We were staying in Worcester camping for a few days and decided to take a trip over to Croft Castle to see what it had to offer us. We were not disappointed.
The roads were a little twisty and the sat nav tried to take us to the exit rather than the entrance so worth looking out for the road signs when you get near.
We began with refreshments in the newly refurbished cafe which was up to the usual national trust standard with local produce including a nice selections of cakes. Also light lunches but we had brought a picnic. There is a lovely new castle playground for younger children next to the cafe. My 12 & 13 year old still enjoyed this but did get a bit stuck up the battlements.
Next off for a walk around the parkland. there are a number of walks to choose from but we just fancied a stroll so picked a shorter one. We were hunting for the larger natural play area that was more suitable for my to older children. Unfortunately it is marked incorrectly on the guide map and we managed to walk right past it. (we did get better directions from staff later on and managed to find it this time).
The walk brought us round to a view of the castle from the side. We enjoyed our picnic on the side steps and then went to explore the house. The interior is very pleasing and staff friendly and helpful. The new policy of the national trust of allowing the public to play on instruments such as pianos is great and my son entertained the other visitors (possibly) with his playing. About half of the house is accessible and there was a lovely dress up/ play area for younger children.
Right next to the castle is a chapel with a nicely carved tomb of the family. It was a nice quiet place to grab a few moments calm in. As we were short of time we repaired to the Nation Trust shop and treated ourselves to some goodies. Again a good selection of crafts and gifts and delicious sweet treats.
Off again to find the natural play area. It was worth the return walk. Lots of activities, rope swings, wire walks, meandering their way up through a lovely wood. Quite educational too - I learned how to identify a chestnut tree!
We didn't explore the rest of the grounds - the lake and walled garden to mention a couple of places. We just didn't have the that day.
Another national Trust house Berrington Hall is about 10 minutes drive away so if you have a national trust membership you can kill two birds with one stone and visit both. Not the best idea though if you are dragging children along with you :-)
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