Hunting for dragons at Hughenden Manor

Sometimes the best days out are those where we are searching for fairies in the woods. Sometimes they are days when a little imagination turns a walk into a fairy tale adventure. Sometimes there are trails to follow and dragons to be found. But in each of those days there is always a moment; a moment when I stop and watch and know that for that instance in time, life feels utterly perfect. It may only be a brief moment but it is there nonetheless.

Jessica and Sophie standing by a den in the woods looking at a clue on the dragon trail

Sitting in the sunshine having a picnic at Hughenden Manor before setting off on a knights and dragons trail was one of those moments.  A moment of looking at my hubby and seeing the man I first fell in love with while our girls were happily using him as a climbing frame.  It’s a moment that often seems to happen when we are out and about – and one of the many reasons why I love getting out and about with my family.

Hubby lying in the sunshine with the girls sitting on him

For Jessica and Sophie though, the excitement was in the hunt for the dragon.  The map we had been given wasn’t very clear at showing where the start of the trail was.  Fortunately, we had been given directions to the start when we picked up the map – we would have struggled otherwise!

Hubby with Jessica on his shoulders at the start of the knights and dragons trail

Having found the starting point, we headed into the woods in search of clues as to where we could find the dragon.  It was a hot day and the coolness of the woods was quite a relief after sitting out in the sunshine to have our picnic.  Jessica and Sophie soon spotted some clues that the dragon had passed this way – some dragon scales that had brushed off on a tree.

Jessica looking at dragon scales on a tree trunk

I loved the rhymes found at each point on the trail helping indicate where the next one might be found.  Some of the clues had pictures of dragons; some had a knight’s helmet and others had swords.  We found one sword stuck in a log.  Hubby tried to pull it free with a little help from the girls, but clearly he wasn’t kingly material and the sword stayed stuck.

Jessica standing next to a clue with a picture of a dragon

Hubby and the girls trying to pull the sword out of the log

Jessica and Sophie quite liked making noises like horses’ hooves using coconut shells at one of the points on the trails.

Hubby showing Jessica and Sophie how to use the coconut shells to make noises like horses' hooves

About three-quarters of the way round the trail, we decided to take a slight detour and explore around the house and surrounding gardens.  Jessica couldn’t resist the steep slopes leading down into the gardens – perfect for rolling down!

Hughenden Manor

Jessica rolling down a hill at Hughenden Manor

We also explored the kitchen garden where the girls enjoyed playing with wheelbarrows and watering cans, while I picked up some lettuce seeds for us to plant at home.

Jessica with a wheelbarrow and watering can in the kitchen garden at Hughenden

Back on the trail, and there were just a couple more clues before we finally came across the dragon.  Thankfully he appeared to be sleeping and we were careful not to disturb him while taking our photos!

Jessica and Sophie with the dragon we found at the end of the trail

An afternoon in the sunshine with my family, exploring somewhere new and finding a dragon along the way – definitely the recipe for a perfect day out.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


31 thoughts on “Hunting for dragons at Hughenden Manor

  1. Oh some days are just perfect. When you notice everything. Sounds like this was one of your days. Love the clues on the trail. The scales were a fun touch. Hope the lettuce grew/grow. #CountryKids

    1. Thanks Cheryl – it was such a lovely day. The lettuce is starting to grow – I’m not that great with growing things though so keeping fingers crossed that it will continue to do so!

  2. I always love your Country Kids posts as I feel I get to explore an unfamiliar part of the country as I read it. I love how so many places are putting in trails like this to maintain interest for the kids. Your two seem no exception and even their daddy looks like he is enjoying it too.
    Hope Jessica has had a good start at school.

    1. Thank you Karen – I love that about Country Kids too – I get to read about all sorts of interesting places! The start at school has gone well so far, thank you 🙂

  3. Oh what a lovely day and I’m so glad you found the dragon! My girls can never resist rolling down a steep hill either, I’m often tempted to join them!

  4. I love the idea of a dinosaur hunt and how they have the clues dotted along the trail. Hughenden has always sounded a lovely one to visit, will have to keep an eye out for other activities like this. #countrykids

    1. Trails like this are such a great way of getting children to explore places. It was our first visit to Hughenden but I’m sure we’ll be back 🙂

    1. It was so much fun. We’re only about half an hour away from Hughenden so will definitely be visiting it again 🙂

  5. It’s great to see the girls really enjoying all the activities along the trail and really got into the magic of the Dragon Hunt. I bet they had fun with Daddy trying to pull the sword from the log, it’s a shame that none of you became King or Queen! Coconut shells for horses hooves is always such a great idea, I bet the girls loved pretending to be riding horses along the road.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids

    1. Thank you Fiona – we loved the coconut hooves and the sword – the activities really helped make it fun for the girls 🙂

    1. I think it was only on during the summer but I suspect there may be other trails at various points during the year.

    1. It was lots of fun – we’d not visited before and the trail was what encouraged us to go. It’s such a lovely place to visit though 🙂

  6. This looks fab! I love an organised trail like this, and the addition of the coconut hooves is brilliant. Good luck with your lettuce! #CountryKids

  7. It looks like a lovely trail to do. I’ve only ever been to Hughenden for a work meeting, and hadn’t realised there was much for children to do, but it looks pretty good. Might have to add it to our list to do if we’re heading over that way. #countrykids

    1. It was so much fun. I think the trail was only on over the summer but I suspect there may be others during the year.

    1. Thanks Karen – heading into the woods is lovely when it’s hot, it’s just so nice to get out of the sun for a while sometimes!

  8. Oh this looks like you all had a fabulous day out. We actually stopped here last year after being stuck in a crazy queue on the motorway and it was just what we needed. Mich x

  9. I couldn’t agree more with you, Louise. Sometimes just being outside where you have no distractions – no washing, no chores, no messy playrooms – you can get back to just being together and really enjoying each others company. A day in the woods is the perfect thing to do sometimes. Looks and sounds like you had a magical day, and your photo of Hubby trying to pull out the sword – I can imagine your girls really egging him on!
    Lovely photos of what looks to be a very special day for you all

  10. Such a wonderful and special day out. I love how so many places in the UK have gorgeous themed trails for families to enjoy. It’s a brilliant way to encourage children to enjoy the outdoors and walking. Lovely photos x

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