Always one of our favourite days out we headed to Pensthorpe Natural Park at the weekend to check out what they were up to this summer.
We started our trip with a visit to Hootz House indoor play, but upon setting foot inside L decided he’d rather be out in the sunshine. Fair enough! So we spent the first hour playing outdoors and making the most of all the play equipment on offer. It was a lot quieter in the morning than when we walked through later in the day so that’s worth remembering.
Then we did something we’d never done before, headed out on The Pensthorpe Explorer. You get taken round parts of the park that aren’t accessible by foot and get to learn a bit more about how Pensthorpe came to be and how it operates now. It was a fascinating journey and L loved being on the trailer at the back of the jeep. He loved the little spotter sheet he was given as well, it added another element to the journey and e=certainly kept his attention.
It’s £4 a ticket and an additional charge to the rest of your day, but you can enjoy a trip on the Pensthorpe Explorer without actually visiting the rest of Pensthorpe at all. You meet in the Activity Centre which is an often missed area, which is sad as that is where the Harvest Mice are and they are super sweet and worth a visit alone. Then you go on a roughly 40 minute tour of the grounds. It was brilliant and I’m so glad we went. It doesn’t need to be done on every visit but it was brilliant and I’d love to go out again but maybe in a different season.
It was then time to head off into the beautiful gardens, L’s words not mine. The theme for the summer is The Secret Garden and there are keys scattered around the site with answers to questions on them, we managed to hunt them all down and find the Fairy Doors hidden in the play area. So when L left he was able to pick up a new badge, he does love the Pensthorpe badges, a little pack of wildflower seeds and a sticker sheet. We always enjoy the trails as it means L has a purpose and even when he starts to get tired he loves to complete the challenge.
Throughout the day there were other events for the kids, story telling, crafts and pond dipping is back!! We were going to stop for the final pond dipping session but it was already getting a queue when we headed to the pond 10 minutes early and L was exhausted by this point and didn’t want to wait when he could see how busy it was.
We had an excellent day and before we knew it we’d been there for 5 hours! Our highlights from this visit included watching a combine harvester from one of the hides, spending ages watching one the red squirrels going absolutely mental and leaping around like something gone wrong,the sweet little harvest mouse drinking from the water bottle 50 times its size and of course our journey on the Pensthorpe Explorer.
Disclosure – we were gifted our entrance tickets and paid for our Pensthorpe Explorer tickets. All thoughts, opinions and images are my own.