We visited during the Easter break and took part in Easter bonnet making activities, which my children really enjoyed and for £2 extra there was a good choice of ribbons, stickers and buttons to add to your hat.
As a family of five I normally dread the entrance fee but it cost just over £20 for two adults and three children (all over 5).
The gift shop was small but had a good selection of goodies.
We didn't stay long enough to use the cafe but it looked very welcoming, with a range of soups, cakes and tea.
The only issues I had were with most of the staff members.
Whilst undoubtedly very knowledgeable and happy to chat about Isaac, they weren't very good with children, and this made for a very tense visit.
My children are very well behaved (they know if they don't then it's their last trip out!) and the staff were forever watching them like a hawk, reminding them not to touch things (when they were nowhere near) and one even got hold of my son who was fetching a stray ball from a science centre attraction to reprimand him, which annoyed me because, had she looked, he was returning it!!
I had my camera out when we visited Isacc's house and was told by the volunteer in evey single room that I couldn't use it. I wasn't going to anyway, but after being told for the fifth time I put it away, sick of the nagging.
The apple tree was lovely, as were the mosaics created by a local school, located in a field outside.
The toilets were very clean and accessible and the real outdoor toilet was a source of amusement for my children, seeing as there were two side by side!
I would recommend a visit, but perhaps only with older, silent children or preferably leave them at home. I do appreciate that the job of the national trust is to preserve these wonderful houses for the future, but by being as hostile as they are, they will alienate families who want to come and visit.
The only other down side was the lady who worked in the gift shop.
Lovely though she was, she didn't take no for an answer when asked if I would join the national trust there and then.
Despite explaining that I am still thinking about it (it is a huge expense for a family of five) and that I currently had no spare money until payday, she went on for a full five minutes before I just had to walk away. Less really is more when it comes to sales!
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