Last weekend we decided to venture a little further afield and try another National Trust property over near East Grinstead – Standen House. It came recommend by a friend who also joined us there. Standen House is an Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors, set in a beautiful hillside garden so not automatically on my list of places to visit with Monkey. However looking on the website there did look like a fair amount to keep children entertained.

Standen House &Garden - National Trust

IMG_0443We arrived around lunchtime and the carpark was busy, I could imagine that parking during peak times could be interesting. As you walk up to the house you pass the vegetable garden, they have a little stall with seasonal produce for sale. There were lots of volunteers when we visited sorting out the gardens for the spring, cutting back fruit bushes and turning over soil. They also have a chicken house with some lovely white hens named after the people that work in the garden. We decided to head straight for the cafe. There was lots of seating outside although a little cold so we squeezed around the last remaining table. Monkey opted for a lunch box while I had a jacket potato, the food was good and well priced just as I have come to expect from the National Trust. They also has a small selection of hot meals. Once we had finished Monkey decided his lunchbox would look better as a hat! Although he looks miserable in this photo he was just larking around and all the other ones are blurred so I opted for the miserable one!

From lunch we headed towards the house, the friend I was with loves the Morris & Co wallpapers and fabric. There are plenty of people on hand to ask questions and to make sure all the children were behaving themselves. Thankfully they had an egg hunt game on, where we had to find a little natural looking egg in most rooms. Ten in total, for the older children they also had spot the wallpaper. I do like the fact that they always think about something to keep the children amused.

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IMG_0448We had a reasonable wander around with the promise of going to look for the natural play area once we were finished. The wallpapers are beautiful and we learnt a lot about the history of the house from the volunteers. Monkey was particularly taken with an old tin bath and the fact they didn’t have running water (although the house did have an actual bathroom on the ground floor unlike many of its it time). In one of the rooms they offered the chance to do some drawing which kept him and others entertained while we looked around. He insisted on drawing some Easter Eggs and then wanted to draw a picture for the baby. It was a picture of him, the baby and me. He drew me while I drew Kipper and him. Also contained within the house is a toy room, it was  originally a play room for the owners children and the Trust had decided to keep it as such. We didn’t manage to find it initially, only when we were leaving did we spy the entrance which is separate to the main house.  Although we were on our way home by then, but its a good option for Spring Showers!

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IMG_0464You need to go through the giftshop to get out of the house which is probably my only criticism as of course Monkey wanted something… Once outside we walked around the back of the house, it has a lovely patio area and I can imagine sipping tea (or something sparkly) in the good weather. The house overlooks a small lawn, with the groundsmen getting reading for the Tulip Festival coming towards the end of April. If Kipper’s not made an appearance by then we will be back to visit, as tulips are one of my favourites. The lawn has a slight hill to it, so you are invited to take part in the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4 – roll down a hill. Monkey needed no encouragement what so ever.

From the lawn we headed up round the back through the steep gardens to the natural play area. It was starting to get quite cold so we didn’t stay long, but again I can imagine picnicking in the Summer with the kids running around in and out of dens which they have created themselves or have been left from someone else’s play.

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IMG_0470As far as natural play areas go theres a lot to see and do, I can imagine all sorts of things going on a base camp in the Summer holidays. Monkey enjoyed the Stone Den climbing easily to the top, playing in the Crows Nest and jumping on and off, ringing the bell in the Weaving Wood and climbing all over the Higgledy Piggledy Fence. (I am not sure its really meant for climbing on!).

There is a fair amount of work going on around the gardens at the top which I am sure will look stunning when finished. As the weather was closing in we decided to head back to the cars. In total we were there for about four hours and probably didn’t even see half of it. Next time I would like to look around the vegetable gardens and walk in the woodland. Monkey of course would like to spend more time in the play area and collect more sticks! I think it will soon become a regular haunt for us in the warmer months.

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Have you been to any National Trust properties recently? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.

