Exploring Newark Park

When we were out and about during the half term holidays my son picked up leaflets as he always does. I normally then covertly put most of them back where they came from, but on this occasion, one made it home with us. My son is always eager to get another stamp in his National Trust passport and the latest addition to his leaflet pile resulted in us spending a very cold and wet day exploring Newark Park in Gloucestershire.

Exploring Newark Park

Newark Park includes Newark House, an old Tudor hunting lodge, as well as extensive grounds.  Although the upper floor of the house is closed for restoration following a large water leak earlier in the year, there’s still lots to see,  It wasn’t a National Trust property that had been on my radar if I’m totally honest, but the leaflet my son brought home gave us a map of the grounds and a few different routes for walks through the estate.  So we headed off for a day of adventures and when we left Oxfordshire it was chilly but dry and sunny.

By the time we arrived to start exploring Newark Park it was bitterly cold, grey and wet. We were greeted by some Morris Dancers who were just finishing their display as we arrived.

Exploring Newark Park

We’d decided that we wanted to explore the grounds and go for a long walk, so opted for an early lunch and a hot drink beforehand.  It’s worth noting that refreshments are found in a Tea Pavilion close to the house, but to actually sit down you need to either use the outside picnic tables or sit inside the house itself.  As the weather turned very quickly, everyone headed into the house and there were no seats in the dining area when we arrived.  Luckily the staff were very accommodating and we got to perch on seats in one of the rooms, with me watching every mouthful my son took.  He thought it was a great adventure and loved every second of feeling a bit special.

Whilst we were finishing off our drinks my son started to explore the room we were sitting in and was soon examining the porcelain figures in a large cabinet.  He took great delight in telling me one of them was Napoleon Bonaparte.

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

Even on a dreary day it was possible to admire the views across the rolling countryside, on a sunny day, they must have been stunning.

Exploring Newark Park

My son soon found a Wentworth puzzle of the house and was eager to fit a few pieces in before moving on to other parts of the house.

I’m a sucker for stained glass windows and there are some lovely panels to be found when exploring Newark Park and the house itself.

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

We listened to one of the volunteers for a while who was explaining about the different owners of Newark House over the years.  She was really interesting and it’s nice to hear that so much was saved from ruin when the storms hit and a water pipe burst in the roof in March.

The weather outside was pretty frightful and my photographs really don’t tell the story.

Exploring Newark Park

My son was eager to play tour guide as usual and we decided to explore the grounds before heading off on one of the estate walks.

Exploring Newark Park

We were intrigued by the sound of the Sham Castle Folly.  Unfortunately the folly itself was out-of-bounds but we could still imagine who might have liked to live there.

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

Past the folly we spotted a lovely wooden play area and if it hadn’t been pouring down I think my son would have spent ages there having fun.

Exploring Newark Park

Instead he headed to the Woodland Play area with its carved animals.  The area offered a little bit of shelter from the rain and my son loved spotting the various carvings as he played.

Exploring Newark Park

He had the area to himself, clearly no one else was quite as mad as us!

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

Once he’d had his fun in the playground we headed off towards the lakeside garden with its Crinkle Crankle Wall and Summer House.

I always love just watching my son having an adventure.  He doesn’t care what the weather’s doing, as long as he’s got somewhere to explore.  If we have the place to ourselves, all the better.

Exploring Newark Park

While he enjoyed running around I found a few splashes of colour.

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

The Summer House give us the opportunity to take cover for a bit and shelter from the worst of the weather.

Exploring Newark Park

Some times my son is very good at giving us a running commentary of what he’s imagining and other times it’s very clear that he’s totally lost in his thoughts.

Exploring Newark Park

We got to admire Newark House from below before heading towards the woodland walks.

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

Even though it was freezing we were determined to enjoy spending time exploring Newark Park, and decided to take a walk through Muscovy Wood.

Exploring Newark Park

The estate walks all start past the Georgian Carriage Drive and we picked a 2.8 mile route around the estate.  We’d have opted for the longer 3.5 mile route but the weather clearly wasn’t going to improve.

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

Where there are leaves and sticks to be found, you can be sure my son will never be far away.

Exploring Newark Park

As the rain poured down we looked back towards the house, what a view it commands over the estate.

Exploring Newark Park

Even in bad weather the walk was lovely, and as most of it was under the trees, we managed to shelter from the worst of the rain for a bit.

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

We’d enjoyed exploring Newark Park and as we ended our walk the rain actually stopped but it was still really cold.

Exploring Newark Park

We admired the house once more.

Exploring Newark Park

Exploring Newark Park

Had one last run around before returning to the warmth of the car.

Exploring Newark Park

As we drove away it started to snow, proper snow, in October.  I told you it was cold! We’ll definitely return to Newark Park again to see it all in slightly better weather.

Exploring Newark Park

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About Over 40 and a Mum to One

I'm a Mum with an 8 year old son. I had a busy life in Export Sales before my Monkey came along, but decided to become a stay at home Mum once he arrived. Now I enjoy writing my own family lifestyle and travel blog. sharing the adventures that we have as Monkey makes his journey through school. We have a cat called Brewster who makes appearances and I’m a mad Ferrari Formula 1 fan, so that expect to hear about as each season unfolds. We love reviewing days out, toys, games and books and would love the opportunity to look at anything that fits in with our family lifestyle. We are always out and about and offering an insight on the places we visit, with a passion for nature thrown in for good measure. If you like what you read please leave me a comment, I love to hear from people, and always try to reply. Enjoy the read.

10 thoughts on “Exploring Newark Park

  1. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Morris dancers – how lovely to just catch the end of their display. The house looks like an interesting place to explore. I love that your son pointed out the figure of Napoleon. It’s a shame that the weather was so dreary but it looks like you still managed to enjoy your walk. Those carvings in the woodland play area are beautiful and I’m intrigued by the Sham Castle Folly as well. Newark Park looks like a beautiful place to explore and hopefully you’ll get to return when the weather is nicer! Thank you for sharing with #CountryKids

  2. Really impressed you achieved so many activities despite the weather, many people would have stayed indoors. Shame about the climbing frame though, it looks fab. And I love Morris Dancers. Oh and what’s a Crinkle Crankle Walk?! #CountryMids

  3. What a beautiful place. I love the stained glass window and the grounds look so interesting and varied. I can imagine my pair spending hours in the natural playgrounds. #countrykids

  4. well done the two of you for braving the wet and cold weather, not many children would be that keen. Nice to get the place quiet and let the imagination run riot in a new area.
    You need to take up geocahing and clock up some of them under your belt as well.

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