I am a big fan of backyard travel; seeing the delights on your doorstep, and living in East Dorset, we often venture over the border to Hampshire.
Writing the Britmums Family Days Out Round-Up, I am often introduced to some fabulous ideas for days out and one of the places I have been keen to try is Mottisfont, near Romsey.
Over the summer holidays this National Trust property held The Gruffalo and Friends: the Art of Axel Scheffler exhibition, a display of imaginative illustrations from his work with Julia Donaldson and a trail around the estate, filled with fun things to find from some of their best books.
The trail sent you all across the estate which is packed full of fun things for the kids to do.
The kids were given an activity sheet to follow where they had to follow the answers to the clues so discover a hidden word.
There are many wild play areas, including Boggy Climbing and Pump, Pool and Paddle, perfect for splashing around, taking your shoes off and cooling down.
In fact, I struggled to get the kids out of the Pump, Pool and Paddle area.
The trail featured creatures from some of our favourite Julia Donaldson books, including the Gruffalo and Snake in his log pile house.
Originally founded as an Augustinian priory in 1201, Mottisont is as interesting to see inside and out and the kids loved making Gruffalo shados on the ceiling.
With it being such a beautiful, warm day we did spend the majority of our time outside.
Some of the clues were in the house, some in the stables but most were in the beautiful grounds.
Of course, completing the challenges with friends makes the day much more fun.
Mottisfont is surrounded by water which is always a source of fascination and we delighted in spotting fish swimming in the water.
We managed to spy some dragon and damselflies too.
Instead of feeding ducks, the kids enjoyed watching the fish leaping out of the water to get the crusts they threw in, although I never quite managed to catch it on camera.
Even without the trail to keep them busy, there was plenty for them to do including a circus skills area with a spot for the adults to sit and watch, if they didn’t want to join in of course.
Mottisfont has over 35 different species of tree in their grounds but the kids are asked not to climb them. They are provided with a huge playground to practice their skills though.
You can also test your balance on the stepping stones.
Or they could just relax in style!
The kids favourite challenge had to be the Room on the Broom broomstick where they got to dress up and “fly” around the estate.
We loved our visit to Mottisfont, the grounds are spectacular and there is plenty of room to sit and have a picnic, play football or frisbee or just relax with friends.
Mottisfont is very family friendly and kids are allowed on scooters around the grounds, as the paths are wide and smooth.
Pushchairs are not allowed in the house, however they do have hip-carrying infant seats available for loan so you don’t miss out if you have little ones in tow.
We had an amazing day at Mottisfont and managed to complete the challenge, despite managing to miss one of the clues!
Do you enjoy visiting National Trust properties?