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46 Comments

  1. I love visiting National Trust homes, they’re always so much fun and being in the outdoors is great. Fab pics, looks like you had a great time! #bloggerclubuk

  2. Don’t you just hate how they always lead you through a gift shop at any excursion? That happened to us all summer last year on vacay. Thanks for hostessing the fab #BloggerClubUk! I’m just getting back from vacay and into the groove!

  3. I love National Trust Homes, you know they are going to be good for children. Looks like lots of fun was had. That is annoying about the gift shop, why do they do it??? x

  4. Wow looks like a lovely day out. Our family farm is near Felbrigg Hall, a National Trust property in Norfolk which is just beautiful! We even had some of our wedding pictures taken there xx #BloggerClubUK

  5. beautiful post with beautiful photos and who doesn’t love a good roll down a hill?! Though it’s a toss up between that and sipping something sparkly on the patio for me! – brilliant #BloggerClubUK

  6. You just can’t got wrong with National Trust! They are all so fab; houses, gardens and I love a good jacket with cheese and beans 🙂 We are hoping to go a little further afield in the summer. Thanks for hosting xx #BloggerClubUk

  7. This looks lovely. I’m a bit of a fan of National Trust places as one of my first jobs was in a tearoom at our local one! #bloggerclubuk

  8. Hot Pink Wellingtons Reply

    I love a National Trust (well, now I do – as a kid I’m not sure I was so taken!) – I thought I must have visited them all but I don’t recognise this one. I love pattern and wallpaper, so this sounds like it would be a hit for me, and the play area looks lovely for the kids. And ah – the ‘exit through the gift shop’ strategy – it works a treat on me, as well as on kids, I love a gift shop! #BloggerclubUK

  9. Oh wow what a lovely place to visit and some great photos. Sounds like it will be just beautiful, as you said, in the summer holidays and lots to keep the kids entertained! #bloggerclubUK

  10. I’m trying to think whether I have visited this NT property. I suspect it could have been when I was a child and not entirely interested but how things change! I do love the Morris designs and my kids would love the chickens (me too actually). Thanks for hosting. I’ve linked up for the first time today 🙂
    #bloggerclubUK
    Sophie x

  11. What an interesting looking property. I too love William Morris designs – I don’t think anyone has even come close since him in designing fabrics and wallpaper. How lovely that Monkey is so excited about the new baby. When my daughter was born, my son walked into the maternity unit, walked straight up to her and immediately undid her baby-grow and just stared down at her – was the sweetest thing. I guess its a weird thing to get your head around when you’re a toddler!

  12. That looks like such a fab place to visit. We used to always visit National Trust properties when we lived in England and they were perfect for a day out! Really miss them now 🙂 #bloggersclubuk

  13. I’m hearing more and more about National Trust properties, I really need to scope them out. Looks a fab day out. Great photos too. #bloggersclubuk xx

  14. Looks like you had fun – love the sound of the toy room and the photo of Monkey rolling down the hill 🙂

  15. We went to the Red Lodge museum in Bristol last year which was fabulous. Really old and you could feel the atmosphere. I’ve just checked and it opens again next weekend (16th April). It’s not a huge place, but plenty of interest for those who like history.

  16. Looks like an absolutely perfect day out, for all involved! I really miss being able to visit heritage sites like this. I can’t wait to meander round some gardens with my little fella when we’re back home in the UK for the summer! 🙂

  17. That looks like a fun day for you and your son! I love going to historic buildings. This Thursday I’m going with my son on his field trip to historic Deerfield here in Western MA. I’ve never been there as I’m not from this state but it is supposedly still set up as one of the first colonial villages of the pilgrims and I can’t wait to see it with him! Thanks so much for hosting #bloggerclubuk

  18. It sounds like a lovely day out. I love that they kept the playroom as such! Also that Monkey drew a picture of Kipper, very sweet. Thanks for hosting #BloggerClubUK

