On our way to the Peak District at the start of January we stopped off at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton in the West Midlands for a leg stretch. It’s somewhere we hadn’t been before and there are so many National Trust properties to choose from in that area. We were excited to see what Wightwick was like.
We had a bit of trouble parking at Wightwick Manor. The car park is tiny compared to other properties and very muddy. It took us a few loops around the block – as the car park is a one way system – to finally find somewhere to leave the car. But, after that we got to enjoy our trip.
Wightwick Manor and Gardens is quite a new building building compared to many other historic buildings in the National Trust collection, built in 1887. It’s set within vast grounds and the inside of the manor house is pretty much an art gallery full of pre raphaelite and William Morris pieces. It’s beautiful and each room is steeped in history.
The upstairs of the manor is closed at the moment for restoration work but we were able to explore the downstairs and staff explained to us where and how the house had been extended over time. We were also shown a secret staircase that the children were quite excited about.
Around the grounds wooden reindeer had been placed for us to find and the children loved spotting them and going to see what their names were. It’s always nice when National Trust properties put on extra activities like this for children.
We had a cake stop in the Wightwick Manor cafe which is set in a stables building and is both warm and beautiful. It had a real buzz to it and we enjoyed the usual offering of National Trust homemade cakes. It was just what we needed.
It was then time for us to explore the manor gardens before heading home. The whole site was quite muddy and we were really glad we’d brought our boots! There’s so much to explore and we made our way straight to the woodland play area.
The play area is one of the best natural ones we’ve come across at a National Trust property but it is quite far from the main house and cafe. It’s also in a line so we walked to the further part and then made our way back towards the manor as the children played.
There was a typical adventure playground structure with a slide and things to climb, a trim trail through the trees, so many climbing structures and even a see-saw!
The play area was fantastic and a great end to a lovely pit stop at Wightwick Manor and Gardens. It’s a great place to explore as a family and I am sure we’ll be back for a longer visit at some point. But, if you’re looking for somewhere to stop off and stretch your legs on a long journey this could be the perfect place to experience.