We have been members of the National Trust for quite a few months now and Tredegar House & Gardens are almost on our doorstep, so why haven't we been before? Maybe because it is on our doorstep? Maybe because we thought just an old house would be boring for Bear? So on Monday we looked at the weather forecast and decided to go for an hour. We didn't have a plan, no picnic just coffee for us and some Heavenly Tasty Organic* snacks for Bear.
Just a quick twenty minutes drive along the A48 from Cardiff towards Newport and we were there.
Tredegar House & Gardens - A Toddler Explores
Part I The Gardens
We didn't get to visit the house, we just spent so much time enjoying the gardens that our quick visit turned into three hours and there just wasn't enough time to do it all. We will be back another day to review the House.
We grabbed his Smart trike (big mistake) and his toddle bike (excellent idea) from the car and went exploring. There are acres of parkland with a playground and lake that is free to visit. The only cost would be for parking which is free for National Trust members and £2 all day for everyone else.
We love his Smart trike but the paths were a bit bumpy and the day warmed up so we had lots of jumpers and bits to carry, a buggy would have been better in hindsight.
We started by having a look at the magnificent parkland. As it is school holidays there were lots of families arriving but due to it's size the park never seemed crowded. There is a playground but we just didn't get time to explore it.
We had a look at the lake, the Gorsedd stones and found a Pokestop too.
|Bear leading the way around the lake|
|A Nanny's hand is needed when walking on walls next to lakes!|
|Gorsedd stones next!|
|Bear loved this big flat stone, it even had steps for him to climb up|
|A Poke Stop is nearby|
|Bear can't find it though hehe!|
I really wanted to see the walled garden so that was our next stop. Up to this point everything is free and from here on the entrance fee applies. We have a subscription which makes it very reasonable for us.
So past the little cafe and through the garden door.
|Bear just had to ride under this sign and over the cobbles|
|Back on the path to the walled garden|
There is a lovely Orchard Garden with winding woodland paths and lush vegetation. The gardens are cared for in association with Growing Space, a registered mental health charity and they do an amazing job. The gardens are beautiful.
|The very lush Orchard Garden|
|Growing Space are doing a fantastic job in the Orchard Garden|
Then a right turn through some gates and into the Cedar Garden. This has beautiful borders and some seating. There are also deckchairs scattered around for the weary. In the centre is a memorial to Sir Briggs. Sir Briggs was Godfrey Morgan's (Lord Tredegar), war horse. They both fought in and survived the Charge of the Light Brigade and are said to have inspired Tennyson. Sir Briggs was actually knighted and died 20 years later at the age of 28. He was buried with full military honours.
We didn't stop long though as Bear was on a mission. He had heard there were crafts in the Orangery so off we went.
|Bear loved the bright red flowers|
|He also liked the memorial to Sir Briggs|
The crafts were aimed at slightly older children and involved scissors and cutting out so instead we explored the formal garden opposite and stopped for our cup of coffee.
The gardens outside the Orangery are laid to lawn and have designs in sand and shells. Great for a toddler to play in.
|The formal gardens in front of the Orangery. Bear loved the sea shells that form the white part of the design|
We were so lucky that we had been given* some Heavenly snacks to try or Bear would have had a very poor picnic indeed. Heavenly Tasty foods are 100% organic so perfect for hungry toddlers on the go. We took a fruit pouch and a packet of Crispy Veggie Waffles. Bear can't read and doesn't really mind what's in them. He's only interested if they taste nice.
|Heavenly Tasty Organic pouch, Crispy Veggie Waffles and some grapes. What to try first?|
|Mmm Strawberry, Apple and Banana pouch is delicious|
|Lets try one of these Beetroot and Shallot Veggie Waffles.|
Bear loves fruit pouches and really did love the Strawberry, Apple and Banana Heavenly one. He wasn't so sure about the Crispy Veggie Waffle. It was beetroot and shallot, a new flavour for Bear. Maybe he'll prefer the Carrot and Cumin. I had a sneaky taste and thought they were delicious. After our break the next stop was the stables. Bear found an oven and a very unusual visitor.
|A very small oven in the stables. We do not know what it was for.|
|I just love the tiled floor of the stables and a Dalek!|
|Even the old stables used as storage are stunning|
All the buildings are stunning. Even the stables are magnificent, there was certainly lots of money spent on this estate. The gardens are beautiful, and very peaceful. I loved everything from the quirkiness of the boots planted up to the abundance of flowers.
|Old boots filled with plants|
|Shrub overflowing with white flowers. I think it is a Mock Orange Blossom.|
|Bear was very impressed with the grandeur of Tredegar House|
We all loved Tredegar House & Gardens and just ran out of time but this is on our doorstep so we will be back for more. Bear loves exploring mansion houses and castles so I can't wait for Part II - A Toddler Explores The House.
Entrance to the house and gardens is £8 per adult and £4 per child, there are Family tickets too. More details with opening times is on their website.
*we were given samples of the Heavenly snacks for the purpose of a review. We paid for our own subscription to the National Trust. All opinions are honest and our own.