested in a trail and small natural play area. Or those interested in quirky artefacts.
What National Trust properties have you been to recently?
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