A good few weeks have passed now since we took a bit of an unplanned day trip over to Castle Ashby Gardens in Northamptonshire. But we had the most amazing day there as a family that I really wanted to capture and share it here on my blog.
It was our first time visiting Castle Ashby Gardens, we actually never even know that it existed before we found it through a google search about an hour before we went. It was a nice day and we were looking for somewhere we could take the boys. It came down to a choice between Castle Ashby Gardens or Salcey Forest (also in Northamptonshire). We took a chance on Castle Ashby Gardens and it really paid off.
Castle Ashby is home to the 7th Marquess of Northampton and whilst the stunning and most beautiful stately home wasn't open to members of the public, for a small fee we were able to wander around the incredible landscaped gardens.
I really do love being in the grounds of stately homes and castles, I love anything to do with royal history, it's one of my big interests. So it was really nice to discover somewhere as lovely as Castle Ashby turned out to be.
It was nice taking our time wandering through the numerous gardens whilst Ethan jumped, ran and skipped his way around. It was a great place to let him burn off some energy!
It was also lovely to find a variety of animals there too such as a family of Meerkats, chipmunks, marmosets, pigs, budgies, tortoises and more.
I didn't get any photos on my big camera of the lovely tea room there sadly, but it was SO nice! We sat outside at a table under a parasol eating our lunch - which was delicious and just in front of us was a really lovely children's play park area which had a great kids play castle in. Ethan and Logan (and Daddy) loved playing in there before lunch. You can see a little bit of it in my video which I've shared just at the bottom of this post.
There were so many lovely hidden little areas to discover in the gardens. We had so much fun discovering everything for the first time and just hanging out together as a family.
It was so nice to discover this beautiful church right at the end of our walk too. Perhaps it sounds a little bit strange but I'm also really interested in church buildings (despite not being in the slightest bit religious) and graveyards and I found this one so beautiful. I think it was open to the public, but we didn't get the chance to go inside, so I'd love to do that when we go back again.
Our day at Castle Ashby Gardens was a simple day out yet it has really stuck with us - Adam and I keep talking about how much of a lovely day it was. It was great to just go and be without any distractions, routines or usual chores and just really enjoy each others company in a beautiful place.
We can't wait to go back. Next time I think that we'll take a little picnic with us and have another little explore and see what, if anything, we missed.
Do you know of any hidden little gems like this? We'd love some suggestions for some other lovely little places to visit if you have any!
You can see our video from the day here: