Easter is not supposed to be this cold. Pre-children Husband and I sailed in the Solent every Easter. Yes, it wasn’t your bikini-clad kind of sailing, but no, the weather never even threatened to chuck snow at us. Figuring the cold snap had to end at some point, feeling the need to get some Easter-ish activity done with Weasel, and having my chocolatey-senses tingled by the Cadbury logo on the National Trust website, off we went to Petworth Park for their Easter trail.
In the warm entrance hut we received a bag with crafts to make as we went along the trail. It also contained chocolate, which worked well for bribery to continue on the journey, so well thought out! (Please come soon spring before I lose my mind completely) Sadly our hands were far too frozen, so the ears got made at home, but the sentiment was nice and we would have enjoyed making it in the great outdoors had the weather been tolerable. My frozen brain didn’t take a word of instructions in as this is what it turned out like (I’m quite sure bunnies don’t have tashes…) –
One convenient coincidence is that the Palladian Ionic Rotunda looks just like the thingy in In the Night Garden (to a 2 year old mind), see in this photo below clearly not taken by me this lovely Easter. This made 4 frozen toddlers run excitedly up a large hill to clamber on. Personally I’m happy there weren’t creepy giant balloon creatures bouncing around it.
It’s just a shame that it was as cold and windy as a bad day in Siberia up there.
Costs: We decided to pay for parking (£3) but there is some free not too far away if you’re willing to walk. The park itself is free, but the house is £12 (£6 for over 5, free for under, free for NT members). The Easter Trail bag was an additional £3. Annoyingly we were turned away at the house when looking for a tea room to feed the younger babies and try to defrost. The website says “you can visit the pleasure grounds, shop and restaurant for free” but when we asked we were told no entrance without house tickets. Boo. So I won’t be able to tell you what the food or even cups of tea were like.
Pram Accessibility: This is not exactly a trail for the faint-hearted pram. Ok, I might have the wussiest pram in the world, best described as ‘urban’, so if you have normal size wheels you’ll probably fare a little better. Also, we may have veered off-path slightly, as directed by a 2 year old. Here’s some good advice – probably best not to follow the lead of a 2 year old. There were some real moments of despair getting up the hill in the mud with a pissed off toddler being bribed with everything I could think of (thankfully her frost-ridden brain had forgotten the ill-though-out promises of chocolate eggs, milk and swim rings in a giant bubble bath) and a baby totally unaware but giving out little peeps in her sleep whenever we hit a tree root. Yes, this is one for carrying your kids, but the biting cold meant I was very reluctant to break out the Baby Bjorn for Baby Sister.
Facilities: Baby changing is available in in a separate loo in front of the entrance which also contains a toddler toilet complete with muralled door that Weasel loved. Would love to tell you what was up the hill in the tea room, but you’ve heard all about it already.
Verdict: Despite all of the above, I think we had a good time. It would have been amazing fun had it not been as cold as cold as a a well-digger’s arse. We’ll definitely be checking the park out again and possibly the house (mostly for access to tea…) when the permafrost retreats.