When we spent the weekend down in Cambridge recently we decided that it would give us the ideal opportunity to add another stamp in my son’s National Trust passport by spending time exploring Anglesey Abbey. It’s somewhere that I’ve often heard people rave about, and as the snowdrops were still out, it seemed like the perfect time for our first visit.
We arrived mid-morning and the car park was already really full, so spending time exploring Anglesey Abbey was clearly a popular idea, even on a cold and blustery day. There is a large cafe, shop and toilet complex before you walk into the main grounds.
We’ve made a point of getting my son’s passport stamped when we arrive at any new National Trust site, rather than forgetting at the end of the day. It’s also meant that on a few occasions we’ve been made aware that there is more than one stamp to collect. This was also the case at Anglesey Abbey, where the lady in the shop told us to make sure we asked for a stamp at Lode Mill when we reached the watermill. If we’d not known that until the end of the day, we’d have missed out on that stamp completely. So my top tip – get your passport stamped early on!
Exploring Anglesey Abbey gives you access to the Jacobean-style house, extensive gardens, Lode Water Mill, as well as large wildlife and play areas.
The first thing we discovered was the Winter Garden which was all agreed was really cleverly done, focussing on the different colours of tree trunks and branches – white, orange, red and yellow. The whole sensory experience was really clever and is unlike anything we’ve seen before. The photos don’t really do it all justice.
There were snowdrops, hellebores and daffodils coming up, giving other pops of colour as we spent time exploring Anglesey Abbey.
Of course, any outdoor adventure always comes with a stick as far as my son is concerned and this day would be no different.
Whilst we didn’t get to see the waterwheel turn at Lode Mill, we did have the opportunity to go inside and climb up to the higher floors. My son overcame his fear and conquered the steep stairs and I was really proud of his efforts.
The Riverside Walk leads off from Lode Mill back along the edge of the Anglesey Abbey grounds.
At this time of year, there are areas of the grounds that are closed for conservation purposes so it did feel as if we’d missed out on seeing the whole site in all its glory, but I would imagine that come mid-summer, there is colour everywhere.
The rose garden is just starting to come to life and again, I’m sure that in a few month’s time it will be a riot of colour.
My son loved wandering through the trees, off on an adventure with his stick.
There is a great Wildlife Discovery area and Woodland Play area to enjoy when spending time exploring Anglesey Abbey. With a den building area, a pond viewing platform and insect hotel, my son was in heaven.
The Woodland Play area includes a Tree House, Sensory Tunnel, Log Wall and Woodland Fort and was a big hit with my son.
We had lots of fun exploring Anglesey Abbey and I’m sure we’ll be back at some point to see the rest of the grounds that we’d missed on this visit.
Have you been?