Over last week or so, the girls have enjoyed taking part in four different Easter egg hunts. The Cadbury’s Easter Egg hunt at Cliveden was their third one of the Easter weekend – after Chiltern Open Air Museum and a very small one in our garden at home on Easter Sunday (which they loved mostly because all the eggs there were to find were chocolate ones!)
Cliveden has been on my list of places to visit for a while but this was the first time we’d actually been there and it certainly seemed like everyone else in the local area had had the same idea as us as it was very busy! Thankfully parking was fairly easy as the car park was being well controlled.
Our first port of call was the Information Centre to buy an Easter egg trail map, which cost £3. We passed one of the eggs on the way there so that was one ticked off our list before we’d even started following the trail! Jessica was quite taken by the big inflatable Cadbury’s egg outside the Information Centre (and was a little disappointed that it was no longer there by the time we finished our trail).
The first egg on our trail was found just outside the Information Centre – one made out of sticks with bells attached, and the girls both enjoyed giving it a gentle shake and listening to the sound of the bells. We then made our way towards the very pretty Fountain of Love where the next egg was found, with the girls making sure that they made the most of the big puddles found along the way!
From the fountain, the trail took us through the Long Garden which provided the perfect location to stop and grab a family photo for the monthly Me and Mine project.
The walk through the Long Garden led us out into the woods. The girls had both brought their little Easter egg buckets along – perfect for collecting “treasures” like pebbles and twigs – and Sophie, in particular, had a wonderful time collecting sticks along the way, while Jessica wanted to just ride on Daddy’s shoulders instead. We found two more eggs in the woods – one made from moss and another very pretty one covered with orange flowers.
The lawns as we approached the house provided the perfect place for Jessica to practice some “roly-polys” and Sophie and Daddy joined in too. I think hubby had more fun rolling around on the grass than the girls did but they certainly loved having him join in with them! We took a slight detour from the trail at this point to head around the house, across the terrace and then down to the Parterre where there was lots of space for the girls to run about (and try rolling down some of the slopes too!)
Back on the trail, we had two more eggs left to find – one with clock hands, near the Dovecote coffee shop (where we stopped for a cream tea) and then the final one near the Storybook Play Den. As we walked along, I had one of those moments of pure contentment – a little girl’s hand in mine, hubby walking along with our other little girl, sunshine and a day outside all combined to make a perfect moment. It made me realise that I’m at my happiest on days like this – spending time with my family exploring the great outdoors.
We passed by the Water Garden, and spotted a heron by the lake, on our way to find the final Easter egg. “Oh wow!” Sophie said, as we got near the water, “that’s a lot of bath!”
The final Easter egg was made from storybook pages. We’d found all the Easter eggs on the trail although hadn’t quite managed to spot all the bunnies that were hiding along the way – we’d found four but there were 15 or so in total. It didn’t matter though – we still received a chocolate bunny for doing the trail which the girls enjoyed sharing between them before making a beeline for the big muddy puddle nearby. They must have spent about ten minutes just happily jumping around in the puddle (with Mummy joining in the fun too!) – even the nearby play area had no appeal! Thank goodness for wellies and puddle suits!
We had a lovely day out – and timed it perfectly weather-wise as it was just starting to rain again by the time we headed back to the car. It might have been the first time we’d visited Cliveden but it certainly won’t be the last!