We couldn't go to the North East without a visit to Cragside. We've been here a couple of times now and we love it. We just made it through the estate gates before they close them at 5.30pm and went straight to the children's play area. New since our last visit here was the barefoot walk, which Emma took particular delight in. The state of this girl's feet and legs after completing the walk several times defies description. I regret not taking a photo!
It was still quite busy when we first arrived, but gradually the crowds trickled away until we had the playground to ourselves. The Podlings really came into their own then, relishing the pleasant evening and the space to play. We are none of us fond of crowds, usually deliberately choosing to visit places late in order to avoid them. Tom, in particular, is much more relaxed when there are fewer people around. On this beautiful May evening it felt as though we had the whole of Cragside to ourselves and it was wonderful.