We love a National Trust day out and have really enjoyed going to them over the last few months, enjoying a quiet, ticketed trip out where we know we can safely distance and just enjoy the great outdoors.
Our latest trip was to Claremont Landscape Gardens, one of our favourite National Trust sites about 40 minutes from where we live. The children were keen to learn the history of Claremont this time round so I told them all about Princess Charlotte and how her death completely changed the future of the Royal Family.
Queen Victoria used to play in Claremont Gardens as a child, although I’m sure there was no formal play area when she went! But, I’m sure, just like our children, that she would have loved to walk around the lake, spot ducks and birds and climb a tree or two.
At the moment, Claremont Landscape Gardens has a one way system in place, taking us on a route around the gardens that we hadn’t taken before. We usually go into the gardens and turn left but this time we had to go right – straight past the play area that we’d never been in before!
We promised the children we’d come back and play at the end of our trip and instead made our way around the lake. The weather had been so bad on the day we visited but we were really lucky for a break in the rain to really appreciate Claremont.
Our route took us around the lake and to the Belvedere Tower. Claremont Landscape Gardens is quite steep and hilly in places but it’s worth the walk to appreciate the incredible views. There are low level walks too though which take you on a shorter route just around the lake.
The highest part of Claremont Landscape Gardens gives views across the whole of Surrey as well as the more immediate views of the garden and shape of the old amphitheatre cut into the hill below. There’s also an old bowling alley that the children loved exploring on the walk.
At the end of our walk we went past the entrance again to nip into the play area. There are actually two play areas and I have no idea how we’ve missed them on every visit previously! The first has big wooden play structures in – but it was too busy to take a photo. Great fun for any child wanting to be king of the castle and a real hit with young visitors.
But, further along, up quite a steep hill, there’s the Badger’s Basecamp. This is a woodland dream for children with a trim trail, den building area, tunnels to climb through and so much to explore and do.
LP and Little Man absolutely loved this part of our trip and we only left as it started to rain again. A play area is always a great addition to a day out and one that LP and Little Man always enjoy.
As well as the play areas, Claremont Landscape Garden has a fantastic cafe, toilets and shop. It’s somewhere you could easily spend all day if you wanted and I can guarantee that if you visit you’ll end up returning again and again.
You can find out Claremont Landscape opening times and book a slot to visit over on their website. For reference, the Claremont Gardens address is: Portsmouth Road, Esher KT10 9JG