  19. I don’t think I’ve visited an NT property, maybe as a kid I did and I can’t remember. Certainly not taken the Robots to one but they do look like interesting places to visit. I bet Big Robot would quite enjoy it as he loves finding out all about how things work, I bet he’d love to see how life used to be in big old houses. I think he’d be fascinated by the thought of no running water too!
    #BloggerClubUK

  20. anywaytostayathome Reply

    Oh I do love a good NT property, at the moment we are sticking to gardens and avoiding the homes, L is still just a bit young to appreciate all the lovely things inside! But I always find the gardens are fun, plays areas well kept and the cafes superb so I’m not too sad 😉 #BloggerClubUK

  21. Mess and merlot Reply

    Looks like a lot of fun, now the kids are 5 and 7 I might invest in a membership. It can be tricky to keep them interested when their younger but looks like this property had plenty to amuse them. Lovely William Morris prints, NT properties are made for the Arts & Crafts style aren’t they? #BloggerClubUK

  22. reimerandruby Reply

    We have not been to any National Trust properties recently, but it’s nice to visit one day with the kids. I think it’s always the trend now having to go through gift shop upon exit, which is the downside as it can be annoying when kids want to buy something which is not even necessary. Seems like a lovely day out, your little one really did enjoy! #bloggerclubuk

  23. I love visiting NT properties, they can be such a good day out with kids. It’s funny though, they all seem to have such limited parking! #BloggerClubUK

  24. I’m a member of National Trust and we love visiting Saltram House which is about 45 minutes from us. There’s also a National Trust beach near us which we love going to all year round. I’m so glad we became members as generally they are great places for the kids yo enjoy and run off some steam x

  25. Standen House looks enchanting! We love visiting National Trust properties. Our favourites are Mottisfont and The Vyne! #BloggerClubUK

  26. I love a good National Trust day, and this sounds great for the kids. We try and get out to our local (Devon) NT at weekends when we get the chance. At Killerton House we recently did the easter egg hunt a few days before so was quiet, enjoyable and they even had a little mouse hidden in each room so safely in the buggy Phoebe could spot them! Thanks for sharing a lovely post. #bloggerclubuk

  27. This looks like a really lovely one! I often have that with photos too, boys seems to move around to much to get a still shot! 😀 #bloggerclubuk

  28. Wow, what a great day out. I love the sound of the outdoor play area and the colouring in room sounds like a fab way to keep little ones entertained. We have just got a national trust membership and I can’t wait to start exploring xx #BloggerClubUK

  29. It sounds like a lovely place to visit for a family day out. It’s always good when places like that which appeal to adults remember to consider the children and provide activities for them to enjoy too. #BloggerClubUK

  30. Sounds like a great day out, usually is when its National Trust isn’t it? We are so lucky to have these places all over the country, makes for a great day out, especially when the weather is good! #BloggerClubUK

  31. Looks awesome. I wish I could go to more of the National Trust places here in Wales, but they’re all off the beaten track and we don’t drive. #bloggerclubuk

  32. Sounds like a really lovely day out. I love the photo of your son with the lunchbox on his head – so funny!

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #BloggerClubUK

  33. Aww I love a good National Trust day out, theres always loads to do and the kids are entertained well! They always get you with the gift shop though don’t they?! 🙂

    #BloggerClubUK

  34. newmummyblogcom Reply

    It looks like a great day out and so much to do. I love the sound of it and the Tulip Festival… I’ll have to look out for it next year as tulips are my favourite so I would love to combine the house with tulips 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  35. Looks like a lovely out. Love that monkey wants to draw a pictur for the baby, how sweet is that! #bloggerclubuk xx

  36. Becky, Cuddle Fairy Reply

    These national trust properties sound amazing! Staden House is so well looked after, the grounds are beautiful. Sounds like a really great family day out. #bloggerclubuk x

  37. I’m really into things like this now unfortunately my little babes just aren’t house trained. That’s great they had a few activities for your kids to keep them entertained and I bet they enjoyed that play park! I love your pics too a great family day out x

  38. Pingback: Mottisfont – National Trust | Mudpie Fridays

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