Rollercoaster Mum: The Vyne - another hit from the National Trust

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Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Vyne - another hit from the National Trust

The week before last we visited the Vyne, near Basingstoke - another National Trust property that I have been wanting to visit ever since I read about their innovative new playground - the Hidden Realm, so when a friend suggested meeting up there I leapt at the chance. It was also the chance to tick off another of our 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4. Being with friends I didn't take as many photos of the garden as I would have liked - didn't want to be too antisocial! I think you'll get the picture though.

Walled Garden at the Vyne, National Trust

We arrived at lunchtime and after a quick stop for a wee (loo conveniently located at the entrance) we found ourselves a quiet spot near the lake for a picnic. What we hadn't realised is that we were very close to the gorgeous walled garden which even had an area for kids to play and chairs for grown ups - never mind. I could have spent hours exploring the walled garden - complete with glasshouse and chickens but the girls were desperate to find the playground.

Summerhouse at the Vyne, National Trust

 a tree to climg, the Vyne, National Trust

Pigeon Party at the Summerhouse, the Vyne, National Trust

Summerhouse and garden, the Vyne, National Trust

On our way we explored the Summer House which has a fabulous collection of stuffed (as in soft-toy not real) pigeons all dressed up for a party - echoing a part of it's history when it was a dovecote. We passed the amazing Hundred Guinea Oak which I am sure the kids would love to have climbed but we didn't think they would be allowed to! We even found some of the sculptures which provide great photo opportunities as well as fun for the children.

Flower garden in summer, the Vyne, National Trust

Garden sculptures, the Vyne, National Trust

The Hidden Realm play area, the Vyne, National Trust
At last at the Hidden Realm play area and there we stayed! 
Finally we found our way to the Hidden Realm - a fantabulous playground that only opened earlier this year. Being a hot day the girls were waylaid in the pond/paddling area at the entrance, not even making their way in for a good 20 minutes. The play area isn't huge but it has tunnels, slides, a house/castle, speakers between tunnels, water to fill up, dam and generally play with, a hill to climb and roll down, dens to make - totally perfect and intensely absorbing. Suffice to say it kept them occupied for hours. For grown-ups there are picnic tables at the entrance and only one entrance/exit so you can let them run free in safety and it's not too far from the tea-rooms if you want a cuppa.

bird hide, the Vyne, National Trust

Willow dragon sculpture, the Vyne, National Trust

The kids were so busy playing that we literally had to tear them away with the promise of bird-watching from the hide in the woods (and we barely had time for that). The house will have to wait for another day but it looked very beautiful from the outside. As we walked towards the woods we went though yet more beautiful gardens and a stunning view of the lake. We found some more sculptures on the way and we did just about have enough time for a little bird watching - just about enough to tick it off the 50 things list. If you manage to tick off 25 of the 50 before 1 September your child will get a free NT family visit pass and a chance to star in their own film with the Wild -Time Challenge and Project Wild Thing.

We were at the Vyne about 4 hours but could very easily have spent the whole day there and we will definitely be going back. I want to explore the gardens and the girls can't wait to run wild in the woods, not forgetting the rather beautiful house.

the house at the Vyne, National Trust

I am maximising my linky love on this post and although it is a bit short on the garden side there's certainly plenty of beautiful gardens to be seen so I am linking up with How Does Your Garden Grow as well as the ever lovely Country Kids from Coombe Mill.

Mammasaurus - How Does Your Garden Grow?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

10 comments:

  1. Looks so lovely here. That Oak is just so majestic isn't it? Fabulous photo's. I love the dragon. I need more quirk in my garden...

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  2. That looks like a cracking place to visit, and I'm not too far from Basingstoke so I'll jot that down on my 'places to go in the hols' list. Walled gardens are one of my favourites in gardens and that Summer house looks spectacular.
    A day well spent by the looks of it! Gorgeous photos, I hope you enjoyed x

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  3. Looks like the most fabulous place to visit - a good time had by all it seems! Great photos too :)

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  4. Lovely photos - looks like a great day out! The park sounds fantastic.

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  5. what a great place to visit. so garden inspiring!

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  6. So beautiful! That playground looks incredible! :)

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  7. This looks great, i love the national trust places! Theres something about wall gardens..so tranquil x

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  8. What a fantastic play area, as well as having all that beautiful ground to explore it's not surprising that the four hours went so quickly. The sculptures and Dragon are great and I love the Pigeons party - thanks for sharing your outdoor adventure with Country Kids.

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  9. How wonderful is the dragon! #CountryKids

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  10. Looks like lots to do in the garden. I like the dragon. Will it sprout, I wonder.

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