Ightham Mote, Kent

For many in the UK Bank holidays seem to be synonymous with visiting a National Trust property, particularly if the sun decides to make an appearance. With great activities for children and adults alike, they appeal to all generations. Generally they come with a lovely tea room or restaurant, a shop filled with pretty things and gardens that are perfect for a good old fashioned picnic.

After much deliberation the husband and I have now become the proud owners of a couple of National Trust membership cards. Whilst in Cornwall we came across a NT van offering an irresistibly discounted price on said membership, so they became ours. They'll come into their own and more than pay for themselves over the Summer holidays, when with a visit we can provide Matilda with fresh air, a run around and a taste of history.

Last Monday we ventured along the M25 to remote Kent to visit the hidden away Ightham Mote. Down very narrow country lanes we were met with a 30 minute queue to get into the car park but the wait was worth it in the end. We took advantage of the wait and ate our picnic in the car, which Matilda found highly amusing and great fun. Eventually after some hair raising moments squeezing past gigantic coaches and buses in the country lanes we parked. What a relief it was to discover that Ightham Mote had been worth the sweat.

It is a beautiful Medieval Manor House surrounded by lovely gardens and a fantastic natural play area that we all enjoyed spending time in. A huge lawn in front of the house is perfect for running around and games though be warned you can't picnic here, there is a picnic area just before you enter the grounds or towards the back by the play area. For refreshments there is a lovely looking restaurant for light lunches and teas, whilst the shop sells ice creams.

The house itself is surrounded by a moat and is filled with beautiful artifact's, Matilda was given a list of objects that we had to find in house for which she got a sticker at the end. She thoroughly enjoyed searching the house for the objects that matched the photographs and did pretty well all by herself I must say. Beautifully looked after, with jolly volunteers minding her, they were also more than happy to help explain the history as well as help find the more obscure objects on Matilda's list.