I am a diehard fan of the National Trust. They really can do no wrong in my eyes with their spectacular properties, delicious cafes, and perfectly curated gift shops. I’ve been a proud member for four years now and it is my go-to resource when we fancy a family day out. One of the things I love most is that you can visit the same property over and over and still discover new things. We usually go to Anglesey Abbey as it’s close and has a fantastic area for kids to play. However, on this particular day, we opted for Ickworth and it did not disappoint.
There was a lovely fog hanging low in the trees and the temperature was just right – cool enough for jackets but not so cold as to be uncomfortable. The kids decided they would be the navigators and were very serious about reading the map. Luckily there was a paved walkway or there’s no telling where they would have sent us!
I had planned for a fairly decent walk but as soon as they spotted this pond, I realized I might need to shift my expectations. Once my kids find water and objects to throw into it, there’s little hope of shifting activities. Eventually, we told them they could jump in muddy puddles if we kept walking. Thanks to Peppa Pig, this suggestion was met with much enthusiasm and some snorting from our pig-obsessed two year old.
We jumped, we walked, we collected sticks and one of us even refused to wear a jacket (hello, toddler!). And we topped it all off with soup and scones in the cafe.
I feel incredibly lucky that our kids are at an age where they want to hang out with us. There are constant cries of, “Mama, look!” and, “Daddy! Watch this!” Yes, it can be exhausting. But when I look back at these pictures, I don’t see that part. I see half-polished fingernails from a beauty kit my husband was conned into buying at Tesco. I see jeans that can only be worn with boots because my baby has had a growth spurt and now they’re a bit short. And I see my husband hunting for the perfect throwing rock for the 50th time without complaint. It’s my whole life in pixels and I’m so glad I took the time to write it down in pictures. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.