When we were in the ticket office of Hill Top Farm, the lady at the desk told us of nearby Wray Castle. The castle has only recently opened its doors to the public, but she told us that there was a lot to entertain the children there. After we had finished our visit to Hill Top, we therefore popped on over to Wray Castle and managed to get in half an hour before closing time.
A mock-Gothic castle near Lake Windermere, the building came to the National Trust empty, so it is not a typical Trust property. They seem somewhat at a loss with what to do with it, but they are trying hard to make it a very family friendly place. They have set aside several rooms for children, including a reading room (with lots of fluffy bean bags), a craft room, an 'outdoors inside' room and, the girls' favourite, a dress-up and role play area. There is still much to be done here (there is even a suggestions board for ideas!), but the Podlings had a fabulous time in the short time we were there and they would have loved more time to play and explore. Luckily, although the castle shut at five, the grounds were open until dusk, so the Podlings spent a happy hour playing in the lovely adventure play area before we set off for our picnic by Coniston Water.
An unplanned, but definitely worthwhile addition to our day, Wray Castle is certainly somewhere we would take the children again, especially if we were in the Lakes on a wet day. I think Lily would go back just for the tyre swing!
We all know how much Emma loves to dress-up, so she was in her element here!
Lily loved the tyre swing
In the adventure play area
My handsome boy
Mummy in a den!