National Trust: Croome



Our family outing this half-term was to Croome National Trust site, made up of Croome Court, the lakeside park and gardens, and the once-secret RAF Defford. We picked a beautifully bright but bitterly cold morning to visit; this made for spectacular scenery, resplendent skies and gorgeous photos – but very cold fingers and toes.

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The three areas of the site provide something for everyone. Croome Court, the Georgian mansion and former home of the 6th Earl of Coventry, is mid-renovation and more levels are due to open this year.

RAF Defford was a Second World War airbase and, during the 1940s, the base was given over to thousands of service personnel and scientists. Several buildings which were once the hospital complex now serve as a visitor’s centre and museum.

The park and lakeside were the first commission of none other than ‘Capability’ Brown, Britain’s most renowned landscape architect. Our time was mostly spent exploring this area, as the children are still just a bit too young to appreciate tapestries and military history!

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As well as absolutely breath-taking views, like the one above, the park also boasts an RAF themed playground, many classical buildings and follies such as the rotunda and greenhouse. We took a rather leisurely walk around the park but did not visit the museum or house directly this time, as the children were very cold by the time we had explored the grounds and were beginning to get grumpy (always a possibility when dealing with toddlers).

There are various trails and activities that you can follow while exploring, including spotting the giant bird sculptures hidden in several huge trees as you make your way through the park.

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We also stopped to pick up some well-earned hot chocolate and cake in the surprisingly warm glass house. It was truly delightful to sit in the sunshine, cradling our hot drinks with gloved hands, and take in the views.

We were not disappointed with our winter walk as the scenery was spectacular, and, now that we have National Trust membership, we can return to visit the other attractions later in the year.

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Becoming National Trust members is something we have been considering for some time, though we have delayed a little until the children were just a bit bigger. Now that our eldest can walk around for longer periods and his sister is walking, it won’t be long until we can do without buggies entirely – this will always be something to consider when considering sites that are less pushchair friendly.

I would love for both to grow up visiting such important historical and natural sites, and spend time outside and exploring. Starting these visits while they are small and fostering a love of such regular family outings seems like a good way to do this.

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Expect to see more reviews from other National Trust sites in the near future – we are planning to make at least one trip in each of the school holidays, and several during the long summer break.  We are willing to travel so I would love to hear some of your suggestions for great National Trust sites we can try.
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  1. 1

    If you’re happy to travel a bit down the M5 – Tyntesfield is lovely. A nice house and chapel and lots of grounds. If you make it to the walled garden and orangery, there is a small cafe and playground (too big for DD but DS may manage it). Snowshill and Dyrham are also very lovely. I *heart* our NT membership and think it’s very good value for money. We’ll be investing in English Heritage too when DS is a bit bigger as there are more castles and forts for him to run about in and explore.

  2. 4
    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks

    When we move home joining the National Trust is on our list of things to do. By my mums in Derbyshire there are a few lovely places, Calke Abbey, Kedleston Hall, Chatsworth House. We used to go conkering in the grounds in the autumn when I was little and I want to explore the same with my children. It looks as though you had the perfect wintery day – and the RAF themed park sounds like something my eldest would enjoy x

  3. 5

    There are so many great National Trust sites, aren’t there – we had membership last year and used it so much. I hadn’t come across this one before, even the Capability Brown side, so lovely to get a quick peek around from your photos.

  4. 7
    Hannah G

    We’ve just invested in a National Trust membership too, this looks like a wonderful place to visit. I like when theres lots of open space for the kiddies to run around but also something to interest us parents 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

  5. 9
    Catie: Imperfect Mum

    I love your photography! This is an absolutely stunning place. What a brilliant idea to get National Trust passes, I look forward to hearing about more of your special days making memories with your family. TY for linking up with #FamilyFun 🌸

  6. 12

    We also have membership which we got in Sept last year and have been using ever since, although we tend to stick to our local ones. I would also like some ideas around good places to visit so I will be on the look out for your reviews. We would be the same Monkey is too young for the military history bit as well. Love the photos though and it looks like you had a great day for the visit x

  7. 14

    Looks like a lovely place to visit. My parents have the national trust membership as well but never seem to have the time to go anywhere, its such a shame because there are some really beautiful places to be seen

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