Having visited Cliveden National Trust several times before and participated in their ‘Pantomime Trail‘ over the Christmas holidays, we were keen to take part in their Easter egg hunt at some time during the Easter break. We were left a little disappointed by the Hughenden Manor hunt last week and were expecting greater things from our Cliveden day out so I’m glad to report that they delivered in bucket loads! The grounds at Cliveden are vast, with plenty to do even without the organised activities so we knew that we could easily spend the whole day there, but with kids varying in age from under 2 to 11, it’s always tricky to find a location to suit everyone. Cliveden National Trust definitely ticks all the boxes if you have adventurous, outdoorsy kids and even if they are not so keen on climbing trees, who doesn’t like rolling down a hill?!?
On arrival, we paid our £3/ child to take part in the hunt (entry fees also apply if you are not National Trust members) and received our maps and instructions for the hunt. Off we set, into the grounds, following the map to find a series of woodland creatures, each with an activity to complete before moving on to the next. They danced with Doreen the dormouse, played a wooden xylophone with Winnie the woodpecker, hopped on Dara the deer’s giant hopscotch and crawled through Monty the moles tunnel! There were also various throwing activities including skittles with Horace the hedgehog and (my personal favourite) welly wanging with Brian the badger! The Boy loved the tin can ally, spending ages stacking them up and knocking the down! I think we might start saving the baked bean tins and make our own, at home!!
As you can see, everyone joined in and though, at 11, K is at the upper end of the age range that this type of thing would appeal to, she thoroughly enjoyed the hunt along with the younger ones! The majority of activities were spread around a large field and though it wasn’t too busy, had there been more families around, there was plenty of space for everyone.
Once we had completed the hunt and the children had claimed their chocolatey prize, we stopped for a picnic lunch before continuing on, to explore the grounds around the house. On our way, we found many a view to behold and tree to climb!
The shrubbery beds around the water garden were the perfect place for a game of hide-and-seek or to make a ‘camp’ inside. The younger ones loved watching the ducks and spotting wildlife, while crossing the water on stepping stones and bridges. The Cliveden gardens certainly contain every sign of spring with the trees full of blossom and the daffodils growing wildly along the paths and boarders. The woodland itself is currently filled with bluebells, beginning to bloom, already a pretty sight but in a few weeks, will be breathtaking!
We headed around to the formal gardens where the lawn reaches in to the distance, flanked either side by flawlessly manicured flower beds and hedges. When given this sort of space, children just can’t help but run, even when they are tired, it’s just irresistible! They raced to the monument and back and they rolled down the hill countless times, it’s amazing how an open space and a hill kept them entertained for so long!!
Before heading home, we tackled the maze! It had us wondering around for ages on our last visit so we were determined to find the centre in quick time, plus the fact that the little ones were beginning to flag! We managed to find the centre with only a few mistakes, getting out however, proved more difficult! I’m sure those hedges move!!
All too soon it was time to leave. Needless to say that I had a very quiet car on the way home with three very tired children!
If you are looking for things to do over the Easter holiday, I would highly recommend Cliveden National Trust and their Easter egg hunt. Let me know if you give it a go!!