Today we ventured out again on a carefully chosen open air visit. We went to an old favourite - Wentworth Castle. It’s been many years since we last visited and it recently got taken over by the National Trust. It’s a stunning site in the side of a hill, just a few minutes from the M1. The main house is a college, but the gardens lead up the hill to a castle folly at the very top.
I was really looking forward to going as there used to be lots of lovely flowers and I had happy memories of the children playing in the amphitheatre of the folly. Toby used to crawl around on the grass. We used to take a ball or bubbles and play for ages.
Everyone at the National Trust was very welcoming and it was great to be back. Whilst it’s fantastic that the beautiful site has reopened, it was certainly busier, with people everywhere. The peaceful picnic we had planned certainly didn’t feel as relaxed with so many people around. We couldn’t stay and play like we used to, although I suspect the children’s activities were only for the holiday. There’s lots of seating at the folly, and on the way up near the start, but not much in the gardens themselves so you can picnic and play.
The castle had had work done to preserve it. That kind of took a little away from the feel that it was ruins, but I can appreciate the site needed to be safe and preserved for future generations. The kids still loved exploring the dungeon, and Rosie climbed the tower.
Without the National Trust and the extra visitors they bring, the site would not have reopened and we wouldn’t have been able to return again to enjoy the scenery and spot the deer. It was lovely to see children made so welcome. There were hobby horses and archery. There is a play field for football. The playground was open but it was so busy that we didn’t dare go in because Toby is CEV and doesn’t understand social distancing.
We had a lovely outing. It was good to blow away a few more cobwebs. It will be lovely to return one day in future and explore the cafe, shop and playground.
Originally published on 24.8.2021