The best muddy day out ever

What makes a really good day out with small children? I discovered the answer on a breezy December day when I visited the National Trust’s Wimpole Estate, in Cambridgeshire.

Wimpole Estate
Walking towards the folly at Wimpole Estate

The stately pile part of the estate was shut (it will re-open in mid-February) but we weren’t there for a history lesson. Wimpole Estate is a particularly good place to get outdoors and we fancied a post-Christmas walk.

Wimpole Estate

We wandered along muddy paths, across the windswept fields, past grazing sheep and rippling lakes, up to the atmospheric 18th century folly. The expansive parkland is the perfect place for a winter’s stroll, indeed the National Trust’s website has a whole section on walking at Wimpole.

Our three year old was so distracted by the various features of the landscape that he forgot to complain about his weary legs until right near the end.

Wimpole Estate folly
Wimpole Estate folly

After lunch in the Old Rectory restaurant (eat early as popular menu items sell out fast) we headed over to Home Farm for a quick look at the animals. Then we ventured through to the play area and that’s where the day really took on a whole new muddy dimension. There are a number of ride-on tractors in the play area and a rudimentary trail for them to follow, along with pigsty-like playhouses (how apt…) and a combine harvester climbing apparatus.

This may all sound rather pedestrian to the seasoned parent, but it had been raining very hard in the days preceding our visit. The tractor track had been reduced to some muddy ruts and deep puddles and this is where our boys and other children proceeded to spend a long time getting very dirty.

I’ve seen them having fun with mud before but this episode seemed to create a fresh level of hilarity and enjoyment for all concerned. Perhaps everyone had been stuck indoors with feuding relatives for too long over Christmas and this was a way to let off steam: mud therapy. Whatever the reasons, there was a deep involvement with the mud.

Wimpole Estate

I highly recommend a visit to Wimpole Estate, but for full effect make sure it’s been raining before you go.

Wimpole Estate

There’s a nominal £2 parking charge if you just want to go for a walk to the folly, otherwise entry to the grounds with full mud experience is £12 per adult and £6 for children from age 5.

Membership of the National Trust costs £64.80 per year for an adult or £114.60 for a family (there’s a reduction for single parent families). If you’re heading to the British coast for a holiday, you’ll find National Trust membership will cover the hefty parking charge at many beaches from Cornwall to Northern Ireland.

The Helpful HikerExtraordinary Chaos

Country Kids

26 thoughts on “The best muddy day out ever

  1. We love a good muddy walk, especially warming up afterwards. Looks like you captured all the fun of the day. Cant beat a good winters walk and the sky was amazingly blue! Love National Trust estates to roam through x #CountryKids x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like a lot of fun! Playing in muddy puddles never gets old. I know what you mean about appreciating the fresh air after the Christmas enforced close confinement is so important. What a great place, it’s definitely on our list for our next NT adventure. Thanks for sharing with us #AdventureCalling

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great day out. National Trust properties are great for this because so many people just think of them as the actual buildings when in fact the land that the buildings are housed on is almost always worth exploration. My two would love the muddy tractor rides – in fact, I’m not sure we’d ever get out of there. Thanks for joining us on #adventurecalling . I hope you can tomorrow when it opens again.

    Liked by 1 person

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