We were members of the National Trust a couple of years ago. Long-time readers may remember that Dubz was an utter terror when he was two and we had to take a little break from family outings. But oh, how things can change in two years (those of you with toddlers, take note, it does get easier). So last week we re-joined the National Trust, and visited Claremont Landscape Garden.
Located in Esher, Surrey, Claremont Landscape Garden is a lovely place for a day out. The grounds are very pretty, and include a man-made lake and an amphitheatre made out of turf. Wildlife includes ducks, geese, a black swan, parakeets, rabbits and squirrels. There is a small man-made island in the middle of the lake, as well as some caves that were made when formal gardens went out of favour in the mid-1700s. I thought the caves were beautiful and made Claremont much more interesting than the average National Trust garden.
For children, there is a 19th-century thatched cottage filled with old-fashioned toys and dressing up clothes. For older kids, there is a natural play area. You have to climb a steep hill to reach the mound, but then you will be able to build a den. There is also a playground with a wooden castle, bridge and little house. My daughter is almost nine, and enjoyed it, but I don't think children 11 and older would be too captivated.
The playground was my son's favourite part. My daughter loved the the tree trunks that had been made into steps. Both Moozles and Dubz spent ages jumping along them. My children did bicker over who got to sit on the white chairs that were dotted around. I am not sure why the chairs were so popular - maybe they just like fighting.
We finished our day in the teahouse. We enjoyed sandwiches and cake before we went home. Claremont only took about 25 minutes to drive to from south west London, and there is a free car park. Entry is £8 per adult and £4 per child. It is free if you are members of the National Trust (we paid £114.60 for our annual membership in March 2017). I have made a little vlog on our day out, if you would like to watch and see Claremont Landscape Gardens come to life. It was a lovely day out, and well worth a visit if you live in London or Surrey.