As a family, we’re often at our happiest when out and about on an adventure together. Like everyone else, we’ve been very limited with our outdoor adventures but with restrictions easing, it was lovely to be able to book some days out at a couple of our favourite places. Cliveden is our favourite out of our local National Trust properties and we enjoyed a couple of days out there over the Easter holidays.
Sophie was very pleased to see that there was an Easter trail on. We picked up an Easter adventure bag from the Information Desk which contained a trail sheet with a map, a pencil and a chocolate Easter egg – the prize for completing the trail. I liked how everything was all prepared and ready to pick up. There were also some activities on the outside of the bag, including a ‘Springo’ card with things for Sophie to look and listen out for.
The trail was fairly quiet when we started out which was good. There was an activity for each numbered point on the trail on the sheet and another one on the board when we reached that point. Near the second one was a board showing the wingspan of various birds. Sophie stretched her arms out as wide as she could but although she managed to match the wingspan of the pheasant, she couldn’t stretch them wide enough for any of the other birds.
We repeated it a few days later when we came back again with Daddy in tow whose arms were long enough to match the wingspan of a black swan.
One of Sophie’s favourite activities on the trail was to make a face out of natural objects. Such a simple activity but so much fun to do. There were a few faces on the ground nearby and it was interesting to see how other children had used sticks, stones and leaves to make their faces.
We’re starting to use the buggy less with Thomas these days, although it is still useful to have on longer walks. It is lovely to see him and Sophie walking along hand-in-hand on days out, just as Sophie and Jessica used to do. As with so many of our favourite spots, there are memories of Jessica around nearly every corner, and particularly so with doing the Easter trail. Jessica enjoyed the two Easter trails she did at Cliveden and those beautiful memories came back so vividly as we made our way around this year’s trail.
One area where there are no memories of Jessica though is in the woods at Cliveden as we never actually explored this area while she was alive. It’s a shame we didn’t as this would have been another area she would have enjoyed. The woods are particularly pretty at the moment with all the bluebells in bloom.
Clive’s Play Den and the woodland play trail are both brilliant areas for children to enjoy and each time we’ve been, they’ve been fairly quiet. Sophie loves climbing to the top of the climbing tower. Thomas also loves to climb so was keen to have a go too. I have to admit I was quite anxious watching him climbing to the top even with Daddy standing there. It is very high up for a little one!
Last time we were at Cliveden there were two swings in the woodland play trail. Sophie was disappointed to see that her favourite of the two (which is a standard swing with two ropes and a seat) has been removed. She’s not quite so keen on the other rope swing as it makes her go dizzy.
Thomas had lots of fun practicing his balancing skills on the log trail with Daddy helping him step from one to another.
We took a different route through the woods back towards the main car park. I love how there are still different paths to explore even though we’ve been here so many times. On the way back, we talked about Jessica and imagined what it would have been like having her with us. Had Jessica been with us too, it would have felt like a perfect day. I’m glad that she is still a part of our days out though in our thoughts and our memories.
Visiting Cliveden – what you need to know:
Entrance to Cliveden is currently through pre-booked timed tickets. For more information and to book tickets, click here.