One of the things I love to do on a weekend is visit a beautiful garden. It gives me inspiration for my own little patch and usually there’s a cafe or tea rooms which keeps Holly and Mr R quiet. I also like just getting out and about with these guys. If we stay home there’s always a job or task to be done. If we go out I can enjoy their company. Also I don’t have to make lunch (BONUS!). We had a family day out to Newby Hall which was fabulous!
Holly has recently been getting interested in photography. I gave her my crappy old Samsung point and shoot camera. She’s really enjoying using it and has actually taken some good pictures. There are many MANY awful ones however. She takes them from her height and usually forgets to turn off the flash, so the number of unflattering photos of me now in existence has increased exponentially. She does like to take photos while we’re out and about. It’s also a good way of her letting ME take photos while we’re out and about.
We live about an hour from Newby Hall. Having seen it online and it’s amazing herbaceous borders, I knew it would make a fab place for a day trip. Unfortunately we were up and ready WAY before it was time to set off for Newby. Holly had been woken up by a bird “jingling” outside her bedroom window. It turns out it was a robin making its alarm call but still, we were up and dressed for 7.30am. The gates at Newby Hall don’t open while 11am.
I made the mistake of thinking it would be quiet at Newby Hall. The Great Yorkshire Show was still on not far away, so I imagined all the day trippers would have gone there instead. Imagine my “joy” as we turned up at Newby to discover they were holding the “North’s largest gathering of historical vehicles”! The car park was rammed, the park at the front of the house was full of acres of historical vehicles and enthusiasts and we had to walk a fair old way to get to the picnic area. It didn’t help that we got lost in and amongst the classic cars for a good half an hour trying to find our way up to the house. This resulted in a rather whiny Holly as she was hungry, hot and tired – great way to start our day out.
We ate our picnic in a lovely picnic area under some trees and then headed off into the gardens. First stop was the dolls house exhibition, where there are over 70 dolls houses all set up. Holly LOVED this. As we left she was saying she wanted to decorate her own dolls house which she has barely played with for the last year or so. Hello, summer holidays project! Her favourite had a unicorn in. Of course.
We then explored the teddy bear collection, which again she loved, especially the wedding scene and the teddy bears picnic. Some of them were a bit creepy, I thought.
We wandered around the grounds for a total of 15 minutes (best I could hope for on such a hot day really!) then had an ice cream before having a ride on the miniature train they have there. I always feel like a bit of an idiot riding on the tiny trains. Holly loved it though, especially because the miniature steam engine is red and has a passing resemblance to the Hogwarts Express.
We then had a wander around and came home via the plant nursery. It had an offer of 3 for 2 on all plants which was quite frankly too good to miss. I have a few bare patches in the garden where things have finished and been cleared so I bought some phlox, some campanula and some lysimachia which hopefully will do well. I also bought Holly (because I’m a soft touch) a golden snitch badge. It perked her up no end as she was flagging a bit in the heat with all the walking we’d done. The snitch meant we got back to the car with minimal whining. Yes! It helped as well that Mr R carried her on his shoulders, as all dads should do.
Turns out the plants I bought only just fit in the car…
Top tip – if you want to visit Newby Hall, get Gardeners World magazine. They have a 2 for 1 card which gets you entrance into a load of beautiful gardens like this for half price. It should cost £13 each for Mr R and me to go in and £10 for Holly. It only cost us £23. The money I saved however I spent in the shop. On plants. Oops.
Do you have a favourite family day out? Share below in the comments x