Growing up in south Wales means that I have a heads-up on the types of places and activities that are good to take The Boy on weekends; there's now't as good as personal experiences and happy memories as a reference bank to fun!
One of the places that I didn't really experience much as a child was Tredegar House in Newport, probably due to a mixture of cost, subject matter (my mum doesn't like history as she doesn't like to dwell in the past) and distance. I do remember going there once when I was about eight years old, and have a photo to prove it, but haven't been since. And that was a long time ago.
Having a media pass to the National Trust for the year, and being a NT blogger, means that we are now visiting places that we wouldn't have thought of going to before; Tredegar House is one of those. It was taken over by the National Trust last year and since then there have been changes to make it more interactive and interesting to children, something I've noticed in every National Trust property we've been too.
And so we decided to visit Tredegar House last Saturday when they were running a special event to promote the 50 Things campaign. The irony is that we spent so long playing on the lawn with the old fashioned games, having a picnic and exploring the house, that we didn't have much time to try and tick off some of our 50 Things. It's just as well we're making good progress anyway.
Spring had definitely sprung; the brilliant sunlight was glistening through the freshly budding leaves, casting dappled shadows on the lush lawn and providing a veritable paradise to play on. From the huge conifer, spreading its arms over the lawn protectively, hung tyre-horses swinging back and fore with the giggles of The Boy and other delighted children. The huge open space provded him with the ideal opportunity to fly his kite with just enough breeze to lift it.
And after we'd enjoyed our picnic lunch and explored the partly restored manor house, we managed to find a cracking tree to explore inside. The only problem was… how to get up to it? Well, that's what daddies are for, isn't it?