Yesterday we met the Grandparents and my Brother and family at Arley Hall and Gardens in Cheshire. The sun was shining and Spring most definitely seemed to be in the air. We arrived as the gardens opened at 11am and in the end, didn’t leave until around 3.30pm with three very tired, but happy little girls.
I hadn’t actually heard of Arley Hall before seeing a tweet last week about the Fairy Trails event, however when I mentioned to friends they all said ‘Oh yes it’s a lovely wedding venue’ and I’m sure it is as the grounds are beautiful. So we went with no real sense of what we were going to find, but happy we had chosen to meet outside on such a lovely day. Our party was made up of me and my husband, our three girls 4,3,and 3, my brother and his wife and their kids who are 4,2 and 6 months, and the grandparents. The tickets were significantly cheaper if purchased in advance, although the pricing structure did seem a little tricky to understand. In the end we only paid £30 for all 6 adults and 6 kids which didn’t seem too bad at all.
As we walked into the Courtyard we immediately saw the people from Stockley Farm (which is on the same site) they had some lovely baby goats and lambs with them which the children all loved. We unfortunately missed the bottle feeding but hopefully we will head back to Stockley Farm at some point soon as we picked up some vouchers.
The atmosphere in the Courtyard was a little chaotic as everyone had arrived at once at 11, but we quickly worked out that there were two activities. One which was finding hidden animals in the gardens, and the other finding fairy doors in the glen. We decided to do the animal search first.
We got 5 quiz sheets for the 5 older children and set off to hunt for the wicker animals. Some of them were actually quite tricky to find but it was good fun trying to follow the instructions. Some parts of the gardens weren’t that easy to navigate with the pram (but my SIL managed it with some lifting up and down steps) but they are really pretty and the kids had lots of fun running around.
We found all the animals in the end, and enjoyed working out what our fairy and troll names were in the cottage! We also took the opportunity to have a picnic in the sunshine on the grass. First one this year.
After we had found all the animals and had lunch we made our way back to the Courtyard where we hoped to grab some drinks and take part in the colouring activity before trying to find the fairy doors. We had exhausted our picnic supplies by then and needed some coffees and fruit juice to invigorate us. The restaurant only really wanted to do table service, although one of the staff tried to get them to serve us drinks, but this did seem a little clunky. If you are visiting I would say take a large stock of drinksand snacks!
The fairy glen was very cute and again the girls revelled in finding all the little doors. Lily tried to draw all the doors as they suggested, and I saw loads of children taking real care with their drawings. Once we worked out what we needed to do, we spent another hour doing this.
Finally the girls spent the last hour playing in the huge adventure playground. There was loads to do and lots of it looked brand new, it was certainly in great condition. Lily loved the zip wire the best and here is her video!
We had a great day at Arley Hall as the photos show, and I am sure we will go back again and again.