An Afternoon at Calke Abbey

We love our National Trust membership and that it allows us to have low cost days out as a family seeing or experiencing somewhere and something new. Although we had been to Calke Abbey before we didn’t cover as much ground last time so saw plenty more during our latest visit.

We took a walk to the stables which have some information about their history as you walk through which is great. Out through the stables we turned into the gardens which is a part (and a pretty big one at that) that we missed last time. Calke is a large estate and these gardens included bee hives, vegetable garden including greenhouses, cold frames and potting areas. Continuing further was a wide but fairly narrow building that housed a fire place, seating area and storage either side. I didn’t catch the proper name for it but I described it as the ‘biggest gardeners shed I’ve ever seen’. Not historically correct I know but take a look at the video clip and share how you would describe it.

Having been dreaming of a vegetable patch for a while now I was in envy at the one at Calke Abbey that was contained in a walled garden. There were gates through to different areas and it felt like lots of secret nooks and fun things to explore.

After the gardens and a small walk through a section of trees we took the slope down to the Ice House. I had never actually seen one of these before and my husband did some research on it. Used for storing ice from the nearby lake I thought it was a great idea and it was true to its word, it was cold in there. The grounds are also home to a church positioned at the top of a small hill where the walk was lined with trees and snowdrops which was lovely to see.

When exploring had made us thirsty we made our way back to the cafe via the shop. We are collecting fabric patches for our little girl so picked one of these up along with looking at some books in the shop and in their secondhand bookshop. On the way in we saw a hotdog and burger stand so made our way there for hotdogs before heading home. In total we spent just under £20 on food and drink and £3.50 for the badge (we pay for our membership monthly).

I would love to know what National Trust places we need to put on our list as ‘must visits’. We like a little of both house and estate but also love a good long walk with a picnic when the weather is good! Feel free to also visit my Instagram for more videos of our day at Calke Abbey.

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