We’ve been itching to get out and make the most of our National Trust membership but the weather over half term made this tricky so instead, we headed out to Hatchlands last weekend. Finlay had been mentioning that he’d quite like to go ‘treasure hunting with a box’ because his little friend at school had been mentioning this in their weekend adventures. We figured he meant ‘Geocaching’ so decided to link that with our trip to Hatchlands. If you’d like more fun outdoor activities that you can try – check out our bumper list Outdoor winter nature activities for kids!
Visiting Hatchlands National Trust
The weather held up as we followed a very cute duck Halloween trail around the park and played in the treehouses. There are lots of lovely trees to climb at Hatchlands (a favourite activity of my little ones).
We stopped for our picnic (we are quite used to having dodgy weather picnics, so much so that my lovely husband made me a picture for my birthday of our picnicking adventures). After our picnic we attempted a spot of geocaching and despite the moans en route- that there wouldn’t actually be any ‘real treasure’, the kids absolutely loved it!
They adored writing in the book and trading snacks and on the way back to the car, they wanted to go and find another to finish off the day. I had hoped that the children would play in the colourful Autumn leaves so I could capture some cheesy leafy shots to spam my Instagram feed with, but reluctantly I agreed that Mr M would take them for their last attempt at geocaching whilst I fed baby Archie. There really are such beautiful trees showcasing all the Autumnal colours at Hatchlands Park.
They were gone a loooonnnngggg time. Such a long time that you begin to question where and when you’d arranged to meet. In typical fashion, my phone battery was dead (how on earth did we arrange to meet people before mobiles?) so just when my tinge of annoyance gave way to my tinge of worry, I decided to go and look for them.
It didn’t take long to find them, I turned the corner back the way we’d come and ran into two sobbing children and a rather irate husband! They’d disturbed a wasp’s nest rooting around for the geocaching box and been stung by sleepy wasps that became caught in their clothes! Later Mr M declared that he’d been so convinced that the little box was inside this tree trunk that he’d encouraged Elle and Fin to ‘get stuck in’ and ‘use their little hands to root around’. The wasps had a rude awakening from hibernation! There was a bit of a circus of stamping on clothes and wiping of tears before we finally headed home.
Still, they found it was a great story to recount to family and friends and it hasn’t put them off geocaching in the slightest! They are looking forward to their next National Trust visit but were a little sad that ‘wasp sting’ hasn’t featured in the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4′.
Do you have a favourite National Trust property? Where’s your favourite for families? We’d love to have some recommendations!