Nostell Priory is about half an hour from our house yet it’s somewhere we have never visited. Until now.
We saw that over the summer holidays they had loads and loads of activities on offer to keep the kids entertained. Most of them were activities from the National Trust list of 50 Things to do Before You’re 11 3/4. We’ve been working our way through the list slowly but surely so having somewhere close by that makes ticking some of them off without having to plan them yourself is always a bonus.
In fact, we had so much fun we visited twice.
The first visit was for the geocaching event. We took Luca and his friend Kieran. After a quick briefing from the geocaching expert, we were handed our GPS device and sent on our way. The boys absolutely loved following the compass and watching the metres count down to the geocaches before searching around to find the hidden container.
Our hunt took us through the absolutely beautiful woodland of Nostell Priory and left me wanting to go exploring the grounds much more. However, by the time we had found all the geocaches the boys were starving. We made our way back to the courtyard to hand our GPS back and find somewhere to have our picnic. Whilst we ate the boys spent ages looking at the 50 Things to do Before You’re 11 3/4 booklet and discussing which of the things they had already done and which they wanted to do next.
The adventure playground was our next stop. We spent ages playing. And yes I meant we. We all had a play on the different things they have hidden under the trees. Ant loved trying to bounce me off the trampoline type thing and Luca & Kieran loved the tyre swings.
We had to bribe them with ice cream when it was time to leave and we had already decided we would go back for the campfire cooking event.
This time we took another of Luca’s friends with us (I think we traumatized Kieran with our chaos), Caspar. This event was at the other end of the estate, in the Engineers Wood. We had to walk through the cow field to get into the woods. Again I was amazed at the beauty of the woods around Nostell Priory. They are just brimming with wildlife and so many different types of fungi, fauna and trees. It’s just screaming to be explored. However, we were there for the campfire cooking. As we entered the clearing we were greeted with the campfire and the friendly staff who were there to lend a hand.
In all honesty, I expected a marshmallow or two to toast and that be it. I was wrong. The first thing the boys made was chocolate bread. They mixed the dough by themselves before sticking it on the end of a really long stick. Over by the campfire, the boys listened to the instructions on how to cook the bread and how close to get to the flames etc. In about 5 minutes the bread had cooked and the boys tucked into it. They were so surprised that they had cooked bread over a fire so quickly.
Next came the marshmallows. I LOVE toasted marshmallows. Crispy on the outside and all gooey on the inside. Yummy. They take me right back to my childhood and toasting them on my parent’s open fire on a cold night.
At this point, one of the women who was running the event brought us some baked potatoes smothered in butter from the bottom of the fire. It was delicious.
Then Luca and Caspar were given an ice cream cone to fill with yummy treats. Chocolate drops, marshmallow all stuffed inside the cone. This was then wrapped in tin foil and put into the bottom of the fire to melt. I’m not gonna lie when the boys sat and ate their gooey delights I was very jealous I didn’t have one of my own.
Three delicious treats later and the campfire cooking was done. For £2 each I don’t think it was badly priced at all. Both Luca & Caspar really enjoyed cooking over the open flames too.
With bellies full of yumminess, we decided to see if we could find ourselves anymore geocaches, this time using the app on our phones. Once we had walked our socks off we headed back down to the courtyard for another picnic and then to play on the adventure playground again. And can we all just take a second to appreciate how cutting edge Caspar is with his fashion sense. I mean, rocking a Santa jumper in August is just too cool.
As you can see both Luca & Caspar loved it and didn’t want to leave. Yep, you guessed it, we had to bribe them with ice cream to leave.
Having not visited Nostell Priory before, we will definitely be visiting again. I’m not sure why it’s taken us so long. I’m dying to explore the woods properly and we will especially be going back for the kid’s events they put on every school holidays. Roll on October half term.
*Disclaimer* we were kindly given free entry to Nostell priory in exchange for our honest review. as always all opinions are my own.