Exploring Donnington Castle

I can never resist the opportunity to visit a castle so when we visited some friends in Donnington back in September, and they suggested a walk around the castle, I couldn’t say no.  Donnington Castle is a ruined medieval castle with just the gatehouse still standing and some reconstructed walls showing the layout of the castle.

The gatehouse at Donnington Castle

It was originally founded in 1386 by Sir Richard Abberbury the Elder, chamberlain to Anne of Bohemia (the queen to Richard II).  Later it was bought by Sir Thomas Chaucer (son of Geoffrey Chaucer).  It was taken under Royal control in the Tudor period, held by Royalists under siege for 18 months in the English Civil War before finally being demolished by Parliament in 1646.

Neil and Sophie walking up the hill to the gatehouse

Nowadays, the castle is a scheduled ancient monument under the care of English Heritage. It is free to visit the castle which is open during daylight hours and there is a small car park at the bottom of the hill leading up to the gatehouse.

Me, Jessica and Sophie standing by the entrance to the gatehouse

Jessica standing outside the gatehouse

Jessica decided the gatehouse was like Rapunzel’s tower – especially as the door was locked and we couldn’t go inside.  There wasn’t a lot to explore in amongst the ruins of the castle walls, but the girls enjoyed climbing on the walls and finding little tunnels to crawl through (until Sophie bumped her head going through one anyway!)

Jessica and Sophie climbing the castle walls

Jessica and Sophie finding tunnels to explore

Afterwards we went to the playground near our friends’ house. I wasn’t sure who was having more fun there, my friend Neil or the girls.  I was quite happy to watch and take photos while Neil spun the girls round on the roundabout or climbed up the climbing frame with them.  The girls loved it – Sophie was constantly calling out “Wheel! Wheel! Come here, Wheel!” The only time that they wanted Mummy though was when they were on the swings wanting to be pushed “high up in the sky, Mummy!” I tried my best, but these days I can never push the swings quite high enough for my girls’ liking!

Sophie and Jessica spinning on the roundabout

Neil swinging Jessica around on the outdoor gym equipment

With hubby being away, spending the afternoon with friends was just what I needed. Most of the time with hubby away, it is just the three of us going out and about.  As much as I love getting outdoors with my girls, there are times when I’d love some adult company.  This time though, I got to have some adult conversation and the girls got attention from three adults who were all quite happy to play with them too – plus we got to visit a castle – what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?

Jessica and Sophie on the swings

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



28 thoughts on “Exploring Donnington Castle

  1. It sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon and with adult company too – it saves you feeling as though you’re constantly answering to “mummy? mummy? mummy” doesn’t it (or is that just me that needs the occasional adult chat to save me going insane!) – It looks like a great castle to visit and you all look very pretty in your dresses #CountryKids

    1. Thank you Sherry – not just you that needs adult chat to stop you from going insane – as much as I love my kids, I need time for me too!

  2. I can’t resist a castle either. Wonderful to explore and imagine what it would have been like in its heyday. Lovely for you to have some adult company too. I’m sure the girls loved having you all there. The park looks fun . Happy days. #CountryKids

  3. Exploring castles is always fun for kids, they can instantly put themselves in a fairy tale just like Jessica did with the gate house being Rapunzel’s tower. It’s great that even though there’s not much to see at Donnington Castle anymore Jessica and Sophie enjoyed exploring it and crawling through the tunnels. That park looks fab too, the best way to let the girls burn off any of the excess energy they still had with all the fab play equipment there.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    1. I love the way places like that are brilliant for helping children use their imagination and put themselves into fairy tales – it made it a much more interesting experience 🙂

    1. Thank you Nat – the park was near my friends’ house rather than near the castle – have amended my post as realised that wasn’t very clear.

  4. Looks like the perfect way to spend the day. They all look so happy and love that photo of you all. Wish it was still warm enough for dresses xx

  5. Looks great for basic exploring. I know just what you mean getting the chance to go out with other adult company. A nice treat #countrykids

    1. It was a fun afternoon – not lots to do, but plenty of space to run around and explore 🙂

    1. Thank you Mich – love that dress, I miss being able to wear it now that the weather is colder!

    1. Thank you Jenni – it was a lovely day out. Hope you and Boo get to visit your local castle soon 🙂

  6. I can just imagine how Jessica put herself in a fairytale context and thought about Rapunzel in her tower – I think children’s imagination is wonderful!
    Looks like you had a really lovely afternoon and with additional adult company. Perfect!

    1. Thanks Tracey – it was a lovely afternoon and always good to have some additional adult company too! 🙂

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