Sunday, 23 September 2012

Sudbury Hall, Sudbury, Derbyshire

Sudbury Hall/Museum of Childhood is actually a National Trust property, but we have been there many times to the playground and café without having to show our National Trust membership, so I’m thinking that this bit is free to enter.

The big draw for children is the great play area in the woods as part of the Hall grounds.  It has a big range of things to climb, swing and slide on, including a pair of wooden houses linked by a bridge and a wooden boat which my toddler loves.  There is also plenty of running around space in the garden area and by the lake.

The café is in the old stable area and does standard National Trust fare – ie great coffee, loads of greatcakes, good choice for lunch – and all with local produce as far as possible.  If you fancy bringing your own there is plenty of picnic space on the lawn.  We went one day in school holidays to find a giant Connect 4 and chess set on the lawn.
The Museum is great to visit (even if you don’t have children) in order to revisit all those 1970s and 1980s toys you once had.  They have a copy of my Brownie handbook c1981 and a Millennium Falcon!  It’s very hands on too, so your children will be able to play and not just peer into glass cases.  Father Christmas also visits here in December (extra charge).

Added to all that is the 17th century house, the National Trust shop and the toy shop.

Round up
Café Latte price:  £2.35 for standard, £2.95 for large

Favourite cake: today we liked the chocolate crispy cakes for 50p but the scones looked great!

Child friendly highlights: children’s lunch boxes for £3.95, plenty of high chairs, microwave for heating bottles & food

Buggy friendly:  café is (although when it gets busy the additional seating is upstairs, no lift).  Woodland playground needs some off roading and can get very muddy.

Car parking:  Free in the NT car park a short walk from the Hall/Museum grounds.

Good for at least a couple of hours most times of year, but probably more if you want to explore the museum.

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