I love Mondays! I’m on maternity leave at the moment and my husband is off some Mondays too, so a couple of times a month we make it our day to have a day out with our boys. As National Trust members, that usually involves a jaunt to a local site.
Today we headed for Lyme Park, Disley. It’s under an hour from our house and over the summer holidays there’s a Lego event taking place too, so we thought it would be fun for the tot. Here’s how we found it.
Lyme Park for Toddlers and Babies – Our Quick Review
As a place to visit with a baby and a toddler, we think this is pretty fantastic.
The Good Stuff:
- A huge adventure playground! Crow Wood is massive, with a big climbing frame, a slide, swings, tree house and plenty of space for running around in and logs for balancing on
- As with all the National Trust sites we have visited, good children’s meal options in the cafe
- Loads of space for running around
- Regular events for children – there’s a Lego event running until September 2017
Things to Bear in Mind:
- This is a big site. There’s an uphill walk from the car park to the house which might not be ideal with prams (though personally I welcome the chance to clock a few steps up!). There is also a shuttle service for those with mobility issues
Lyme Park Price and Location
- £8 per car in parking
- Whole property entry is £11 per adult and £5 per child (aged 5 or over).
- Under 5s are free
You also have the option of only paying for the garden or only for the house.
- Garden only is £7 per adult and £3.25 per child
- House only is £8 per adult and £3.70 per child
You can also get family tickets.
For National Trust members, car parking and access to the house and garden is free.
We spent £1 on buying a Lego model trail map for our son.
Here’s where you’ll find Lyme:
Our Toddler’s Day at Lyme Park
Oliver is almost 2 and a half and his absolute favourite thing to do is run around like a maniac outdoors. So National Trust sites are often a great shout for him.
He had loads to do today!
We arrived just before 12, so started with a visit to the Timber Yard cafe for lunch. Quick service and reasonable prices! And we always like to see a kid’s snack box type thing on the menu. For less than a fiver, Oliver got a sizeable ham sandwich, carton of juice, brownie and a tangerine.
Crow Wood Adventure Playground
Then we headed to the children’s play area, Crow Wood.
This photo only shows half of what is in this adventure playground. It is absolutely huge! As as the slide and the climbing frame you can see here, there’s a tree house with fireman’s poles, lots of tunnels to crawl through, swings and then loads of space with branches for den building.
While the slide was all fun and games for a few minutes, Oliver got the most joy out of balancing along the fallen trees with his Daddy!
Crow Wood is fantastic (and you don’t need a house or garden ticket to use it). Our toddler is 2 and a lot of the bigger pieces of equipment were far too big for him. But even for him, the slide, swings, tunnels and tree house were lots of fun.
As members, we could have accessed both the house and garden, but with only a couple of hours to use after Crow Wood and a baby and toddler in tow, we stuck with the gardens.
These gardens are absolutely spectacular and even with a couple of hours there, we didn’t come close to seeing it all.
One of the lawns to the site of the house, there are lawn bowls available for playing and they even put out smaller and lighter balls for the little ones too.
This was a lot of fun. Though it might take Oliver a little more practice before he fully gets the hang of “rolling, not throwing!” It’s a good job he can’t throw too far or he’d have probably caused someone a serious injury.
From there, we took a stroll down the beautiful Italian gardens where we stumbled across another play area! This one had trees for climbing, a stepping stones type game using logs and a sandpit where the kids could dig for treasure. “Treasure,” in this case, is plastic dinosaur “fossils.” There were brushes provided so the kids could clean up any “treasure,” they found. Oliver was over the moon to find 2 plastic dinosaurs!
It was a fantastic place to spend some time climbing trees, digging in the sand pit and hopping between “stepping stones.”
It’s a big area too and it well shaded for the sunny days you want to protect the babies and toddlers from the rays!
From the play area we headed for the lakeside walk and this is where we started to see some of the little hidden Lego models (they’re all over the park and the house – we only saw a handful because our tot was occupied just running around, but bigger kids will love the full trail). It’s a beautiful walk and pushchair friendly.
We did come across a little boat at the side of the lake for the children to play in and a Lego crocodile in the lake. Cue our toddler sitting in the boat singing “Row, row, row your boats,” over and over again.
Is the garden at Lyme buggy friendly?
This is always a worry for us when we head out to National Trust sites – how will we get around with the pram?
We have a pretty bulky pram for our 4 month old baby and we have a buggy board on the back for our tot and we had no problem getting it about. There are a lot of steps in the garden, but you can also walk on the grass and simply push the pram down the grass hills at the side of the steps. That did the trick fine for us. And the paths themselves are absolutely fine for a pram.
Would we go back?
We can’t wait to go back! It’s an absolutely beautiful place to spend a day with children (and adults) of any age and there’s loads for the toddlers to do!