When I was a little girl I loved watching Camberwick Green and one of my favourite characters was Windy Miller and his windmill. They are structures that have fascinated me ever since and if I ever see a sign for one then I’ll happily detour to see if I can get up close for a look. You soon realise how varied they are in design and I was thrilled to discover that I even have a miller as an ancestor, sadly the mill where he would have worked is long gone. But we can often be found in search of windmills to discover with kids. I thought I’d share a few of our favourites here and I asked for a few more suggestions from others.
We are lucky to live quite close to a number of windmills to discover with kids in Buckinghamshire, and a firm family favourite is the one at Brill. I believe that it has re-opened to visitors on selected days but even when it’s closed, there is plenty of space to run around and blow away the cobwebs. It’s somewhere we often visit just to stand and enjoy the scenery.
You may recall our visit to Pitstone Windmill some time back. It wasn’t open on the day we visited and is still currently closed due to Covid, but you can look around the outside and there is a small layby close by too.
We often visit Buckinghamshire Railway Centre on the edge of Quainton and have seen Quainton Windmill from the train carriages before. But it wasn’t until earlier this year that we got a closer look at it. At the time, thanks to Covid, you couldn’t go inside but I believe it might be open at weekends again now. It definitely one we’d like to get a better look at and the scenery around it is stunning, a great place for windmills to discover with kids.
Update: We’ve now visited Quainton Windmill and it’s well worth it – open 10-12.30 on Sundays, free although donations are much appreciated and children receive a certificate for climbing to the top!
Isle of Wight
Somewhere I’ve not had a chance to visit on my previous trips to the Isle of Wight is the Bembridge Windmill. It’s somewhere that Louise at Little Hearts Big Love recommends
When we visited Lincoln last year we were walking around the walls of Lincoln Castle when we spotted a windmill close by, in fact, it seems to be right in the city centre. It was too close not to find on foot, and a quick Google search told us that we were heading to Ellis Mill, which is literally a five-minute walk from the castle. Whilst it’s still closed to the public you can get a good view of it and it feels so strange to have a windmill in the middle of a residential street.
Stephanie at Life at 139a recommend a visit to the Windmill at Great Bircham.
Somewhere we are planning to discover over the next couple of months comes thanks to Oxfordshiremummies over on Instagram – I love the look of the Great Haseley windmill.
When we were visiting York we spotted a windmill that looked fairly close to the city centre. A little googling told me that it was called Holgate Windmill, the oldest working windmill in Yorkshire.
There’s a layby close by to park in for free and then it’s a minute’s walk up to the windmill itself which is on a roundabout in the middle of a residential street. Imagine having this as a view from your bedroom window.
We recently visited the Crofton Beam Engines and as we were driving close by I spotted a sign for Wilton Windmill, and it was soon added to our itinerary for the day. There’s a layby close by and it’s well worth taking a detour for.
If you love exploring old buildings then Avoncroft Museum is well worth a visit. It has a whole host of historic buildings that have been moved brick by brick to this location near Bromsgrove. The windmill can be seen sailing on certain days.