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

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28 Comments

  1. November 12, 2016 / 7:48 am

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      November 16, 2016 / 7:52 pm

      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. November 12, 2016 / 9:54 am

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      November 16, 2016 / 7:52 pm

      Thanks Cheryl – the girls loved having the extra attention too! 🙂

  3. November 12, 2016 / 10:53 am

    That Castle looks like a fun place to explore.

    Coming over from #CountryKids!

    • Louise
      Author
      November 16, 2016 / 7:53 pm

      The girls certainly enjoyed themselves 🙂

  4. November 12, 2016 / 11:46 am

    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.

    • Louise
      Author
      November 16, 2016 / 7:54 pm

      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 🙂

  5. November 12, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    Oh this looks fab and I love the fact that there’s a park next to the castle too. Also, I love your dress, you look stunning!
    Nat.x

    • Louise
      Author
      November 16, 2016 / 7:55 pm

      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.

  6. November 12, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    That looks a lovely place to freely explore and it is always a hit if there is a park as well X

    • Louise
      Author
      November 16, 2016 / 7:55 pm

      Thank you – the park was a little way from the castle though 🙂

  7. November 12, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      November 16, 2016 / 7:56 pm

      Thank you Karen – I miss the warmer weather too!

  8. November 13, 2016 / 6:30 pm

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      November 16, 2016 / 7:57 pm

      Thanks Emma – having the adult company was the best! 🙂

  9. November 13, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    We’ve not been to much in the way of castles but this looks like a nice opportunity for the children to get hands on #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      November 17, 2016 / 12:44 pm

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

    • Louise
      Author
      November 17, 2016 / 12:45 pm

      It certainly was – we all had a lovely day 🙂

  10. November 14, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    It looks like you had a really fun day and your yellow dress is so pretty, you look fab. Mich x #CountryKids

    • Louise
      Author
      November 17, 2016 / 12:48 pm

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

  11. November 14, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    What a lovely day out. Fab imagination making the tower Rapunzel’s tower. Love your yellow dress, btw!

    #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      November 17, 2016 / 12:48 pm

      Thank you Heidi – it was lovely seeing Jessica use her imagination like that 🙂

  12. November 15, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    It sounds like you had a wonderful day and you got some really lovely photos! I need to plan a visit to our local castle, we have not been in ages!

    • Louise
      Author
      November 17, 2016 / 12:51 pm

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

  13. November 17, 2016 / 2:56 pm

    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!
    #CountryKids

    • Louise
      Author
      November 17, 2016 / 4:13 pm

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

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