So every week we try and take the small man on a family day out; an adventure, work permitting. We were lucky enough to be gifted National Trust membership for Christmas so we have been looking up our local National Trust haunts (yeah… so I totally downloaded the National Trust app in order to do this… “you know your getting old when…”) and collated all of the super cool places that we want to take the little dude. Although it is not a National Trust site and actually belongs to English Heritage, we took inspiration from my fellow Mummy Blogger and Rockin’ Mama Carly Stirling and her gorgeous fam and set our sights on Portchester Castle in Hampshire.
Ok so if I’m being honest the reason the Mr was so keen was due to the vision of him being a knight and the potential of sword play with little man in the gift shop; I however am always attracted to days where we can roam and ramble being at one with nature.
Also I love an excuse to take my camera for an outing (although if I’m being completely honest when I went to take my first snap and wondered why the screen was blank, I realised I had left the battery on charge at home… brilliant…) Luckily the Mr has a pretty swish cameraphone… Japanese tech to the rescue!
I have never actually been to Portchester Castle which is odd seeing as it is only down the road from where we live and where I grew up!? It was truly stunning as we pulled up and I was even more surprised by the vast grounds; perfect for a little dude who loves to run free!
The grounds back on beautifully to the huge creek which feeds into the harbour and seeing as I am a lover of the seaside it was a nice added extra to be able to walk alongside the boats in the breeze!
The small man led the way pretty much the entire time and took us on a tour right round the grounds and we found a cutesie little bridge and cubby hole that you can climb through to get back to the main caste.
Also as we were looking around for where to pay admission we realised that most of the grounds surrounding the main castle are free as a bird… so for picnics and such… go wild. You only have to pay admission to get into the main castle; £6.20 for adults and £3.70 for children over 5 (Children under this are FREEEEE!) They also do a nice lil family bundle which is only £16.10 for two adults and three children!
Im so glad we did pay to get in though as it was utterly stunning inside and the mention of the ‘roof’ made me very excited indeed with the challenge of scaling the castle to the top (… reminiscent of Sword in The Stone was my initial thinking…)
The stairs were a mission but, somehow, the small dude was ALL over them and became particularly attached to the old spiral staircases (he would have stayed on them all day, but as they were a sort of ‘one at a time’ job we had to vacate to let other people enjoy them; much to his disgust as this was the pint we ultimately has to leave as he slipped into meltdown mode at the lack of stairs…)
The only bug bear I think is that I thought they had a cafe and somewhere to sit and enjoy a hot snack; they do have hot tea and coffee though which is good and all the cold beverages and treats you could wish for.
I highly recommend it for a cool family day outing in the sunshine to soak up some history too!
Where are your favourite places to visit on your days off as a family? Any suggestions of great National Trust or English Heritage sites?