National Trust - Lyveden New Bield, Northamptonshire

The recent Spring weather has drawn us out of hibernation and out into the fresh air. Hasn't it just been wonderful? I defy anyone to not feel energised by feeling their face gently warmed by the sun's rays.

We've been making the most of our National Trust card on these sunny afternoons. Don't hesitate in becoming a member. This precious card allows access to some of the most spectacular places in the UK saving you lots of money. In fact we worked out that only three or four trips to a National Trust property including payment for parking would more than make up the membership fees. Since having our family membership we've gone to countless properties which had we not been members we might have refrained. They are great places for children, historical homes filled with objects that delight little curious minds as well as beautiful grounds for exploring. The National Trust seem to take young visitors seriously with plenty activities and often fantastic outdoor play areas. Being a member is most definitely value for money.

On Easter Weekend we visited the eerie Lyveden New Bield. Set in the beautiful rural Northamptonshire, the remains of an imposing Elizabethan house stand. Begun by Sir Thomas Tresham the building of his tribute to his Catholic came to an abrupt end after his death and the subsequent death of his son who interestingly formed part of Guy Fawkes' Gunpowder Plotters.

For a feeling of remoteness and being disconnected from the world this is perfect. Take a beautiful walk amongst the expansive grounds or indulge the child in you with a well equipped den with all manner of activities to keep the whole family entertained. It was a particularly blustery day which was not too conducive for a picnic despite Matilda's protestations so we stopped by the teashop on site. Lovely as always the teashop is friendly with a small selection of dishes. My lentil soup was filling and delicious, Matilda has become very keen on National Trust lunchboxes so was a little disappointed to find these weren't available for her to fill up. Not surprising given the limited space, though where they lack in space they more than make up on quality and good service!

A lot of fun was had rolling down hills, playing games and exploring as you can see from the photos...Getting children out in the open air whilst learning about their country's history seems like a perfect combination to me!