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School holiday fun at shugborough estate
The Complete Working Shugborough Historic Estate (Staffordshire)
Member Name: Shellywelly
The Complete Working Shugborough Historic Estate (Staffordshire)
Date: 27/07/09, updated on 28/07/09 (125 review reads)
Advantages: The staff
While looking for places to go to in the school holidays I stumbled upon a advertisement for Shugborough estate and as it was only 25 minutes from where I live in Lichfield I decided to go, I was unsure if it would be to my 6 year old's taste as like most children he prefers tacky places! However I knew that my partner and I would enjoy it ! And in-fact we all loved it!
What is Shugborough?
Shugborough is a working historic estate based near Stafford. The estate is set out in 5 main areas, the walled garden, Park farm, Parkland monuments and gardens, servants quarters and Museum and the mansion house.
- Walled garden
The walled garden is half a mile from the mansion house, this is due to the gardeners being considered as 'unsightly' and to avoid restricting the view from the house. The walled garden was originally created in 1806 and supplied all the fruit and vegetables on the estate. You can buy some vegetables when you visit the walled garden for £1 a bunch! There are actors in this area who will answer any questions you have about how they performed their job and the tools they would have used. The garden was impressive and my Son was amazed by the 6 foot sun flowers!
Along from the walled garden is the bothies, the bothies provided living accommodation for young unmarried gardeners. These are now used as craft shops, the craft shops are independent but will happily tell you about the craft they do, ie candle making and wood work. My son had a go at candle dipping and rolling for a small nominal charge.
- This is the bit my son enjoyed the most , you first go through the farm house and learn about how food was stored and how the house would have been. The farm bailiff used to live in this house and it is a very grand house for someone of that status. This was made more enjoyable for my son as the farm had a bear hunt on and my son enjoyed dashing from room to room looking for the hidden bears. The staff were very good and stayed in their roles through out even when I told my son that my mother had an 'old fashioned' weighing scale similar to the one in the kitchen, the bailiffs wife stated that they are not old fashioned but the latest invention for them! If you get the chance to, do taste some of the griddle cakes that they place for you to try in the kitchen they are amazing and melt in your mouth! There is a dairy attached to the house and the lady in their happily explained to my son how cheese was made - I was surprised how fascinated my son was! As its school holidays the farm had events on throughout the day and we decided to do the mask making, as few people joined in the staff passed myself and my partner a mask to decorate, to which we had fun pretending to be big kids and letting our imagination go wild with pots and glitter!!
Then on to the fun bit - feeding the animals with the purchased on site feed, my son enjoyed feeding the goats, although beware there are a few wandering around and will follow you!!
Parkland monuments and gardens.
The parkland is stunning and you could have a lovely walk over the estate... however as time was against us on this occasion we didn't take advantage of this. We will be going again though as you can view the out buildings and parkland for just the parking fee of £3 and take your dog with you if you have one.
Servants quarters and museum
This was interesting as it had things that would not of originally been at the park but that were typical of the age, the museum staff gave my son a quiz to fill in as he went around and this was invaluable to keep him interested, He was particularly interested in the medical instruments! The laundry was very interesting and again the staff made it great for my son with demonstrations of the hot rods and irons!
The Mansion House
- The mansion house is absolutely stunning, we bought a children's guide book on our entrance to the estate which became invaluable once we got to the house. The guide book explained about the house in the way a child would understand and had tasks and questions for my son to find the answers to. As a adult viewing the house, it is absolutely beautiful and the furniture and wares were amazing. My partner did not think he would be that interested in the house being a typical man, but I think he was even more enthralled than I was!
As well as those areas I have listed there is a play ground by the farm park this has lots of things for the children to play on and even has a swing and roundabout for wheelchair bound children.
Eating and Drinking?
At the farm park there is a tea room, we had planned to eat in here until we found they only did pre-packed sandwiches, therefore we did a quick exit and made our way up to the Ladywalk tea room at the house. This is exactly what we were looking for! The tearoom serves hot food until 2:30 but then does freshly prepared sandwiches and jacket potatoes, cakes, homemade biscuits etc until 4pm.
The tea room was decorated lovely with flowers on each table and all the staff in old fashioned kitchen made outfits. The hot food looked lovely and there was plenty of choice, but we opted for a sandwich. There was a wide choice of sandwiches but both my partner and I chose the farm house cheddar and chutney baguettes, you could have it on wholemeal or white and a baguette or sandwich, the sandwiches I saw were large doorstep sandwiches!! There were a variety of drinks, soft drinks, ginger beer, beers, wines and hot drinks. My partner also had a chocolate refrigerator cake which didn't even touch the sides so must have been nice! For children there were hot meals with a free piece of fruit for afters or a packed lunch with a freshly made sandwich - a packet of walkers crisps, piece of fruit and a freddo bar.
There are also plenty of areas to picnic should you wish but I do highly recommend the tea room if you are not on a strict budget.
There is also a sweet shop - much to my partners pleasure with old fashioned sweets and also a icecream parlour which we did not partake in.
The best bits?
I found the whole place amazing but I think the was the best bit for children, however the staff really make this attraction what it is, they are fantastic in character and really bring the place to life, I have been to other attractions in the nearby area and this is twice as good as that was and I would recommend it to anyone old or young.
Adults £12, concession £9.50, child £7, under fives are free.
FAMILY (2 Adult & up to 3 children) £30
FAMILY (1 Adult & 1 child)£15
PARKING CHARGE £3.00 per vehicle, fully refunded on purchase of a ticket
is available for £3. Parking charges will apply
SENIOR DISCOUNT DAY ON MONDAYS
Seniors can get a full site ticket for just £5 on Mondays
How to get there?
"Shugborough lies just a few miles from the county town of Stafford and is well signed from Junction 13 of the M6. The main entrance is located at Milford Common on the A513 Stafford to Lichfield Road" Taken from the Shugborough website and not counted in the total word count.
Stafford - 15mins
Lichfield - 25mins
Stoke-on-Trent - 35mins
Wolverhampton - 40mins
Alton Towers - 40mins
Birmingham - 45mins
Derby - 45mins
Warwick - 1hr
Shrewsbury - 1hr
Chester - 1hr 15mins
Manchester - 1hr 20mins
Sheffield - 1hr 30mins
London - 2hrs 40mins
Taken from Shugborough website www.shugborough.org.uk not counted in word count.
Thank you for reading my review - I have tried to give as much information as possible if I have missed anything please don't hesitate to ask. You can get the bus to Shugborough as there are bus stops outside the main drive but I am unsure of the service details but if you put the details in www,travelline.org,uk you will be able to get the direct route.
Summary: A brill educational family day out
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