Daffodils. Lambs. Temperatures above freezing. What is this madness?! It feels like we’re finally escaping winter after the Beasts from the East and that means we can get out and about even more! Today, we decided to head to another local National Trust site that we hadn’t visited since Mrs Heatho was pregnant – Kedleston Hall.
The last time we visited, the “Long Path” was being reconstructed, so we ended up doing a lakeside walk… however the long walk has been back open for a while and so we did that time – it has the advantage of having a path through the woods, allowing Fern to be a complete lunatic and burn some of the energy she has built up during the week! There are quite a few different walks here – all of which you can get leaflets for at the visitor centre on the way in. On our visit, livestock was fenced off and some distance away, but you do need to be careful here because there is usually livestock about – so dogs need to be under close control.
The path has been really well done. Whereas once it was a bit of a mud-bath, even at the high points, it’s now a very family friendly little walk. It’s certainly accessible with pushchairs however, it wasn’t obvious that the “Short Walk” element was, and the last bit of the “Long Walk” by the lake is through fields that are still wet at this time of year… so it would probably be a “there and back” walk with anything on wheels.
As part of the reconstruction, once you’re up in the woods there is plenty of entertainment for little people (or big people!). There is a hermitage, dens hidden in the woods which of course we had to go an explore – there is even an area prepared and laid out with logs so that kids can build their own dens! They’ve done a really good job of making the walk interesting here – so it’s worth a visit.
As well as all of this, there was a “Fleecy Easter Sheep Breed Quiz”. Now, I quite like a quiz. I also know nothing about sheep! However, Little H had a great time trying to work out the answer from the descriptions and checking if she was right a few hundred yards later – again, something interesting for older kids to learn to do whilst walking the route. Mrs Heatho was also pleased that it kept me entertained for a while! I can’t wait until Little H is old enough to start to learn from these sorts of things – but the fact she is so small is not going to stop me enjoying them with her now either! There was only one we didn’t manage to work out 😊
Towards the end of the Long Walk, you emerge from the woods by the lake. I always forget that it’s a lake here and not a river – because it’s enormous. Can you imagine having your own lake so big that people confuse with a river?! You walk along the lake for a short while until you loop back around to the house and car park.
As we’ve always had Fern, we’ve never done the house and gardens here, we’ve always just had a walk round the pleasure grounds – so I can’t tell you what they’re like! If you’re a National Trust member, parking and entry is free, making it a great option for a day out. Note if you aren’t a National Trust member you do have to pay to get access to the grounds or the house – prices are on the National Trust website linked above.
It is well worth a visit here – particularly on a sunny day, when we have been known to sit down with a picnic next to the lake. We had a lovely walk; Fern had a good run, Little H got to learn about sheep breeds and Mrs Heatho got to roll her eyes at me squeezing into a den in the woods with Little H. Now we know the long walk is open again – I don’t think it will be long until we’re back.